This Week In Time Capsules: Would You Eat 65-Year-Old Capsule Cake?

Illustration for article titled This Week In Time Capsules: Would You Eat 65-Year-Old Capsule Cake?

This week's round-up of the hottest in time capsule news includes discreetly hidden invitations for any real-life time travelers, memories from the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, and a slice of cake found in a time capsule from 1948.

Canadian Construction Crew Cracks Cornerstone Capsule Cake

Funeral home owners on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls were making renovations on their building recently when construction crews discovered a time capsule from 1948 hidden inside the cornerstone. The capsule included various staples of 20th century capsuling, including newspapers, typewritten letters and some postcards. But one item seemed a bit peculiar to the group. According to the Niagara Falls Review, the building owners were surprised to find a piece of cake wrapped in wax paper. One of the owners speculated that it must have been part of the original reception for when the building opened in the late 1940s.


There's no word on precisely what kind of cake it was or whether anyone dared to taste it. As gross as it sounds, you gotta admit you're curious to know what it tastes like after all these years. Just me? Okay, moving on. [Niagara Falls Review]

College Sci-Fi Studies Class Hides Time Traveler Invitations

A science fiction class at Arizona Western College is having a bit of fun with a new time capsule they've devised. They're creating a capsule in an effort to get any real-life time travelers to visit their class this fall. The capsule invitation includes the exact coordinates of the class, and just to widen the scope of their effort they'll be hiding additional invitations on campus. If you find an invitation please bring a hoverboard or some U.S. currency with President Zuckerberg's face on it to prove that you're actually from the future. [Yuma News]

New Zealand Shop Owners Seal Time Capsule With iPhone... Case

The owners of a frame and mirror shop in Christchurch, New Zealand placed a time capsule in the foundation of their new building this week. Since the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch that killed 185 people, the city has been going through a process of reconstruction both physical and emotional. The owners of the shop hope that their time capsule will give people of the future an idea of what life was like in the years following the quake.


The time capsule includes an iPhone case, but sadly no iPhone. "No one wanted to put an actual iPhone in there," one of the shop owners told the local press.

The building will have a plaque indicating that there's a time capsule hidden in the foundation, but needless to say, the owners hope that it won't be found until well into the future. Another earthquake or demolition of the building will be the only thing that rustles this time traveling capsule from its slumber. []


Waterlogged Documents From 1950s Nuclear Research Facility Discovered

A time capsule sealed in 1959 at a nuclear research facility in Buffalo, New York has been opened, revealing historical documents in some pretty rough shape. Unfortunately the capsule suffered some major water damage, roughing up the newspapers and reports that had been sealed away for over fifty years. Remember my fellow capsule buddies, plastic bags are your friend. [UB Reporter]


Australian School Buries New Time Capsule, Still Can't Find 1963 Capsule

A school outside Sydney, Australia has buried several time capsules since it first opened fifty years ago. But unfortunately, no one can find the original time capsule that was buried in 1963. The school hopes to ensure that their 2013 time capsule doesn't go missing by marking the spot with a paved pathway — still no guarantee that people of the future will find it, but definitely a smart move for any target-dated capsule. [The Leader]


Hilton Head Time Capsule Will Hold Digital Secrets On SD Cards

As every capsule enthusiast knows, one of the most difficult questions you face when burying any time capsule is anticipating what kind of technology might be available when you open it. I've been on this earth for less than three decades and in that time humanity has gone from floppy disks and cassette tapes to smartphones and HD video that effortlessly dashes through the ether.


Officials in Hilton Head, South Carolina are currently working through that issue and will have to wait until the year 2033 to see how well they did. They're looking for digital submissions to a new time capsule that will be opened in just 20 years. The submissions will be included on SD cards and officials have been sure to note that they'll include SD card readers in the time capsule.

The only problem? There might not be any devices readily available that can accept the card readers. I happen to have two firewire hard drives that are less than a decade old. And you know what? Neither of my computers currently have firewire capability. Here's hoping the people of 2033 will be able to dust off some ancient machine like an olde timey 2013 MacBook Pro to plug in those antique card readers. [Island Packet]


Image: photograph by Mike DiBattista taken for the Niagara Falls Review

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I'm currently in the process of setting up two time capsules that will be dedicated at the end of the summer. They will be opened in 30 and 60 years respectively.

I plan to add a news paper, photos, and some other personal stuff. Some things I am considering that I'm not sure about are:

  • Batteries. Maybe a couple of A cells.
  • DVD and thumb drive with digital versions of the photos and other information on them.

What I'm interested in is how to keep the batteries from either leaking or keep them contained if they do leak (or just skip them), and whether or not the DVDs and thumb drives will even last that long, let along whether they will be readable in 30 and 60 years.

The capsules are metal containers that will be sealed, embedded in concrete, and buried maybe a couple feet deep to keep them below the frost line since this will be in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.