June 1, 2012


I read a few articles on Yahoo.ca today.  Four actually.  And each one was, in a way, good as opposed to bad news.

Each article was about time capsules.

I’ve watched a couple of television programs where time capsules were discussed.  I’ve read articles about schools or governments burying time capsules, to be opened at a future date.

The first article I read was about a school, Howick Elementary School, south of Montreal.  I only wonder why 65 years was a chosen date though.  I would think something like 25, 50, 100 years would be the norm.  Whatever the reason, it was nice to read that there were people (students and teachers) in attendance when the box was opened, who actually were part of the time capsule project 65 years earlier!

What a momento that would have been to see!  According to the article, among other things, the time capsule contained a copy of a newspaper, school meeting announcements, and a record of salaries of teachers at the time.

The article also had a couple of links to other news items about other time capsules.  And, I learned something as well.  The term ‘time capsule’ wasn’t used until around 1939.  Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company promoted a time capsule, buried in Flushing Meadows in New York, not to be opened for another 5,000 years (give or take…).

Prior to this publicity stunt, which started to take off obviously, ‘time capsules’ were contained in the ‘cornerstones’ of buildings.

The Toronto Star published an article on September 1, 2010.  It talked about one such cornerstone that contained a time capsule of sorts.  However, as it was not intended to be opened, and only formed part of the building itself, the contents were ravaged by time.

Our former prime minister, Pierre E. Trudeau, laid a time capsule in the CN Tower, in Toronto, Ontario.  This time capsule is scheduled to be opened in 2076, 100 years after the official opening of the CN Tower.  The big question is, will the CN Tower still be a landmark and still standing in 2076?

In January of this year, CBC News reported on a time capsule opening.  The time capsule was buried in 1931 at Maple Leaf Gardens.  Considering the article written by the Star about Westinghouse and 1939, it makes me wonder what this ‘time capsule’ was actually referred to in 1931.

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see this bit of history.  Especially for the students and teachers at Howick Elementary School.  Seeing something that you put away, and for 65 years, probably forgotten, and then to see it again after all that time.

I wonder sometimes what I would put into a time capsule.  I suppose it’s a lot easier for a government or business or school to put a time capsule away.  A personal time capsule, unless something significant happens in the next, say, 50 or 100 years, really wouldn’t be of any use to anyone, except me or family.

In a way, I suppose I do have a time capsule.  When I moved to Taiwan, my belongings were put into storage by a friend of mine.  Apparently, those items are still in storage.  It’s almost impossible to have my belongings sent to me in Taiwan, so those items will just have to stay in storage until I return to Canada for good.

Still, what would I put into a time capsule.  My iPhone.  A copy on CD of my blog entries to date.  A newspaper from Taiwan and/or Canada.  A photo of me and my students.  Teachers.  An expired ARC.  Photos of my cats.

I suppose when I think about it, there is a lot that could go into a time capsule.  I think it would have been interesting, if for instance, my ancestors had buried a time capsule.

That could be something ANY family could do.  Start a time capsule of your life today.  A pay stub from work, a newspaper, family portrait, favourite recipe…  Have it dated to be opened in say, 50 years.  That way, hopefully, someone who has a hand in putting it together, can actually see the items 50 years from now.

Then, take those same items, add some new items (photos, etc.), pack ALL of it back into a new time capsule, and again date it for opening 50 years from then.  What a legacy that would be to your descendants.  The only problem is, who is ‘in charge’ of this capsule for the next 50 years?  Well, that’s something that would have to be worked out by the family members.

Or, here’s another idea – parents…  When your child is born, put together a time capsule that captures the day the child was born.  Give it to the child to be opened at a certain point in their life.  Again, 50 just seems to be a good date.  Life will have changed a lot in 50 years.

Now, how to keep this time capsule from disappearing, or being destroyed before the date of opening…

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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1 Comment

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One response to “June 1, 2012

  1. ek

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