December 8, 2022

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The Time Capsule, which opened 134 years later in Virginia, reveals its secrets

Surgery is subtle enough to evoke the excitement of discovery. Armed with gloves and various tools, Chelsea Blake, a security expert at the Virginia Historical Resources Department, is desperately trying to open a rusty lead box the size of a 134-year-old shoebox.

With the help of his colleagues, it took him several days to achieve this: two withered books, a cloth envelope with a photograph and an unknown coin, alone.

As the event is considered historic, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia ceremoniously raised the lid in front of an army of journalists before returning it neatly to the Conservatives.

During the Civil War (1861-1865) the leader of the Confederate army was Robert E. The capsule rested on the pedestal of Lee’s equestrian statue for 134 years. The monument was erected in 1890 in Richmond, the former separatist capital of Virginia. Seen as a symbol of the country’s slavery by many Americans, it was abolished last September.

After the statue was removed, experts began searching for the mysterious time capsule placed in 1887 at its base. After several days of search failure, the job was abandoned. But the box was finally discovered last week and opened to authorities in Richmond.



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Former Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA on September 8, 2021 © AFP or licensed

The subject of all fantasies

The capsule was the subject of all fantasies. According to an article published in The Richmond Dispatch in 1887, the box should contain civil war memorabilia, buttons or bullets, federal money, a Bible or a photograph showing President Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. A historic bomb, the collector market will panic.

Finally, there were other ‘treasures’ in the box. One of the works Guide for astronomers And navigators from 1875 onwards. Another seems to have been published in 1889, two years after the capsule was supposedly buried, suggesting that another container of this kind could be found under the pedestal.

According to experts, the fabric cover will contain one Piece of paper As well as a Photo. There is no certainty because the handling technique was such that over time, these materials became wet due to the accumulated moisture inside the box.

So experts had to be careful to remove them and make sure they were protected.As the artifacts get wet they will be placed in the freezer to prevent further decomposition.“, Not knowing how long this security process will take, one of them explained.



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It was Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia who ceremoniously raised the lid in front of an army of journalists before returning it neatly to the Conservatives. © All rights reserved

Evidence of an Era

Who would not bury a box full of monuments in their garden in the hope that one day someone would come and take them out of oblivion? Numerous children have participated in this activity.

Time capsules are deliberately filled containers that testify to the era in which they were created and should be opened a few years later. Monuments can shed new light on the past by highlighting certain aspects that may later fall into oblivion.

One man-made craziest time capsule remains Mankind’s messages are engraved on disks launched by NASA’s 1977 Voyager 1 and 2 studies on the edge of our solar system. Information – Recordings of music, scenes and sounds from the natural world, as well as the welcome message recorded under the heading “Greetings from the Children of the Earth” – should be read by potential aliens.



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Armed with gloves and various tools, Chelsea Blake, a security expert at the Virginia Historical Resources Department, is working hard to open the 134-year-old time capsule. © All rights reserved
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