David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

"... it was a ball of metal about the size of a basketball..."
It is a file cabinet, but it doesn't look like a file cabinet. It's a two-drawer file cabinet from the Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop. I saw it first when it was a ball of metal about the size of a basketball, delivered to the Port Authority Police compound because there was money coming out of it--little edges of $20 bills were seen in this compressed ball of metal, indicating it was something other than a ball of metal.

Well, these police workers as a routine just attacked it with hydraulic jaws and wrenches and pry bars, because they typically received safes and things involving financial value. Once they pried it open money spilled out but also receipts and files from the Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop at the World Trade Center. As they opened it up crushed drawers could be seen.

They logged in the money and were about to pitch the carcass of the file cabinet in the trash when I realized, we've been looking for a file cabinet from the World Trade Center--typical office equipment. So I asked if we could have that. And they said, "Sure, catch." So I came away with that.

In fact they washed it, they cleaned it of debris, and I drove back with it that night. However, just in the space of two or three hours it began to rust. I didnít want it rusty. It was still messy and shiny when I saw it, although completely crumpled. So I visited a food store in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and bought a bottle of, a can of oil, and sprayed it to stop the rusting from occurring before I could get back to the museum.