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8 Ideas for Interesting Time Capsule Items You Can Get Cheap or Free

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It's not difficult to find interesting time capsule items for your time capsule. We've seen items as expensive and rare as a current MVP Baseball Player's Rookie card be placed into a time capsule container for future recipients. Your gifts to the future openers of your own time capsule container need not be expensive, however. Read on for 8 essential items to include in your time capsule that are interesting yet free or inexpensive and easy to get. Whatever contents you choose for your time capsule items will come from your love of the people, the process, the area, the products, the things you can see or hear or understand. These time capsule items don't always need to be expensive. In fact, we have estimated these 8 items to cost less than $35!
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Plaques Hot Off the Foundry Floor

Bank of ND Plaque WordingHot Off the Foundry Floor

What a plaque says is important. The plaque lasts a lifetime or more, and the message is practically forever. Your plaque not only identifies you and your project, but it presents and promotes your message for a long time. I can tell you that most plaques identify the name or organization, the event reason (in our case, the phrase TIME CAPSULE), date of event (or time capsule placement or dedication), and date of intended opening of the time capsule. It is popular to also put a logo, tag line or phrase if there is enough space. Here are some examples of what others have done.
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Paper Secrets: What is the Best Paper for Long Term Storage?

Best Paper for StorageThe Best Paper for Long Term Storage

What is the best paper to use in time capsules and for long term storage? What works for 300 years? Here we discuss various papers available today, which ones are best and which to avoid, and why.

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Cheap Time Capsules and Crowded Plaques - You Just Can't Have It Both Ways

Standard Time Capsule and Outdoor Plaque

Why You Can't Have It Both Ways

Whether you are racking your brains to find the perfect Time Capsule Container, or trying to fit 1,000 words onto a 5x7" Cast or Outdoor Plaque, know this: you can't have it both ways. That is to say, you can't spend NO money on a time capsule container and have the best protection for your items. And you can't choose the smallest plaque and throw so many words on it that it just doesn't fit. That being said...we have some recommendations for you, and ways you can save money without compromising quality.

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Wording Ideas for Plaques & Engraving

Bronze Plaque 12x8Wording Ideas for Plaques and Engraving

What wording is best on a time capsule plaque? What wording do you use for engraving a time capsule?

The answer varies because it is up to you, the customer, to provide that all important message to the future. Here we share some of the many engraved time capsules and time capsule plaques we've provided.

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Metal Plaque or Engraving?

Engraved Time CapsuleMetal Plaque vs Engraving?

You don’t place a time capsule every day. So, when you do, it’s good to know what you want and what you need. Do you need a plaque? Do you need the time capsule lid to be engraved? Or do you want both? This article discusses the difference between the two methods of getting your time capsule message out there. While the time capsule is your real message to the future, how do you identify it and what you want done with it?
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Time Capsules 101: What are they and when to open them

Cupaloy Time Capsule Placement

Time Capsules 101: What are they and when to open them

This article helps define what a time capsule is, some of the history behind it, and how to choose an opening date for your time capsule. It also talks about the Book of Record made by the first time capsule ever - the Westinghouse Time Capsule of Cupaloy at the 1939 World's Fair. And it discusses how others have determined the opening year for their time capsule and the thinking behind them.

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How to Size a Simple Plaque

8x10 Aluminum Plaque with LogoHow to Size a Simple Plaque

Art requirements for outdoor quality metal plaques are not the same as for print projects. You need to allow for spacing in between letters and lines. In this article, we discuss a quick way to figure the size of your plaque using the words you wish to put on it. We also include a few other helpful hints for you to know when you order one!

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Insulating Your Time Capsule Container

4 time capsules inside the Times CapsuleInsulating Your Time Capsule Container

Capturing Time from 1999

Case study from 1999's Millennium Times Capsule in New York City shows the challenges of placing a time capsule sculpture out in the open for 1,000 years.

Thinking about the challenges of insulation for that project leads to some timely suggestions for common time capsule placement as well.

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Believe in Your Time Capsule!

