Until we are face to face with the past, we forget the importance of historical facts and discoveries. We live for the present and hope for things in the future, but without history, we couldn’t possibly understand any of these things. In fact, we learn how to make decisions based on past occurrences, and get a glimpse into a whole new world!
History does become more interesting when you can hold it in your hands. Finding artifacts and examining the fine details wrought by craftsmen of the past gives us a rare opportunity to learn. Another way to appreciate history is by opening a present from the past. These presents of the past are called time capsules, and just recently a 220-year-old capsule was discovered in Boston Massachusetts.
It was 220 years ago that two men decided to bury part of the past in a copper box. It was not out of shame or to hide a heinous secret, these men wanted to share a piece of the past with the future. What a novel idea for the time, wouldn’t you think!
This copper box was buried in 1795 but was first found and opened in 1855. The contents were examined, cleaned thoroughly and reburied for future finding. During the summer of 2014, the box was rediscovered.
On January 6, The Massachusetts Commonwealth and Museum of Fine Arts opened the capsule previously buried by these two men, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams.
Before the opening, Malcolm Rogers, the director at the Museum of fine arts gave a speech. Then, executive director of the Massachusetts Archive Michael Comeau and Pam Hatchfield, MFA Conservator, carefully opened the box. It took 7 hours to get the container opened considering the plaster and corrosion surrounding the brass box had sealed all the edges and locked screws. After a careful cleaning of the outside, museum workers were able to get a glimpse of the past.
Once inside the time capsule, specially trained museum workers found coins, papers and engravings. The coins dated back from the 1600s to 1855. There were also several silver coins buried outside the copper box as well. Two of the most outstanding items in the container was a silver plaque engraved by Paul Revere himself and a copper medal depicting the first U.S. president, George Washington.
When museum workers looked upon these discoveries, history came to life. The realism that these things were once new created a new perspective and does so every time something for times past is discovered. The awe and admiration that we feel when we see the way the world used to be is indescribable. One thing is for certain, each and every time the capsule is opened, we learn a little more about ourselves, our present time and even our future. How, you may ask?
For some reason, our past molds who we are and what we are to become.
The contents of the capsule were temporarily put on display, then packed back inside the copper box. It was reburied at the Massachusetts state house. It is uncertain whether or not we made any further contributions to the contents of the box, but chances are likely. One day, someone else will look upon these contents in awe as we did and understand the importance of history upon present time. So, the waiting begins. 🙂