Back in 1795, BFFs Paul Revere and Samuel Adams put together a time capsule. On Tuesday, 210 years after they buried it, the contents were carefully extracted over the course of an hour at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. The 10-pound brass box contained coins, five folded newspapers, a seal from the Massachusetts commonwealth, and a title page from colony records.
Boooooring. Not even a first-generation iPod?
No, I'm totally kidding. It is v important and v historical, and this is actually a history buff's treasure trove. The more than 20 coins contained in the box were from both the 1790s and the early to mid-1800s, the latter ones added when the capsule was opened the first time in 1855. At the time of that extraction, they also replaced the original cowhide capsule with the brass box. It was then returned to and mortared in the State House cornerstone in Boston.
But the big show here is an engraved silver plate at the bottom of the box that museum historians speculate was made by Paul Revere. Malcolm Rogers, director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, was clearly pretty geeked about it.
That was the treasure at the end.
And I guess that a plate made by Paul Revere would be treasure to someone like Rogers. Especially after the extraction process that the museum went through.
It took nearly seven hours to get the box out of the side of the building, another four hours just to unscrew it, and then the aforementioned hour to remove all of the contents, which they did at a ceremony. In front of everyone. Rogers described it like this:
It was like brain surgery, with history looking down on us.
Yeah, that sounds like a lot of work. When I was home for the holidays, I too found a time capsule. I made it in the fourth grade and was supposed to open it when I graduated from high school. I forgot about it. It didn't have any invaluable historical documents inside, unless you count a note to my future self admonishing me for not being a famous singer. But you know what else it didn't have? A 12-hour extraction process. It was wrapped in paper.