The Exciting 100-Year-Old Find Hidden Inside Baltimore’s Washington Monument: ‘When I Saw It, We Knew How Special It Was’

A multi-million dollar restoration project at Baltimore’s Washington Monument led to an unexpected find last week.

According to WJZ-TV, construction crews working at the site stumbled upon a 100-year-old time capsule hidden away in the monument.

Image source: Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
Image source: Mount Vernon Place Conservancy

“When I saw it, we knew how special it was. We made sure to secure it and notify Dr. Humphries immediately,” George Will, of Lewis Contractors, told WJZ.

[sharequote align=”center”]“When I saw it, we knew how special it was.”[/sharequote]

Experts aren’t quite sure of the condition of the contents inside the sealed-copper capsule, but said the find is exciting on its own.

“To think of those people 100 years ago putting that there, knowing someone in the future was going to find it,” Lance Humphries, Ph.D., restoration committee, told WJZ.

Image source: Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
Image source: Mount Vernon Place Conservancy

It’s thought to contain documents from about a century ago.

“Newspapers from the day. Actually, The Sun says that there are examples of The Sun in this and commemorative programs from the Washington Monument’s centennial celebration,” Humphries said.

“The monument has a lot of dampness in there and so the copper actually wasn’t touching any of the walls, it was just kind of suspended over them a little bit. Maybe that helped preserve it a little better,” he added.

Experts found the capsule while investigating how a plaque was attached to a wall.

“I removed the plaque just enough to stick my hand behind the plaque to stick a camera back there and take a photo,” Will told WMAR-TV. “In the photo showed a box so I reattached the plaque and called Dr. Humphries to let him know that there was a box in the niche behind the plaque.”

The capsule has since been moved to Walter’s Art Museum where experts hope they can open it while protecting the contents inside.

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