History of Time Capsule

The time capsule is a historic cache of information or goods to communicate with future generations.

By   |  Published: 5th Aug 2020  6:23 pm

Reports are being circulated about a time capsule being placed beneath the site of the Ram Temple. However, authorities have said that there are no such plans. Let’s take a look at what actually is a time capsule, why is it installed and what does it contain…

The time capsule is a historic cache of information or goods to communicate with future generations. It also helps archaeologists, anthropologists and historians to study about a site. With the help of time capsules, future generations can get information about a particular era, society and country. Generally, time capsules are placed in the cornerstones of foundations of the buildings.

History

Builders frequently insert time capsules in cornerstones. Vintage stones typically have a dated newspaper or coins showing the year of the construction inside a hollow brick at the corner of the building. Elaborate capsules include a collection of items to tell a story.  Thornwell Jacobs, former president of Oglethorpe University is considered as “Father of the Modern Time Capsule.” 

According to The International Time Capsule Society, the Westinghouse Company history project in 1939 coined the term “time capsule” to describe the stored history collections.

How is the time capsule made

A time capsule is made from metals such as aluminium, stainless steel, or copper, and the message is written on acid-free paper so that the paper does not rot even after thousands of years. The time capsule container is 3 feet long and is buried deep inside the ground.

Oldest time capsule

On 30 November 2017, a 400-year-old time capsule was found inside the statue of Jesus Christ in Burgos, Spain carrying economic, political and cultural information dating back to the year 1777. According to experts, it is the oldest time capsule found to date.

Time capsules in India

-In  1973, the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, placed a time capsule outside one of the gates of Red Fort. The time capsule was named as ‘Kalpaatra’ containing post -Independence history of India. This was opposed by political parties. This time capsule was scheduled to be opened after 1,000 years, however, it was disentombed by Janata Party government in 1977.

-On March 31, 2014, a time capsule was installed at The Alexandra Girls’ English Institution in Mumbai, which was set up in the 19th century. It had school uniform, first annual report, USBs containing photos and videos of events at the school, precious letters written by students and principal Freny Mehta — addressed to future students. The time capsule is to be unearthed on September 1, 2062.

-In January 2019, a square time capsule, containing 100 items that represent modern-day technology in India, was installed at Jalandhar’s Lovely Professional University on the occasion of ‘106th Indian Science Congress’ organised by the university in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

– On March 2010, then President of India Pratibha Patil placed a time capsule near the auditorium of IIT Kanpur.

– In 2010, a time capsule was buried in Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, to mark 50 years of the foundation of the temple.


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