Time Capsule With Over 100-Year-Old Germs Found At Former Bellevue Hospital Medical College

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In 1897, a time capsule was sealed up and hidden away in the cornerstone of what was Bellevue Hospital Medical College in Manhattan. Now, it has been found.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

A few weeks ago, that building at East 26th Street and 1st Avenue was demolished.

The contents of the time capsule were recovered and they’re now in the hands of New York University bacteriologist Dr. Martin Blaser, who says it was no ordinary time capsule.

“In addition to papers from that time and materials from students from the Bellevue Medical College and the newspaper the New York Sun from 1897, it also had a test tube that had some bacterial spores in it that were gotten and cultured from a patient in 1896,” Blaser told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

Blaser says his team is trying to wake up those spores and grow them so they can study the organisms.

“We are interested in the question of whether seventy years of antibiotics is changing the organisms that live in the body. The organism that was put in the time capsule was a normal organism that lives in the human body. By having this organism and comparing it to present day organisms, we may have a chance to answer the question of whether our own organisms are changing or not,” said Blaser.

Blaser says the specimen was put there by a bacteriologist named Edward Dunham. He says Dunham was one of the city’s early bacteriologists and that it was he who first described that these bacteria actually form spores.

Blaser says that scientists knew spores could last a long time, but they didn’t know how long. There was even a note saying that he hoped future generations would record how long they lasted.

What would you put in a time capsule? Share your ideas below!

More from Alex Silverman

One Comment

  1. Rudy Tooty Giulianne 3rd says:

    Lets put Cheney and GW Bush in that capsule along with the trillions of
    dollars the Iraq phony war they created has cost us then mix that with our
    dead troops and war wonded who died there or were hurt for nothing .
    No Iraqi ever bothered you ,but GWB and previously his Daddy had to
    start a war.Republicans love war and military expenditures and repug’s
    make fun of Obama ? I guess they did not volunteer to die over there.

    1. Andrew says:

      Let’s put sinners and saints in the box and have done with it. Hell, put me in there. Dipstick.

  2. KY Belly says:

    Put some viagra in dat dere capsule and see what happens to it’s growth in 100 years.

  3. boboalice says:

    Political trolls are a waste of everyone’s time and energy…I automatically associate them with their cause..and think less of what they are pitching every time I hear the BS…they give me the same creepy feeling I get when I read about bacteria in a capsule from 1897 being revived….

    1. Andrew says:

      Anti-political politics.

  4. Bryan says:

    Well, this story sounds like the beginning of a “made for syfy channel” movie.

  5. DeeMerk says:

    Let’s seal up Obama in a time capsule today. It may not do much for humanity 100 years hence, but it certainly would be could for us today.

    1. Andrew says:

      I am a registered democrat. I hated listening to other liberals say this sort of gibberish about Bush. They all said he was stupid when his IQ is known to be 135. Burn the man in effigy already, but shut your diarrhetic mouth. Please.

  6. Jackson says:

    They could put Muttchelle Obama in a capsule and scientists in the future will think it’s the missing link…

    1. Andrew says:

      Infinite wit.

  7. Steve Turi says:

    We don’t know whether the doctors included those spores, or some maniac did. The clowns who want to grow them again could be falling into the trap. If we have an epidemic again, we’ll know who to blame. Shades of Dr Carrington from 1951.

  8. Gilbert R Albright Jr says:

    i’m sure the NEOCONS will make a Time Capsule full of Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich and Corporations to enjoy 100 years from now!

    Along with a Declaration Of War so they can invade, exploit and profit from attacking any foreign country of their choosing in the future.

    And best of all, an Act repealing the Constitution so they can screw anybody they want that they don’t like.

    1. Steve Turi says:

      You’re a bonafide clown, and you’re not funny. BTW, it’s the Democrats who ignore the Constitution and hurt everyone—even you as you spout Dem crapola!

    2. Dances With Fascists says:

      And don’t forget the free passes for war criminals so they can be above the law and degrade the nation with atrocities like preemptive wars, indefinite detentions, and torture.

  9. George W Ehrwell says:

    Returning to a gold standard places U.S. monetary policy into the hands of the gold-producing nations of the world. The three major producers of gold are Russia, South Africa, and Canada. So returning to the gold standard gives control of the U.S. monetary policy to the Russians, the South Africans, and the Canadians. I, for one, trust the U.S. Federal Reserve more than the Russians.

  10. Bubba says:

    Do you need directions to get to Canada?

  11. HebronLjs says:

    Hey I agree with you 99.99%, but wait a darn minute. ..I see no need to insult elephants. Just because FLOTUS has a back side as wide as an elephant does not give you the right to criticize elephants!! You could have said, “as much class as a jackass”, that would be much more fitting.