Believe in your time capsule!Believe in Your Time Capsule!

Some of the secrets to any successful time capsule project is to believe in it.
You want the time capsule to be meaningful.
You want people to participate and be involved along with you, you want the items to be interesting, you want the container to protect the things inside.
Finally, you want to say when it's all completed, "I'm glad we did that time capsule!"
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Don't Gamble on Your Time Capsule Container

don't gamble on a bad time capsule containerDon't Gamble on Your Time Capsule Container

When it comes time for you to place those precious contents into something, don't skimp on the time capsule container.

Why spend time and money on your time capsule contents only to have the recipients some 50 years hence open a mushy mucky mess?

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Paper or Digital? Choosing a Format for Time Capsule Items

Place photos in sleevesPreparing Photos – Digital vs Paper Formats

Q. What about preparing time capsule photos? Can we just put in a CD/DVD or a thumb drive, or do we need to print them out, too? And, if we print them out, what paper do we use? What ink?

When preparing time capsule photos, provide paper versions of your digital formats. It's natural to want to include digital versions of everything - they are small and cheap. But paper versions are better, because those who open the capsule in the future need no separate or special device to read them. Our current media reading devices are likely to change within just a few years (remember VHS tapes?). To preserve either paper or digital items, see our archival supplies and preservation kits.

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Eli Lilly Time Capsule 2003

Eli Lilly Time Capsule All Done

Eli Lilly's Time Capsule Plaza

Photos from Eli Lilly show an interesting placement idea for time capsule containers. The Eli Lilly Time Capsule measures 12" x 12" x 14" and they gathered their items in 2003. They placed their time capsule in 2004 at their Time Capsule Plaza in Lafayette, Indiana. Photos show some challenges that they succeeded in hurdling when they finally buried the capsule below the boulder. The capsule is secured beneath the boulder. Although today (in 2017) Eli Lilly is no longer located there, it is now Evonics, and the time capsule is still there. The owners intend to be faithful to the opening instructions, and some of the same people who were at Eli Lilly are still at the new company.

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Time Capsule Shapes to Consider

Cylinder ShapeTime Capsule Shapes to Consider

Comparing Cylinder & Box Time Capsules

When choosing the time capsule shape you need, consider these things first. You might have a preconceived notion of what shape the capsule should be. "Shouldn't it look like a pill capsule?" is a comment we often hear. The bullet shaped Time Capsule of Cupaloy at the World's Fair in 1939 gave people the vision and then the preconceived notion of what shape the capsule should be. But when you actually do your time capsule, it's a different matter. Major differences in shapes are...

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Time Capsule Size Revisited – What do I Really Need?

Family Size Time capsules

Time Capsule Size Revisited – What do I Really Need?

What size time capsule do I want? Is it what I really need?

If you are just beginning your time capsule project, figuring the size of container you need is one of the first things you need to do. Whether it is for a small project (such as a personal time capsule or family time capsule) or a larger one, figure the size of the items you want to put inside as keepsakes.

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Laser Engraved Marking for Time Capsules

Engraving for time capsulesFor a Beautiful, Unique Time Capsule

To mark one’s time capsule container is to make it one’s own. The laser engraved marking style is indelible – it lasts forever. It’s beautiful. You can have us engrave any of our stainless steel time capsules. Two places to order these: whether for Family Time Capsule Engraving or for the Time Capsule Box Engraving

Laser can accommodate logos and pictures if they are in the right kind of file format (editable vector in black & white). The result is a beautiful way to place your message onto our stainless steel time capsule lid.

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Secrets of Future Thinking Your Time Capsule Must Know

Time Capsule Keeper will remember the opening dateSecret Time Capsule Tips for Future Thinking

If you have never done a time capsule project before, how do you think about it?

Find out how by doing some ‘future thinking.’ Those who place time capsules plan someday for either themselves or someone else to open it once again to remember and to ponder the contents.

