It has been a big week for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, as a time capsule buried by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams was finally opened on Tuesday.
The time capsule was first buried back in 1795 by both Revere and Adams, and in 1855, the contents of the capsule were moved from the original leather bag to a brass box and reburied under the same cornerstone at the Massachusetts State House.
Now, all these years later, the capsule was finally opened, and in it were items that Revere and Adams decided were important enough to preserve. Pam Hatchfield, a museum conservator, opened the 10-pound box and revealed all of the items.
Using a porcupine quill and her grandfather’s dental tool, Hatchfield removed each item individually, and amazingly, the box contained a Massachusetts Commonwealth seal, five folded newspapers, a portion of the Massachusetts colony records, a dozen coins including a pine tree shilling from 1652, and an inscribed silver plate.
Hatchfield said that the silver plate was likely made and inscribed by Revere himself, and she called the item the “treasure at the end.”
The brass box was discovered last month during renovations on the State House, and after it was X-rayed and thoroughly examined, researchers decided that it was time to open it.
“This is the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on,” Hatchfield said. “This is what we as conservators live for.”
The items will now go on display in the museum, and Hatchfield says they will likely bury the box again with all new items.