US Coins

Boston time capsule from era of Paul Revere, Sam Adams put back

The time capsule found inside a granite block from the Massachusetts State House was returned to its resting place Wednesday.

Images courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Boston time capsule that caught the eye of many a historically inclined American over the winter is going back from whence it came, carrying its previous contents and a little more.

The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts State House cornerstone that was used as a time capsule and originally put in place by Paul Revere and Sam Adams in 1795 was returned to the structure Wednesday during a ceremony that featured white horses, fife-and-drum music, and a 19-gun salute. 

The cornerstone was removed from a granite block at the State House that was freed after a full day's work by a conservator Dec. 11. Work related to a water infiltration investigation led to the time capsule's discovery.

The time capsule was opened on Jan. 6 during a joint press conference held by the Commonweatlh of Massachusetts and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Among the items inside was a Pine Tree shilling, a silver coin struck in the mid-17th century under authority of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Also in the box were a medal depicting George Washington, a silver plate possibly attributed to Paul Revere, and other early U.S. coinage.

The Globe reports, "After being displayed at the MFA, the relics were put in a new, higher-tech box (stainless steel filled with humidified Argon gas for preservation purposes, according to a statement from Galvin’s office) along with some additional items from the modern day: a set of 2015 U.S. coins and a new silver plaque commemorating the ceremony, with the names of [Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts Harvey J.] Waugh, [Governor Charlie] Baker and other officials."

The 2014 recovery was not the time capsule's first. It was first pulled from the building in 1855, when additional items were added to it. 

Read all about Wednesday's ceremony.

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