Time Capsule Hidden by Madison Man Discovered at FDU

Great-grandson of tiler who stashed note in 1932 lives in Chatham Township, report says.

FDU discovered a message from 1932 hidden in a science building wall. Credit: W. Scott Giglio
FDU discovered a message from 1932 hidden in a science building wall. Credit: W. Scott Giglio
While working on a country estate that became FDU's College at Florham, Madison resident Edward Daniher stashed a tobacco can containing a handwritten note inside a wall.

Daniher described the Prohibition-era construction job as "very dry," and asked the finders of his time capsule to "have a good drink on us" if the 18th Amendment was repealed by the time it was discovered.

In fact, Daniher only had to wait another year for the end of Prohibition, and the alcohol ban was long over by the time his message was discovered during a 2013 renovation of the college's science building.

The school announced the discovery on its website, and posted what the note appears to say: 

These Bathrooms was Remodled [sic] in 1932 E.J. Parsons of Morristown N.J. did the Plumbing work and Edw F Daniher of 70 Britten St Madison did the Tile work other men worked on the Job are
J. T. Steating Madison
Peter Moore     "
Joe Gero          "
Tom Skelly Morristown
Chas. Clements  "
It was during Probition [sic] and it was a very dry Job.The finder of this note if the 18 Amendment has bin [sic] changed have a good Drink on us.

E. Daniher

FDU's College at Florham, which straddles Florham Park and Madison, is part of a former country estate once owned by Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombly. FDU has owned the campus since 1958.

According Gary Darden, associate professor of history and chair of the Department of Social Sciences & History, the Twombly estate stocked up on enough alcohol to last through Prohibition and throw large parties, the university reported.

Daniher's great-grandson, Chatham Township resident Robert Daniher, was tracked down by the university, NJ.com reported.

Robert Daniher told the website there were family stories told about his great-grandfather's sense of humor.

Edward Daniher served as Madison's fire chief from 1918 to 1919, and his oldest son served as chief in the 1960s.


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