The oldest time capsule in Massachusetts was dislodged from the Massachusetts State House on Thursday. The box, which is silver-plated, is said to contain coins that could date back to 1652 and be one of the most historically significant finds in the nation’s history.
While the removal went well, officials have not yet decided when the time capsule would be opened up for examination. Originally, the box was housed in Boston’s Old State House, and was then transported to the grounds that are known as today’s “New” State House.
In 1855, it was momentarily removed to be repaired, and then additional items were added to it. Some of the things that are said to be in the box are newspapers, an engraved silver plate, a seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and cards. While no one is absolutely certain what will be inside the box when they open it up – officials are very curious how the items that are inside might have held up over their long stretch of being locked up.
The process to remove the time capsule took nearly 7 hours, and involved Pam Hatchfield of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts lying on her back for a significant length of time during the process – carefully chipping the cornerstone away around the time capsule to preserve its integrity.
Massachusetts’s Secretary of State William Galvin added, “Hopefully there will be no damage and we will be able to observe the artifacts that trace us back to the history not only just of this building, but of our commonwealth and our country.” Officials will use an X-ray to determine what will be the best method for extracting the artifacts that are inside the time capsule. At that point, they will determine when, and where the opening will take place. At this point it’s become unclear whether anyone will add more to the time capsule, or if it will be added to a museum.
Originally, the first-time capsule was buried was in 1795 during a ceremony in Boston. Since, the time capsule has served as a test to the history of Massachusetts and in this case the history of the United States.