    1. Andrew says:

      I see no reason to insult folks based on their weight, either. But then, I don’t get to control your jabber.

  12. Shaun Campbell says:

    What that got to do with finding a time capsule?Christ on a bike,not everything in the world revolves around poltics.

    1. Chad says:

      Action: We found a time capsule! How neat!
      Reaction: IMPEACH OBAMA!

  13. Done with the stupid bashers says:

    Speaking of class by an ignoramus like you is classic. Enough of the “no birth certificate” crap. It just shows how stupid you are.

  14. John S says:

    Nice job, thanks.

  15. jesus says:

    I would put obama in a time capsual to show just how pathetic the news media of today is in supporting this obamination

  16. 57 States says:

    Where will the First Fatty get her 1500-calorie meals from if she’s locked up in a time capsule?

  17. Ray says:

    …and so the Zombie Apocalypse began… reigniting the 1897 “Belleview” outbreak 100 years later.

  18. ratman143 says:

    And replace it with WHAT? U stoopeed eeeediot? If u don’t reset to the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, then this country is doomed!

    1. Andrew says:

      Everything has a lifespan.

  19. Donald W says:

    The comments here are shameful, and make me sad. Where are the real people these days?

  20. Rosemary Peppercorn says:

    Dumb. Very dumb. You need to stop reading the Drudge Report. Really.

    1. Asher says:

      thats the best you had, “your a stupid head”? wow. go back to the msnbc comment board. your missed there im sure.

      1. Asher says:

        “you are” sorry bout that…..no coffee yet….

  21. Joe Smith says:

    I would put the things in the capsule:
    politican, banker, lobbyist

    all three bound and burned. Just as a warning…

    1. Andrew says:

      You’re cool.

  22. Humpy J. Brown says:

    Put Obama in the time capsule, to show what happens when you elect a pompous, ego-centric Socialist minstrel instead of a true leader.

  23. jazy jane says:

    Yes, Very much agreed!!! He has fooled many but not us the working class… We deserve much better out of a presedent. Leadership and positive direction and maybe some good sound financial advice would benefit this country once it is obtained.. I d not see it out of this presedent. Power and money no real goals no real CHANGE. Cut our taxes let us live a little. It is a shame when Mrs. Obama can shell out taxpayers money for trips, but for us to complain one bit about rising gas and milk prices i would be un heard of.

  24. artemis133 says:

    Captain Trips. Just sayin’

  25. Jeff says:

    Stop insulting elephants!

  26. Andrew says:

    Elephants are quite classy.

  27. Moral Oral says:

    >put our country back on a moral standing

    People that claim to want a country with “morals” scare the crap out of me. You know that every Middle Eastern country has a strict “moral code” they follow? And violations are punishable by death?

    Yeah. Morals. Everyone has them, and they are all different.

    PS. My God can beat up your god. nyah. nyah. nyah.

    1. Moral Oral is a Moron says:

      Dude, you need to check your logic – There are absolute morals. And there are absolute morons – you are one of those morons.

    2. s says:

      Sure, it’s always best to have a sociopathic country with no morals at all. You’re a real thinker, ain’t ya?

    3. Norman56 says:

      If you look at the Judeo-Christian moral code we USED to follow, then you would actually understand how completely wrong and ignorant your statement is. Sharia Law (Islamic based moral law) is entirely repressive and punishes minor offenses in barbaric manners not used in Christianity since the 3 or 4th century AD.

    4. chefjim says:

      We’ll soon see!

  28. Pinion says:

    After looking at some of these comments, it is a bit more clear how divided this country is. It also shows just how ignorant some people are. What a shame.

    1. Andrew says:

      Don’t worry, there’s some sample bias in any cross-section associated with a Drudge Report link.

  29. WDW says:

    I’d make a time capsule large enough to hold 12 million illegal immigrants and dump it on the south side of the Texas-Mexico border.

    1. Andrew says:

      You’d be my hero. Dirty foreigners.

  30. Butch Tenaka says:

    Again, well said.

  31. Alta says:

    Excellent!! Well said, thank you.

  32. John Kempf says:

    I would seal up Nancy Pelosi comments so that future generations can ask, how did we survive with people like that in high office.

    1. Paul says:

      I think this is a very relevant statement – Pelosi is about as intelligent as bacteria and potentially more dangerous.

    2. someone who is alive says:

      Throw Obama in too; thanks to him, America is now the white elephant of the world.

      1. Steve says:

        No, America was crap before Obama. It is just that conservatives now realise it too.

    3. Steve in VA says:

      The putrid stench of her comments would have long turned into compost by that time. Not sure it could even be recovered.

      1. Andrew says:

        Truly, inane comments have a short half-life.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Listen Live