Time Capsules…

I recently saw an article in the (where else?) Wall Street Journal about a room at Oglethorpe University that is, in essence, a huge time capsule. It’s received the name “The Crypt_of_civilizationCrypt of Civilization” (which is interesting as it was created in 1936) and is slated to open in 8113. Well…I won’t be around. 🙂 Thank you to Wikipedia for the photo on the left which shows the contents of the crypt.  It has 800 books sealed inside as well as other items of note.

Back in the ‘60s, my family lived by a community time capsule that had been buried not long before we moved in. The capsule was set to be opened in 44 years time – much too early to my way of thinking – but the people behind the project probably realized that the property set aside for the capsule would be too valuable to sit idle. They were probably rubbing their hands, thinking about advancing real estate prices.

Nevertheless, just the thought of a time capsule inspired some of my friends and I to make our own time capsules and bury them on the dedicated property. Hmm…I seem to recall a dissected frog buried with considerable pomp and circumstance on that same spot. I doubt his shoe box container would survive groundwater issues, but at the time we thought he’d be buried a good long time. That’s an old photo of the monument and time capsule to the right.  I believe that’s my younger sister, Sharon, in the picture and definitely our dog, Gypsy.  Not sure who the other child is.  You can tell the old polaroid picture (remember those?) is fading – a problem to consider for timetime capsule capsule photos.

I found an article about that time capsule.  You can read it here:  http://enquirer.com/editions/2000/09/28/loc_city_to_open_time.html  It’s interesting as I can already see changes from my years in Forest Park in the article as the city didn’t have an “activity center” back then.  That spot was the community swimming pool.  LOL.  The community library was directly across the street (Sharon Rd.) from my house.  I hope that wasn’t “re-purposed” to be a city building  as well.

Seeing that article about time capsules brought memories back. I wonder if we were to bury a time capsule today, what would be in it? I’d include a copy of my books (bound in plastic…that ground water issue). I’d be tempted to include a Kindle or Nook as a symbol of reading technology today, but honestly, I’d be concerned about the technology. Would future civilizations be able to use the new technology, or would the Kindle be like those Beta DVD tapes – or Polaroid photographs, a good idea but no longer able to be read/viewed.

peacock-feathers-beautifulI’d include a copy of the Wall Street Journal and a Columbus Dispatch – mainly for the ads so they could see the current fashions.   Maybe I’d toss in a map of the area as it’s bound to change. I could include a peacock feather.  🙂 At the rate we’re going, peacocks might not survive into future generations. Maybe I’ll include some photos of life here on my back porch with a note that this is where I write my novels.  Right now, research books are scattered across the round table on the porch while I’m working on To Bait a Rake – the next book in the Rake Patrol series.  I’m sure the view from the porch will be different in a hundred years or so.

How about you? What would you include in a time capsule and where would you bury it?

 

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Comments

12 Comments

  • Helen says:

    Hi Donna

    I think time capsules are so interesting I remember one being buried many years ago at the local shopping centre (that has had many changes over the years) but I am not sure if it has been pulled up or when it is going to be 🙂

    I thin perhaps I should bury one in my yard and maybe it will be found in years to come and yes there would be romance books in there and perhaps a bit of a story about me and my family and our years living here and of course photos of my family and a map of the area sounds like a plan we should put into action a surprise time capsule

    Have Fun
    Helen

    PS Looking forward to that new books Donna 🙂

    • Hi Helen!

      Well, you’ll want to put my time travel, Charming the Professor, in that time capsule because you’re in the book! Well, your name is anyway. 🙂 Hoping to have the cover this week.

      Apologies for the late response. I forgot that comments have to be released. I figured no one read the blog. LOL.

      • Helen says:

        WOW Donna

        You know I love your stories and I check in on The Bandits often you Guys are the best 🙂

        Have Fun
        Helen

  • Donna, what a fun post!

    A time capsule from the 1960s was opened at a local movie theater last year. I’m not sure what was in it.

    If I were assembling such a capsule, I would put newspapers with important headlines, a CD of top songs in all the different genres, a fashion magazine, and a year’s worth of RT, Locus (SFF magazine), and a mystery magazine, if I could find one.

    • Nancy –

      You’re assuming a CD will be able to be played in the future. THey better bury a CD player as well. :-).

      I was a bit disappointed with the hometown time capsule. When they opened it, they found plans for the city and documents – no fun stuff! Nothing about the culture! But many the neglect of cultural items says more than they’re inclusion.

  • Kate Sparks says:

    This was interesting to read and reminded me of another type of time capsule. I’ve read of an Paris apartment that was closed up for many, many years and recently opened.

  • catslady says:

    Definitely a newspaper – I’m not sure they are going to be around in the future. Maybe some photographs (black and white because I think colors fade in time) of important events. I guess it depends on how far in the future before it’s opened – technological items such as CD’s may be totally obsolete. Coins would be good. A journal would be good too. Maybe in a cemetary.

    • Hi Catslady!

      Yeah, newspapers are going the way of buggy whips, at least the print version. I suppose the enewspapers will be around, but it makes you wonder. Obviously, the polaroid print faded. Remember when that was all the rage? Photos in an instant? LOL at finding photos developed on film anymore. I really had fun looking at old photos trying to find a picture of that time capsule. Guess I won’t be able to do that in the future. (sigh)

  • Hi Catslady!

    Yeah, newspapers are going the way of buggy whips, at least the print version. I suppose the enewspapers will be around, but it makes you wonder. Obviously, the polaroid print faded. Remember when that was all the rage? Photos in an instant? LOL at finding photos developed on film anymore. I really had fun looking at old photos trying to find a picture of that time capsule. Guess I won’t be able to do that in the future. (sigh)

  • EC Spurlock says:

    I remember when I was young time capsules were all the rage, especially during the 1965 World’s Fair which coincided with the Space Race. Everyone was so excited and optimistic about the future then; when young people look at the future now, all they seem to see is hopeless dystopias. That’s kind of sad.

    When my mom was a girl, her family was getting ready to move to another part of town, so to mark the old back yard as “hers” she rolled up all her superhero drawings and put them in a tin can and buried them in the back yard. Later that area was damaged in a flood and later still redeveloped into apartments. My mom always wondered whether the construction workers found her can full of drawings and what they thought of them.

    I don’t know what I would put into a time capsule. The closest I’ve come to it was making the slide show for my husband’s funeral, which was kind of a time capsule of his life.

    • EC –

      I’m so sorry for the passing of your husband. Those photographic rememberances of the years of an individual’s life are one of the more pleasant things about a funeral. So lovely to remember.

      LOl – I wonder if the construction workers found the can or if it’s still in the ground somewhere. I wonder if she would have included an envelope with a forwarding address if someone would have written her about finding the drawings.

      I hadn’t thought about the changes in the perception of the future, but you’re right. When did that happen? Remember the Jetsons? Or even Disney’s people mover ride about the future at MGM? I think that’s a bit outdated now. Food for thought!