X-Ray Finds Washington Monument Time Capsule Contents in Good Condition

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capsule2The 100-year-old time capsule that was found in the Washington Monument is out of safekeeping at the Waters Art Museum. But they’re not quite ready to open it, despite positive X-ray results.

The time capsule, which was found last fall behind a plaque in the base of the Mt. Vernon monument by renovation crews, remains soldered shut, according to Walters staff. The capsule’s exterior copper was cleaned to reveal an inscription from J. Arthur Limerick Co., a metal-smith shop which was located near Mt. Vernon on Howard St.

Conservators feared that the contents may have suffered water damage, so they’re taking their time in determining what’s inside. An X-ray was performed to examine what might be inside the box.

“After taking an x-ray of the box and receiving the results, we are confident the contents are in good condition,” said Terry Drayman-Weisser, Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of Conservation & Technical Research at the Walters Art Museum.

The X-ray only showed the shape of the objects, some of which are believed to be documents from the city’s last centennial celebration, said Walters spokesperson Mona Rock.

The capsule will be on display at the Walters Art Museum until it is opened later this spring. Officials with the Mt. Vernon Place Conservancy and Maryland Historical Society want to open it closer to the Monument’s bicentennial on July 4. They’re planning to put the documents and other contents on display at the Society during the celebration.


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