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1901 Boston Time Capsule Contents Revealed

BOSTON (CBS/AP) -- The contents of a 1901 Boston time capsule opened last week have finally been revealed.

Old photographs of city officials, campaign buttons, letters and newspapers make up most of the 113-year-old artifacts found inside the head of a lion statue that guarded Boston's Old State House. The red book seen when the capsule was pried open last week is "Foreign Relations of The United States" from 1896, and other items include a Boston Globe and Boston Herald from 1901.

PHOTOS: See what's inside the 113-year-old time capsule

The Bostonian Society described the contents of the copper box as "remarkably good."

"There was little fading of ink or deterioration of paper quality, which [the archivist] ascribed to the fact that the time capsule was sealed so tight that neither air nor water were able to penetrate it," the society said in a statement.

Items from the Boston time capsule (Photo credit Bostonian Society)

The society, which manages the Old State House, first learned about the possible existence of the time capsule years ago from the great-great-granddaughter of Samuel Rogers, a craftsman who had worked on building renovations and was believed to have placed the time capsule in the lion's head and cataloged its contents. A 1901 article from The Boston Globe surfaced later, alluding to contents of a copper box "which will prove interesting when the box is opened many years hence."

time capsule book
Red book found inside Boston time capsule (Photo credit Bostonian Society)

The plan is to put a new time capsule in the lion's head, this one made of titanium. The society is currently soliciting suggestions of what to put in it, but said one item will be a medal from the ill-fated 2013 Boston Marathon.

Notable artifacts inside the capsule include:

-A William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt campaign button

-Nail from Old South Church, and a nail from the Old State House

- Sealed letter inscribed "A message to posterity from the daily newspapers at City Hall"*

- Bill for tuition and one piece of music from 1901 signed by John A. Silver

-Die cut for printing of the Boston Herald building, 255 Washington Street

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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