220-year-old time capsule slated for opening

January 9, 2015
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A time capsule dating back to the 18th century and buried within the State House was planned to be opened this week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, after the Gazette’s deadline.

The MFA has been caring for the box since it was unearthed on Dec. 11, according to the MFA website. The capsule was originally buried in 1795, then opened and re-buried in 1855.

It was originally placed under the State House cornerstone in 1795 by Governor Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and William Scollay. In 1855, the contents were documented and cleaned, and more artifacts were added.

The 10-pound box was X-rayed at the MFA last month. The X-ray revealed what is believed to be a collection of silver and copper coins dating from 1652 and 1855; an engraved silver plate; a copper medal depicting George Washington; newspapers; the seal of the Commowealth; cards; and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records. These objects were described in the 1855 account of the reburying ceremony.

The re-opening was planned for Dec. 6.

An X-ray of the time capsule before it was opened. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

An X-ray of the time capsule before it was opened. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The time capsule as it looked prior to being opened. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The time capsule as it looked prior to being opened. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)