Time Capsule Found, But It's Missing a Check Made Out to 'Generations Yet Unborn'

Time capsule from 1866 finally discovered this week in Ohio, missing some items (Jennifer Bahney/Circleville Herald)

After months of searching, a history museum in Ohio has finally found a time capsule that was sealed by a local church in 1866. But it’s missing a few items, including a check that was supposedly made out to “generations yet unborn.”

The check, of course, wouldn’t be something that anyone could cash today. But it’s one of those weird historic items that always makes a time capsule more interesting. As everyone knows, time capsules can be painfully boring when they just include the common items you’d expect—like coins and old documents.


The church, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Circleville, Ohio, interred the time capsule in the cornerstone of its building in 1866. As the Circleville Herald reports, the time capsule was believed to have been extracted in 1967 during some construction on the church. Some thought that the capsule had maybe been given to the Pickaway County Historical Society, but when church members went looking for it this summer, nobody could find it.

This week the Historical Society finally found the copper box. But much of the contents were missing, including the strange check for “generations yet unborn.” The museum did find a Diocese of Ohio book and a coin from 1866, but everything else might be lost to history.

Strangely, the time capsule box didn’t even have the coin inside when they found it. Instead, the copper box contained shelving brackets.

“I think whoever stored the box took all the paperwork out of the box and put it in the genealogical library as opposed to leaving it in here,” church records keeper Brenda Williams told the Circleville Herald. “And if there is any other paperwork over there that would fit this, [museum staff] will find it.”


[Circleville Herald]

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Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog