Time capsule dating to 1795 included coins, newspapers

Jan 7, 2015 11:09 AM by CBS/AP

BOSTON - History buffs got a rare glimpse into the past Tuesday when a time capsule, believed to be left by Paul Revere and Sam Adams more than 200 years ago, was opened in Boston.

When conservators at the Museum of Fine Arts gingerly removed items from the box, they found five tightly folded newspapers, a medal depicting George Washington, a silver plaque, the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and two dozen coins, including one dating to 1655.

The original capsule was made of cowhide and believed to have been embedded in a cornerstone when construction on the state Capitol building began in 1795, CBS Boston reported. Adams was governor at the time.

The contents were shifted to a copper box in 1855 and placed back in the same spot. Officials say old records and X-rays taken in December after the box was located and removed indicated what was inside.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said that notes from the era indicated that officials washed some of the contents with acid before putting them in the new copper box. He also said records show it was a humid day when the items were restored and the corner of the Statehouse where the capsule was placed has had a water leakage problem for decades.

It's the second time capsule to resurface in Boston in recent months.

In October, a capsule dating to 1901 was uncovereda capsule dating to 1901 was uncovered in a lion statue adorning the Old State House. That contained newspaper clippings, letters and a book on foreign policy.

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