As time passes, and new generations take their places in the world, we can’t help but to wonder what the future holds. The elders converse about the world that was once was, while the youth ponders what the new world will look like.
While we can’t stop time, we can summarize an era by putting together a time capsule.
The term “Time Capsule” was actually developed by the Westinghouse Corporation in 1939. Westinghouse created a capsule for the World’s Fair in New York. The capsule was made in the shape of a bullet. It was also made of a revolutionary new material called, “Cupaloy.” The Cupaloy, which was a combination of copper, chromium, and silver, would, the corporation was sure, withstand the fifty centuries the time capsule was supposed to be buried. On the inside, the contents were sealed in an airtight glass envelope.
Now, when the people at Westinghouse were looking at what to include in the vessel, they decided upon items that would depict American life at the present.
The items they chose ranged from fountain pens to fabrics, samples of metals, plastics, and seeds. The capsule was sealed and buried in a ceremony at the fair on September 23, 1938. It’s supposed to be dug back up in the year 6939.
Once the Westinghouse Time Capsule is retrieved by someone at sometime, it will give the present people of that era a glimpse into a past time of life on earth. Even though the year 1939 has come and gone, it will continue to live on, in part, by the items that were sealed in the capsule.
“Living on” is something that we all want to do, and we do this in a sense through our children and their descendants. Some people are remembered because they have a memorial fund or foundation that bears their name. While others- particularly historic heroes- have cities, towns, and even holidays named in their honor.
You and your family can be remembered by a generation that has yet to come by assembling your own time capsule. This vessel of information can actually send a message to future generations.
To do this, you won’t need a capsule as elaborate as the one that the Westinghouse Corporation built. Instead, you can use a steel lock box or a large coffee can. You must decide how long you want your time capsule to be buried. And, of course, you’ll need to find a suitable location for it to rest while time passes on. Your own backyard would be the handiest location, as long as the property stays in your family for generations to come.
You’ll also need to decide what sort of items you’re going to include in your time capsule. Since it pertains to your family, photographs, newspaper clippings of special events that included your family, and personal items would be appropriate. Be sure to mark each item so it can be easily identified in the future. Each family member should also write a letter addressed to your relation who unearths the vessel in the future. Each letter should describe the person’s life as it is today. If you wish, you may also personalize your letter by writing a greeting to family members you would otherwise probably have no communication with.
Once you have gathered the items for your family time capsule, place them in individual, airtight plastic bags. Then, place the items in a metal lock box, coffee can, or other suitable container. To help preserve your family’s time capsule from decay, once a deep hole is dug for its burial, you can line the bottom and sides with wet cement. Seal the container, then bury it in the hole.
You and your family know about the time capsule you have created, but how are future generations going to find it? Simply map the exact location of the capsule and a date of when it’s supposed to be dug up. Keep a copy of this information in a secure place along with your other important documents, such as your property deed. Place a copy in your family Bible. And, you can even mention it in your Last Will and Testament.