Dust collected in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on September 12, 2001 from a soot-coated car transformed into a spontaneous memorial after it was towed from the disaster site.
Much of lower Manhattan was covered with layers of dust generated by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Urban historian Andrew Davis observed a vehicle covered in a layer of dust four inches thick. He filled a small plastic bag with the thick, gray dust on September 12th. Shortly after the bag of contaminated dust, sprinkled with particles of paper and building materials, was given to the N-YHS, conservators carefully transferred the contents to a glass specimen jar, so that it could safely be studied and preserved.