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Sunday
Apr192009

Steel Time Capsule for 2056 A.D. (1956)

In 1956 the American Iron and Steel Institute placed a time capsule inside the cornerstone of an office building at 150 East 42nd St, New York City. To mark the occasion the Institute took out an advertisement in newspapers throughout Steel Country. This version of the ad was found in the October 30, 1956 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA). Stay tuned later in the week as we examine the contents of this time capsule, which is to be opened in 2056 A.D.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

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Reader Comments (9)

'Whose grandchildren who will be living in 2056'. I guess they must have been speaking to the kids of 1956.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbob

Well I'll be 89 in 2056, so using me as a reference point (and assuming I'm alive then), they could have been speaking to my mother (then 15), my grandmother (then 36), or my great-grandmother (then ~64).

The whole thing's worded oddly. Even the date's screwed up - who puts a comma between the year and "A.D."? And why say "A.D." - as opposed to what? 2056 of the Jewish calendar had passed; 2056 of the Muslim calendar would be even further in the future, and that's all beside the point because in the uber-ethnocentric 1950s, a reference to a year would automatically be read as "A.D."

Unless of course you're really into sci-fi, and you're concerned people will think you mean 2056 Post-Contact or Post-Armageddon or Day After, etc...

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

Look at the artwork from the ad - clearly everyone in 2056 AD (or AD 2056, which is correct but I like it the other way like they had it on the Apollo 11 plaque) will be Western white and undoubtely Christian, so AD will make perfect sense to them.

As for that rocket car the family is getting into - how much safety space is there between the rocket engine and the back seats?

Oh wait - it's nuclear powered, never mind. I was thinking with my dull, cynical alternate universe 21st Century mind.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

Oh I agree "A.D." would make absolute, perfect sense to the 1950s folk - but that's why it seems odd; it's stating the obvious to a 1950s audience.

In any event - yeah, looking at the happy family in the rocket car/plane I was thinking "Mom's smiling now, but I bet she was swearing like a sailor a minute ago, trying to climb into that seat." Why wouldn't you enter the car/plane horizontally and then have it raise up (if necessary) to launch?

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

"to the steelmen of 2056" - it is to be hoped that the message is either in chinese, or that the chinese steelmen will have mastered english by then.

April 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTimeFlies

What in the world are you guys talking about? Using AD after the year is unnecessary even TODAY, let alone the 1950s. Who on this site would seriously be like, "Oh the Jewish is way past 2056, so I have no idea what they're talking about!"

And you guys speak of illustrating white people and using the Gregorian calendar as if it's somehow racist or - gasp - not culturally sensitive! It's not, and get over it.

May 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrainwreck

So when do we get to see the contents of this time capsule?

It has been over one week already.

No, we in the early 21st Century have lost our sense of patience due to instant technological communication.

May 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

It's coming, it's coming. Hold yer jetpacks. I've got to stop making promises about when I'll post stuff.....

May 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

And why is everything in the future so narrow and pointy?

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

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