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Your Time Capsule – the Stuff Dreams are Made of

Posted by Janet Reinhold on 7/28/2015 to About Time Capsules

Your Time Capsule – the Stuff Dreams are Made on

Anticipation

Maltese-Falcon_Bogart.jpgMaybe 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. Here are some ideas that might make it easier for those who open the time capsule many years from now.

Maybe he won’t have the problems with human nature and greed that Sam did over the Maltese Falcon. It’s a sure bet, however, that he’ll have expectations. He’ll open the time capsule to see the stuff dreams are made of.

For one thing, make sure you have a decent container that does not leak. If years of experience have taught me anything, it's that most people who place time capsules think more about their contents than making sure the contents survive the time intended before being opened. Why plunk down $100 when so-and-so will donate a baby casket or ammo box? Well, because they will leak. Placing a plastic container is popular, but it's a crap shoot as to how it survives. Plastic cracks. Plastic doesn't seal well. And contrary to popular myth, it does not last forever. You can get a stainless steel container that does the trick for less than $100. Why take the risk?

In 1986 a nation watched eagerly as Geraldo Rivera made a show out of opening ‘Al Capone’s Secret Vault.’ This time capsule was expected to contain 1920’s era artifacts (at the least) and if indeed it did belong to Al Capone, what treasures and gold must be hidden there! Writes the blog Best of the 80’s

“For two hours we sat there, learning everything we could ever hope to about Capone, Prohibition, Chicago, the 20s, The Untouchables, tax evasion, The Lexington Hotel, how to blow up concrete wall, hidden vaults, and what should (or could) be inside. Medical examiners were invited to the site, so they could be there to take care of the corpses that would undoubtedly be inside. And IRS agents were there to scoop up all the booty.”

A nation may have been disappointed to find nothing there of interest, but during the anticipation time, we learned about the time of Prohibition in the USA and the life of Al Capone – a time period of history and a life not boring to say the least.

The stuff dreams are made of? Maybe not, but Rivera did get great ratings:

What you owe the future

If you’re doing a time capsule, what do you owe the future recipients?

By this question, I don’t mean that you need to put a certain kind of coin inside the time capsule (although it is considered good luck to do so).

The main thing you owe the future recipients of the time capsule is providing a good enough container that they don’t open it up to find a muddy mucky mess.

We’ve been in business for a long time now and we’ve seen the gamut of openings of time capsules. You can be lucky and have a plastic container survive. But we’ve seen so many failures with plastic containers, we cannot recommend this method. We’ve found stainless steel containers to be the best. Why not use them?

Saving a penny may lose way more than a pound

Why be so concerned with cost cutting measures that you find you cannot afford a time capsule container? If you don’t consider the quality of the container important, you run a big risk of the future recipients opening up a mucky muddy mess.

Do NOT leave the decision to someone who wants to donate a casket. They leak! And, do NOT use a toy. They leak!

It’s a sin to provide the future with a mucky muddy mess. Consider seriously your time capsule container. We have something you can afford. Even our smaller time capsules are affordable and can be buried. Plan to get one now.

Mark the Placement

You need to make a plan so that the future recipients will know where the time capsule has been placed. This is important because people forget, they move away, and they leave jobs or die. One way to do this is by using a plaque marker placed above where you have buried the time capsule. Another way is something the city of Whittier did in 1987 to assure their time capsule would be remembered. Along with the usual items given to the incoming mayor from the outgoing one, is an archival box containing the intentions for opening the time capsule as well as the exact GPS coordinates of its placement. The box contains other things (key to the city?) that the outdoing office holder passes on.

Another of our customers placed his instructions and exact placement coordinates onto a piece of paper, and placed that in a small 3x12 stainless container in a wall. When the recipients open the space behind the plaque, they will find the small time capsule that will then lead them to a larger stainless steel time capsule box!

So just remembering these two things will help make sure the dreams become reality - make sure the container is airtight and does not leak (such as our stainless steel containers) and make sure the placement of the time capsule is known.