This Week in Time Capsules: Ronald McDonald Gets Roughed UpS

Our weekly round-up of time capsule news includes a McDonald's capsule from 1970 that hasn't aged well, a Vietnam War-era capsule in Virginia Beach that "smells like rotten eggs," and more church time capsules than you can shake a hymnal at.

McDonald's in Phoenix Opens A Soggy Mess of Early '80s Nostalgia

Thirty years ago a McDonald's location in Phoenix buried a time capsule filled with dozens of items; including Polaroids of restaurant employees, E.T. trading cards, and a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, as is often the case, none of these time traveling trinkets fared too well. In fact, when they opened the large steel box it was almost entirely filled with water.

The photos were faded and soggy, the trading cards were scuffed and muddy, and the champagne... well, the champagne bottle was empty. It's not clear whether the champagne bottle was intended to be empty or if it simply deteriorated like the other items that were buried. But that seems like a particularly cruel joke to play on the future.

Curiously, the McDonald's owner that opened the time capsule plans to put the contents on display at a new location. But I can't imagine that it'd be great for business if customers are within eyesight of waterlogged trading cards and muddy wine bottles. I guess it can't be any worse than seeing those McWrap things that they're trying to pass off as edible. [Ahwatukee Foothill News]

Mystery Missouri Milk-Can Time Capsule Will Be Opened Tomorrow

A time capsule from 1970 will be opened tomorrow in O'Fallon, Missouri near Civic Park. The capsule was discovered just a couple of weeks ago and was apparently buried by a high school social studies class. There's no word on what might be inside, but the time capsule itself is a 10-gallon milk can, which leads me to hope that its contents are still in good shape. If you live near O'Fallon, you can find out for yourself tomorrow at 10am. [City of O'Fallon via O'Fallon Patch]

1907 YWCA Capsule Gives Peek At The Lives of Scranton Women

Maintenance staff at the University of Scranton found a time capsule from 1907 this week after a history professor found a mention of it in old newspaper article. The capsule was sealed by members of the YWCA, which owned the building in the early 1900s before it was purchased by the University. The building is currently being torn down, but Dr. Josephine Dunn notified University officials that they should be on the lookout for the foot-long metal box.

Pamphlets, coins, photos, newspapers and an almanac made the century-long journey relatively unscathed, and the items should help Dr. Dunn in her current research about the YCWA organization. "It was founded by women, run by women, basically all managed by women," Dr. Dunn told the Scranton Times-Tribune. "[The YWCA] sort of helped me identify the leading women of the community." [Scranton Times-Tribune]

Church Time Capsules Opened All Over The World

Plenty of old church time capsules were opened this week, including:

Century-Old Time Capsule Includes Certificate For $100,000 Worth of Stock

A time capsule from 1913 was opened at a gala in Boston last night. The capsule included some newspapers, a postcard, a book on aviation (which, of course was all the rage in 1913) and a certificate for $100,000 worth of stock in a local building association. [Boston Globe]

Disgusting 1969 Virginia Beach Time Capsule Smells Like Rotten Eggs

In a display somehow even worse than that McDonald's time capsule in Arizona, a time capsule in Virginia Beach recently became yet another casualty in the time capsule wars. The cornerstone capsule included plenty of paper and the entire soupy mess was described as reeking like rotten eggs. The city is currently trying to reconstruct the time capsule contents using items from the local library so that it can be put on display.

As we've learned, burying something in the ground is literally the worst thing you can do with anything you want to preserve for future generations. And yet we do it over and over, with the idea that it's not a real time capsule unless you stick it in the ground. If you do decide to bury your capsule, it's a good idea to make sure your little time traveler is waterproof. That has to be the first rule of Time Capsule Club. Well, that and "don't be boring." [Pilot Online]


Photo: Ronald McDonald card by David Jolkovski/AFN via Ahwatukee Foothill News