Time Capsules

A time capsule is a deliberate cache of items that are important and relevant to those creating the time capsule, usually created with the idea that at some designated time in the future it will be opened.


Time Capsule Ideas, Things to Put in a Time Capsule

When creating a time capsule, think of things that are meaningful to those who are creating it -- especially if it is a family time capsule or personal time capsule -- and an explanation of why the item being considered is meaningful or useful.  Just putting a bunch of stuff into a time capsule has no relevancy to anyone in the future.  Ask yourself:  Why is this article important to you?  How does it fit in your life?  Giving an explanation with the items being placed in a time capsule, and their relevancy to your life, is paramount.

Items which show (photos) or describe (personal notes, documents) the daily lives of those creating the time capsule are useful.  Also items that demonstrate the current culture or current events that are shaping our lives, our country or the world are also good for a historical reference.


Considerations When Making a Time Capsule

First and foremost, time capsule contents need to remain dry.  Many time capsules are destoyed within just a few years by groundwater.

Second, time capsules tend to be forgotten -- either as to its specific location or as interest in it diminishes with time.  Therefore, don't create a time capsule with an opening date so far in the future that interest and anticipation fades.

Third, consider carefully before including information on today's electronic storage devices.  As fast as technology changes, your information might not be accessible in the future.

Fourth, make sure that those who are to open the time capsule are aware of the time capsule, have a tangible reminder of it (plaque, etc.) and it's location.


How to Make a Time Capsule

The Container needs to be waterproof.  Today many relatively inexpensive materials -- such as PVC pipe, 4" and 6" diameters -- can be used.  These can be readily found at hardware and plumbing stores and can be cut to the specific length you want.  One end can be glued closed using a "smooth cap".  The other end will need to have a threaded male adapter glued to it.  This gives you the ability to screw on or off a "threaded cap".  In order to waterproof the threaded cap when you're ready to seal the time capsule, you need to coat the male threads with a non-hardening TFE Paste before screwing on the cap.  (Note: ensure that all all PVC glue is thoroughly dry before using the time capsule.)

Paper Documents and Photos should use acid-free paper.  Placing these within protective sheets is also advised.

Place a silica gel sachet (desiccant bag) inside your time capsule to protect against moisture damage.



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