You'll think about timing. Popular timing goes 10, 25, 50, or 100 years or more in the future. It may be meaningful: sesquicentennial celebrants will choose 150 to match the year of celebration, or simply 50 so that the capsule can be opened at the bicentennial. Essentially, any time capsule is a snapshot of today as well as a gift for the future. You want the time capsule to last, your contents to survive in great condition, and use a plaque to make sure it's not forgotten in the future when you are not around.

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What size time capsule do I need?

Time Capsule Size

Time Capsule SizeWe’ve found a great way to help you determine what size of time capsule you need. See our info-graphic in this post to find out how to figure the size of your project - including cost - before you’ve even gathered your first item! Prices are subject to change.

To help you decide on the correct size of time capsule you need, see the handy Time Capsule info-graphic, "What Size Time Capsule Do I Need?"

Find your budget and your group, and see the time capsules that fit perfectly! If you need a turnkey package, we have grouped them by size here: Small Projects, Medium Projects, and Large Projects. If you need a custom package, simply ask our office for a written estimate.

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Eagle Scout Community Project for Upper Souris Wildlife

Eagle Scout Capsule

Eagle Scout Project Features Wildlife Time Capsule in Upper Souris, North Dakota

The dedication Ceremony for one of the USFW National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) Time Capsules was spearheaded by Daniel Johnson for his Eagle Scout project. It was a project enjoyed by the whole community there in North Dakota. This ceremony was held at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge.

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7 Time Capsule Preservation Secrets Revealed

Using Tissue for Textile Items

7 Preservation Secrets

Use these 7 Time Capsule Preservation Secrets to get a good start on taking care that the gifts you are sending into the future survive. Handy tips you may not already know, about paper, photos & more. Some info is from our Preservation Hints leaflet, included with all time capsules.

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When Your Elementary School Celebrates 100 Years

Mitchell Elementary Time Capsule Dedication

Mitchell Celebrates 100 with Time Capsule & Plaque

Time capsules help 100 Year Old Elementary Schools such as Henry Mitchell Elementary in Tampa have history and make it, too. So what do you do when your school celebrates a whopping 100 years? On February 22, 2015, the school held its Centennial Celebration with an ice cream social and dedication of the time capsule and plaque to mark the event.

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Standard vs First Quality Time Capsules

Inspection for 12 Important Quality Points

Standard vs First Quality for Family Time Capsules

Future Line Standard Time Capsules

Q: I am interested in the Arnold 7.75x9 Standard Time Capsule on your website, but would like to know what is the extent of the damage. Are they small dents/dings or are they big? Is it possible for you to tell me more?

A: There is only a minor cosmetic difference, and you can see more detail in this article.

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5 Tips for Family Time Capsule Burial

Burying a Family Time Capsule5 Tips for Time Capsule Burial of Family Time Capsules

You can safely bury any Future Line Family or School Time Capsule for up to 50 years or more. Read and follow all instructions that come with the sealant included with the time capsule. With these 5 basic tips, plus our quality time capsules, you can be assured the time capsule is opened to the joy and not the dismay of your future legatees. Be sure to use your own common sense when placing any time capsule in the ground.

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Your Time Capsule – the Stuff Dreams are Made of!

Maltese-Falcon_Bogart.jpg

Your Time Capsule – the Stuff Dreams are Made of!

Anticipation

Maybe it won’t be Sam Spade who finds your time capsule many years from now. But someone will find it. Someone will need to deal with it. What are some ideas that you can implement now so that, years down the road, those who open your time capsule might find their job a bit easier? For one thing...

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When is a Time Capsule Vault Necessary?

Example of buried bolted time capsule

When is a Time Capsule Vault Necessary?

A vault is not always necessary. But sometimes there are reasons for encasing a time capsule in a vault. This article discusses when they are useful and when they are necessary, and if you have one, how to make sure it is helpful and not harmful to a time capsule's longevity.

This article shows an example of a burial vault.

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Types of Stainless Steel Time Capsule Boxes

Time Capsule Box StainlessTypes of Stainless Steel Time Capsule Boxes

We have two kinds of time capsule boxes. Both are stainless steel, both can be buried. But they differ in style. The capped cornerstone box is a simple design and the bolted time capsule box is a more complicated design. Even though they differ in design, they still provide sturdy protection. In general, choose a special order bolted box if you need to store your items more than 75 years, or choose the capped box for moderately protected long term storage or burial up to 75 years.

