This Week in Time Capsules: Mice, Cameras and Presidential Portraits

Illustration for article titled This Week in Time Capsules: Mice, Cameras and Presidential Portraits

This week in our time capsule news round-up we have the "other items" from that Steve Jobs capsule, some century-old photos in Oklahoma City, and a signed portrait of FDR that's been sitting under Oregon soil since 1941.


A look at what else was inside the 1983 Steve Jobs capsule

The so-called "Steve Jobs time capsule" was in the news again this week after the National Geographic Channel finally aired their Diggers episode of the giant tube being dug up. Everyone wanted to hear about that Lisa mouse the crew found inside, but the capsule contained hundreds of other items as well. In fact, the vast majority of the items in this "Steve Jobs time capsule" weren't contributed by the late Apple co-founder.

Notable non-Jobs artifacts from the 1983 capsule included a pack of "Magnum P.I." trading cards, a tape cassette, a Rubik's Cube, a Kodak Instamatic camera, a rotary dial phone, and a Simon game. The items from the capsule will be donated to the Aspen Historical Society, where they'll be put on display at some point this year.

While the Steve Jobs capsule is cool and all, I have to take issue with the National Geographic Channel's claim that the potential value of the Lisa mouse found inside is probably "priceless." This isn't the Shroud of Turin here guys. It's a 30-year-old computer mouse.

Local press in Aspen weren't terribly generous to the Diggers crew, running with the headline, "Aspen history gets cornball reality TV spotlight." Ouch. [Aspen Daily News]


100-year-old photos of Oklahoma City discovered in camera capsule

On April 18, 1913 a time capsule was sealed in Oklahoma City containing a camera and some processed film. The Oklahoma Historical Society is now sharing the eight photos developed from that film with the public.


The photos themselves are enough to make a history nerd weep. As The Oklahoman newspaper points out, many of the buildings in the photos have since been torn down. One of the most beautiful buildings pictured, a library built in 1899, was demolished in 1951 to make way for another building. That building is currently being converted into an apartment complex. [The Oklahoman]

1941 capsule in Oregon reveals signed portrait of FDR

A time capsule was recently unearthed in Oregon with some pretty amazing artifacts from shortly before the U.S. entered World War II — including a signed photo of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.


On July 3, 1941 construction began on a Lewis and Clark memorial in Dalles, Oregon. When they tore the memorial down earlier this month to start construction on a new swimming pool, they discovered a sealed copper box underneath.

Aside from the portrait of FDR, the time capsule included newspapers that were in surprisingly good condition, some wheat leaf pennies from the 1930s, and various documents signed by descendants of the Lewis and Clark expedition. There's no word yet if any of the items will go on public display. [The Dalles Chronicle]


1960 cornerstone capsule in Michigan finally opened

That 1959-60 cornerstone capsule in Parma, Michigan was finally opened this week. And as expected, there wasn't much of note inside, aside for one item: a reel-to-reel audio recording of Western High School's graduation ceremony in 1960.


It's not clear if anyone has listened to the recording yet (the local news misidentified it as a "film" of the graduation) but it was by far the most interesting thing unveiled in this paper-filled mystery capsule. After the existence of this mysterious time capsule was announced in October of last year, capsule nerds had high hopes. But you can't win 'em all.

"...even the rubber bands are still stretchy," was literally the most exciting thing anyone present at Monday's unveiling could muster. [MLive]


Image: Screenshot of items from the Jobs capsule taken via BloombergTV



Organized Chaos

"Aspen history gets cornball reality TV spotlight." Ouch.

Actually, if you've watched Diggers a few times, you'd know "cornball" is a pretty accurate description. KG & Ringy are a couple of goofballs, but that's just the way they are. As crazy as they act (and I truly believe it's their personality and not for show), I still appreciate the passion they have for what they do and the artifacts they find.

Funny thing about that episode, they really didn't find the "Steve Jobs" time capsule. At first they detected with their normal metal detectors (that are good up to a couple feet deep) but couldn't find anything. So they switched to some more heavy-duty equipment that can detect up to about 10 ft. They still didn't have any luck. But lucky for them, a local resident had some paperwork that included a map and surveyor's points. They brought in a couple professional surveyors to pinpoint the location and an excavation crew to dig a test trench. The first trench was a bust, but they finally found the capsule with the second trench. In the end, it could've been done without the "Diggers" all along. Made for a compelling episode though.