A few weeks ago, County Historian Bill Buell arrived at the Grems-Doolittle Library with two copper boxes. They had been found in a closet in the County Office building and nobody was sure where they came from. We decided to open them up and take a look.
|What's in the box? This sealed copper box was found in a closet without any accompanying documentation.|
One of the boxes was unsealed, so we lifted the lid and discovered a cache of newspapers, documents, and books. There was also a milk bottle cap. One of the documents revealed the box's purpose: commemorating the completed construction of the Schenectady County Home in 1934.
|Program in Connection with Laying of the Cornerstone of the Schenectady County Home, July 14, 1934.|
|John, our facilities manager and blacksmith, checked the capsule for weaknesses and determined the best approach for opening it without harming the contents.|
|The capsule was sealed by folding a lip over the edge of the lid and reinforcing it with adhesive. John pried up the edge of the lip and forced a weak spot.|
|We're in! Once the lip was breached, John could grab the lid and prise it up.|
|Copper is a soft metal, so we could roll the top back like a sardine can lid. Time capsules usually are designed to be carefully destroyed when opened. If they were easier to open, they would be less effective in preserving their contents.|
|The first item emerges! The contents of this capsule are in good condition which shows how well the capsule did its job.|
|Time capsules often include newspapers from the day the capsule is interred.|
|The 1960 time capsule included 31 cents and a Certs mint. Coins are often included in time capsules. We decided not to eat the mint, though it seemed to be in excellent condition.|
- "Schenectady County Nursing Homes," Clippings Files Collection. Grems-Doolittle Library
- "Demolition of Former Glendale Home Nearing Completion," Daily Gazette, Jan. 4, 2015: https://dailygazette.com/article/2015/01/04/demolition-former-glendale-home-nearing-completion