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We Named Our Family Time Capsules!

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Family Time Capsules Have Personality!

We’ve always named our time capsule styles and models. But what are they really like? Are they famous Time Capsule Personalities? Let’s get personal! What is the Future Line brand of time capsules? They are our family time capsules (also school time capsules and baby time capsules) that are cylinder shaped canisters. They are sized, smallest to largest: 3.5 x 11.75", 7.75 x 9", 5.5 x 22", and 6 x 24".

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Simple Time Capsule Project Planning

Simple Time Capsule Project Planning

How to Make Your Time Capsule Project Work!

FoothillChristianTC3.jpgWhat is the most important part of your time capsule project? It's you or your group. Yes, people. People will support you, and they will argue with you. People can make or break a time capsule project. Some people will come up with good ideas and yet others will give you bad ones.You can start with some good ideas here...

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A Time Capsule for the University of Texas Austin

People at the UT Time Capsule EventUniversity of Austin Places Time Capsule

In September 2005, the University of Texas, Austin dedicated one of our stainless steel bolted time capsule containers. This U Texas Austin Bolted Time Capsule measures 12  x12  x 24 inches (our Architect model). You can also order an outdoor plaque to mark the place that you put the time capsule container. The photos show the U Texas Austin Bolted Time Capsule buried under the bricked courtyard in a cement area below.


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Foothill Christian School Buries Time Capsule

FoothillChristianTC3.jpg

Foothill Christian School Buries Time Capsule

Foothill Christian buried one of our 14x14x20" stainless steel containers in May 2014.  Students and teachers at the Glendora, California school dedicated a time capsule they will open up again in 25 years to happy future memories. They also dedicated a plaque to mark the placement. The school first opened in 1964.

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When It's Time for a Time Capsule!

Covina Logo Line Art

When It's Time for a Time Capsule!

When do you do a time capsule event for your community? What's the occasion? Is it a ground breaking? You can do a time capsule project just about any time you want to do it. On April 8, 1986, the city of Covina, California chose to celebrate its centennial of founding. Along with the year's festivities, the mayor's time capsule was a primary focus. The community got involved!

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A Hollywood Time Capsule Story

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A Hollywood Time Capsule Story

Washington Mutual hosted a Hollywood Time Capsule event in January 2004. About 100 local persons and celebrities attended. You'll never guess the secret that was buried beneath the bank company's concrete pathway! See this post for how to install a plaque on wet cement.

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Artistic Time Capsule Preserves History

Margaret and the Time Capsule

Artistic Time Capsule Preserves View in Manassas

When we hear back from our customers after a time capsule project, we rejoice. It is no small task to survive a time capsule project and event. These photos from 2001 show what one customer did with their time capsule. What she did to make her time capsule a work of art…and preserve the landscape's original view before it is lost forever.

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Eskom Time Capsule Event in South Africa

Eskom Capsule Ceremony

Eskom Buries Time Capsule

In May 1999, people from the Eskom company buried one of our bolted time capsule boxes. Eskom is a South African electricity public utility. The government of South Africa first established it in 1923 as the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM). The company was also known by its Afrikaans name, Elektrisiteitsvoorsieningskommissie (EVKOM). The two acronyms were combined in 1986. In 2009, the company is known as Eskom. This time capsule was painted.

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Deerfield's Bicentennial Time Capsule

Deerfield Community Time Capsule

Bicentennial Time Capsule for Deerfield 200 in New York

The Bicentennial for Deerfield, New York in 1998 featured a community time capsule project headed up by Dick Kowalczyk. The time capsule committee for the Deerfield NY Bicentennial made an enclosure for the time capsule. We recommended that they insulate all around the time capsule container before capping off the enclosure. They placed a plaque at the top of the time capsule enclosure. Most time capsule events include both time capsule container and plaque.

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