Anticipation increased as construction workers cracked through a cornerstone on Jay Street in Brooklyn and hoisted a time capsule that had been buried beneath the 5-foot-by-5-foot slab for the last 64 years.
With renovations underway at the adjacent building, officials decided Wednesday morning was the right time to crack open the 1950 capsule and check out the treasures inside.
So the crowd pulled in close and cameras snapped photos for the big-reveal moment.
But as the capsule was opened...
...voices died down pretty quickly.
Not unlike the scene in "Titanic" when wreckage explorers pulled a safe from bottom of the Atlantic, only to find mostly mud-caked disintegration inside, the 1950 time capsule had little to show except for copper- and silver-toned goo — the product of water exposure that the capsule planters presumably hadn't foreseen.
“The box the items were stored in was not water tight,” Gabrielle Shubert, director of the New York Transit Museum, told WPIX-TV. “Unfortunately we didn’t really come up with much to salvage except for a nickel which is still intact.”
Officials hadn't expected a water-damaged capsule.
“It’s a surprise to me because these were subway guys and anybody who works in the subway knows anything underground gets water on it,” Shubert added to WPIX.
If nothing else, the surviving coin at least turned a profit.
The present value of your standard Jefferson nickel from 1950? Between $2.60 and $7, according to CoinTrackers.
(H/T: New York Magazine)