Century old time capsule discovered in US

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A 1915 time capsule containing several “interesting” artifacts, including a newspaper dating back to the First World War, has been discovered at a university in the US. Researchers at the Boston University (BU) stumbled upon a copper container, about the size of a toaster, nestled in one of the hundreds of boxes of files they were archiving.

The top of the container had been pierced in the middle with a sharp metal object – a claw hammer or a pry bar – and ripped open. “The first thing I thought was, it is a time capsule,” said Emma Purtell, from BU’s Facilities Management and Planning (FM&P). Purtell along with colleagues Sarah Mankey and Adam Mumford came to the conclusion that the time capsule had been buried in June 1915. “I am just blown away by how good the condition of some of this stuff is, considering it is 100-plus years old at this point,” said Mumford.

The box had been unearthed in 2002, when the armoury was demolished to make way for the university’s new building. “The things we found inside were really amazing and interesting,” Purtell said.

The contents of the capsule include a copy of the Manual of the Massachusetts General Court from 1914, a newspaper dating back to 1915 with headlines about the First World War, coins (including an 1894 quarter), and a map of the then-new subway to Harvard Square. There are also rosters listing men serving in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia and a Boston Past and Present photobook.

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