What Would You Put In A Time Capsule?

Have y’all ever been around when a time capsule was opened? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes when laying the cornerstone for a building, folks used to bury a box in it that held memorabilia and artifacts from their time. It was to be opened at a future date, so that the next generations could see what was “significant” to people at the time of its creation.

We have one in downtown Denton! I stumbled upon it the other day (literally). It’s hiding, waiting to be opened. Embedded in the cement at the corner of Hickory and South Locust streets in 1992 (and marked by a plaque), the time capsule is to be opened in the year 2012.

time capsule

What? Just twenty years? That doesn’t seem nearly long enough to me. I want to be around to open one that has been hidden for 100 years!

I’ve been fascinated by time capsules since I was a little kid and heard the story of “Ol’ Rip.” It seems that in Eastland, Texas back in 1897 the City Fathers placed a time capsule in the cornerstone of the courthouse. In it was placed, among other things, a “horned lizard.” In 1928, that time capsule was opened, and a live horned lizard was produced! The folks said that he had been “sleeping” for 31 years and named him after Rip Van Winkle.

[Aside: When I was a kid, we called them “horny toads.” They were easy to capture, and fun to hypnotize … but they died quickly in captivity. We were told not to capture them, because we were causing them to become extinct. For the record, horny toads can still be found … in bars across America. They are still easy to capture. (*gasp* Did she just say that?)]

I’ve been thinking about time capsules the last few days, and about what I might put into one. Imagine that we are creating a time capsule to be opened in the year 3010. We want to show future generations what ordinary life was like for people in the year 2010, so we want things that symbolize our world. Now, I know some things that I would put into it. No horny toads for me, but I’d put some things I would think had become “extinct” by then. However, I want to know what you think.

If you have been lurking, and not commenting, this is a perfect time to show me a little “comment love” for Valentine’s Day. Take a moment to answer … and let me know you are there! If you are a blogger and want to write your own post, leave a link to it in the comments. [ Joe wrote a post at Round Circle and had an intriguing take on the subject.]

But, tell me:

What one thing would you put into a time capsule … and why?

  14 comments for “What Would You Put In A Time Capsule?

  1. February 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Time Capsules give me the “creeps” now after seeing the movie “Knowing.” As for “horny toads,” I like the margarita kind! 😉
    .-= Desert Diva´s last blog ..Authenticity (Only the Good Friday) =-.

    • February 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

      I haven’t seen “Knowing.” Guess that’s a good thing — for me. Is there a margarita called a “horny toad?”

  2. Joy
    February 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    The one thing I would put into a time capsule would be seeds for a whole food (grain or produce) because in 100 years, if we carry on in the Big Food way, we will no longer be eating real food, but only engineered and refined/fortified food products. Beside the seeds I would put a Twinkie, because in 100 years it will still be edible. I don’t want to ruin the dialog, but if you put a computer into the time capsule, along with the cabling to power it, you could put everything in the world on the computer and they could see exactly what we were dealing with: popular culture, science, politics, environment, books, comedy, fashion, music and shamwow. Don’t know how to represent fresh food, though, except through recipes or videos. That’s one thing that is only applicable in the here and now. That and the polar ice caps. We should enjoy them while we can.
    .-= Joy´s last blog ..LAST MINUTE VALENTINES =-.

    • February 16, 2010 at 4:26 am

      Twinkie … yes indeed it would still be edible :twisted:. Seeds! That’s good. I like it. And a computer would negate everything else, eh? It probably wouldn’t run on the power they would have, and wouldn’t we rather they see “the real McCoy?”

      • Joy
        February 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm

        Certainly the real trumps anything electronic; the computer wins out for sheer volume – would have a huge file on comedy, without which we would have perished long ago — but not good for tactile “knowing” of an object. A roll of tp? I understand that hasn’t changed since it was invented during the Civil War. In another 100 years, who knows? Time capsule should definitely include things we fear will no longer exist, like books. Hmmm, how to include marriage? Maybe Ambrose Bierce’s words: “Marriage, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.”
        .-= Joy´s last blog ..WOK’S FOR DINNER =-.

        • February 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

          I had no idea toilet paper hadn’t changed since the Civil War. I didn’t know it had been around that long! My parents always talked about using the “Monkey Wards” catalog in the outhouse 😉 Books were my first thought.
          Marriage? Oh, you kidder you! 😈

  3. February 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I met one of those in a bar back in January of 1972 and even married him too. He can now be found with wife number 5, alive and well, still the horny toad just not in bars anymore, living by the last telephone pole in Nevada before you enter California.
    .-= Jeni Hill Ertmer´s last blog ..Chills, Thrills and Spills! =-.

  4. February 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Probably a case of Scotch. The way things are going, they are going to need a good stiff drink.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Take This Tune – Some Things Never Get Old =-.

  5. February 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    This is a fascinating subject. Anthropology and archeology play a part in finding out about who and what was here before us. Years ago I took some classes in anthropology while in college. Even though I never followed through on that endeavor, I never lost the interest in the subject. I took your advice and wrote an article over at my place and linked to you Here.
    Good stuff!
    .-= Spadoman´s last blog ..What Would You Put in a Time Capsule? =-.

    • February 16, 2010 at 4:38 am

      What a fun take you had on the subject, too! Thanks, Joe.

  6. Stacy
    February 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    So funny you mention time capsules! About 15 years ago some of my students buried a time capsule at our middle school in Florida. Just yesterday I had a conversation with one of them on Facebook, and they’re DYING to get back into the school and dig it up. Problem is, they don’t happen to remember EXACTLY where they buried it. ha! I told them it could be an expedition for a class this year. We’re trying to work it out. 🙂 They’ve got my curiosity up as well.

    • February 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      So, you’ve got a time capsule AND a treasure hunt. Could be fun… or not! Sounds like they could have some ground to cover. Keep me posted. I want to know what they put in it.

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