Photos: Time Capsule from 1795 Reveals Pieces of American History

The contents of a 220-year-old time capsule, buried in 1795 by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, were revealed on Jan. 6. The Massachusetts Commonwealth and Museum of Fine Arts dug the capsule out of a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Specially trained museum workers opened the capsule and carefully removed the contents, including coins, newspapers, a silver plaque engraved by Paul Revere and a copper medal depicting George Washington. [Read full story about the time capsule's opening]

This copper box was originally buried in 1795. It was first dug up in 1855 when it's contents were recorded, cleaned and then reburied. It was rediscovered in summer 2014 and dug up again on Dec. 11, 2014. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Malcolm Rogers, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) director, gave a speech before executive director of the Massachusetts Archive Michael Comeau and MFA conservator Pam Hatchfield show the contents of the capsule that they carefully removed. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Hatchfield holds out the plaque that experts believe Paul Revere himself engraved. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick takes a closer look at the plaque. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The time capsule held silver and copper coins dating from 1652 to 1855. Five silver coins were also found buried around the capsule. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Experts believe that Paul Revere engraved the silver plaque found inside the time capsule. The capsule also held a copper medal depciting George Washington, newspapers, an impressions of the seal of the Commonwealth and the title page of the Massachusetts Colony Records. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Experts had to carefully remove excess plaster from the brass container and chipped off corrosion around the edges and screws keeping the capsule sealed shut. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The contents of the time capsule will be put on display at the MFA for a brief exhibition. Experts will then rebury the time capsule at the State House. (Credit: Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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Kelly Dickerson
Staff Writer
Kelly Dickerson is a staff writer for Live Science and She regularly writes about physics, astronomy and environmental issues, as well as general science topics. Kelly is working on a Master of Arts degree at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, and has a Bachelor of Science degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College. Kelly was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, and dabbles in skimboarding and long-distance running.