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Entries in time capsule (12)


Travel to Nearby Stars (1963)

As you might recall, the booklet 2063 A.D. was sealed in the General Dynamics time capsule in 1963 and contains predictions about what advancements we will see in space by the year 2063. Today we have the (rather succinct) predictions of Dr. William H. Pickering, President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics:

My "100 year forecast" as follows:

  1. There will be travel at relativistic velocities to the nearby stars with manned spacecraft which will explore other planetary systems.
  2. There will be permanent scientific colonies at various places throughout the solar systems.


Previously on Paleo-Future:



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:


Stupid Kids Imagine the Year 2075 (1975)

You know what's almost as fun as looking at past predictions of the future? Looking at what stupid kids thought the future would be like. Now, you may take issue with me calling these kids stupid, but this article is from 1975 and all these kids are in their mid-40s now. So take that kid-40-year-olds! Seriously though, the writer openly mocks these kids for their predictions. Stupid kids and their stupid visions of the future.

(Remember that the harsh commentary in parentheses is the author's, and not mine. Stupid kids.)

Kids' Letters Picture Life in Year 2075

By Patricia McCromack (UPI Education Editor)

The fifth grader pursed his lips and read once more a letter he'd just written to his great-great-grandchildren - whom he'll have little chance of seeing unless he lives to be 110.

The 10-year-old, writing to his descendants who will be going to school in 2075, reached in his pocket and pulled out a picture. He pasted it on the letter, picked up his pen and added:

"I know this is funny, but here is a picture of your great-great-grand dog. His name is Casey."

The letter-writing assignment at St. Vito's School, Mamaroneck, N.Y., was a creative writing project. Fourth and fifth graders, ages 9 to 11, participated.

An analysis of the letters shows what's on the pint-sized set's mind these days:

  • "I think in 100 years the world will be beautiful. The prices will be lower." (This child's got inflation on the mind and he's an optimist).
  • "You probably have a train that goes 2,000 miles an hour and gets from Mrs (sic) to Jupiter in hours. Boy, do I wish I was there." (This student better study his stars again. Or - maybe he knows something we don't know).
  • "You probably have automatic sidewalks everywhere. All you do is stand and the sidewalk moves. We have to walk back here in 1975 and boy is it boring." (This ungrateful child forgot to mention times mother drives her).
  • "You know, you are pretty lucky. You may have automatic tennis rackets that never miss the ball. We have to aim at the ball and then swing the racket. It's a pain when you miss the ball." (Penned, undoubtedly, by a student who just had a bad tennis lesson).

Many letters expressed concern for the happiness and well-being of those to follow. Consider these greetings:

  • "Have a good life. Take care of your mother and father and your sisters and brothers and grandmother."
  • "I am nine years old and I love you. And when I am dead, I want you to be good and love your mother."

These letters, written on cotton fiber paper so they'll last 100 years, aren't being put in a time capsule to be opened with great ceremony in the community in the year 2075.

They have been placed in the custody of the parents - for safekeeping and passing along.

They'll probably make it to their destination. You know how mothers hate to discard anything this precious.

From the August 2, 1975 Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI).

Previously on Paleo-Future:


James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963)

California congressman James B. Utt wrote a short piece for the time capsule book 2063 A.D., which was buried in 1963.

The honorable James B. Utt first says that he could not even make an uneducated guess as to the future of space travel but then, in true politician form, makes one anyway. His contribution appears in full below.

The Honorable James B. Utt
Congress of the United States


Your request with reference to a prophecy for your space capsule, I can only say that I do not have a Buck Rogers imaginative mind and could not even make an uneducated guess. The cost of escaping gravity will probably always curtail any commercial space travel, but the time will come when the scientists will be able to change the molecular body system and reduce the weight to zero and reconstruct the molecular system at any place and any time. Travel will then be as rapid as the mind can conceive. Personally, I do not look forward to this with any sense of enjoyment

You can find the book 2063 A.D. listed here on Amazon but I wouldn't count on copies becoming available anytime soon. Only 200 copies were printed and distributed to various universities.


See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)


Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)

Today we continue our look into the time capsule and booklet titled 2063 A.D. Buried by General Dynamics Astronautics in 1963, there is some question as to where it may now reside, as the General Dynamics Astronautics building has been torn down. Some guessed that it would be at the San Diego Air & Space Museum but my last trip to that city turned up nothing. Hopefully, this time capsule hasn't been lost forever.

The piece below by California Governor Edmund G. Brown appears on page six of the time capsule booklet.

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown
Governor, State of California

I have been asked by those responsible for placing this "space" capsule to write down my guesses about the state of man's space efforts one hundred years from this date when, hopefully, this capsule will be opened.

Most of my life has been spent as a politician. Politicians generally know very little about rockets, satellites and the other trappings of outer space.

It is their task to be concerned about inner space, the still undiscovered space of the mind and the spirit, and about whether the institutions of men on this planet create for the men they are supposed to serve the atmosphere, the psychological spaciousness, in which they can grow to fulfill their human potential.

This is the "space" about which I am concerned in 1963 as I write this statement. Even here, on ground that is much more familiar to me than is outer space, I have few predictions, but many hopes, about life on earth one hundred years from now.

My chief hope is that by the time men will have truly grasped the overriding necessity of freedom as a condition of man's continued existence: freedom from the necessity to hate as well as freedom from oppression of the mind, the spirit and the body.

I hope too that, having grasped this imperative, man, one hundred years from 1963, will have transformed his institutions into guarantors of that freedom.

See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)


All the Music of the Centuries (1908)

The article below appeared in the January 3, 1908 Des Moines Daily News (Des Moines, Iowa) under the title, "The Poor Past Centuries." The piece describes a ceremony in Paris where phonographic records were buried beneath an opera house, to be opened in 2007. Sadly, I have not heard if this treasure has been unearthed yet.

Articles like these remind me of the genuine sense of wonder people felt about new inventions of the late 19th and early 20th century. Recorded music was to survive beyond the life of the creator thanks to new technologies. Hopefully, copyright law won't keep that from happening in the 21st century.

That was a curious ceremony performed last week in the subterranean passages of the opera house in Paris. Dignified people solemnly deposited in a specially constructed vault phonographic records of the great voices of today. There are songs and arias by Tamaguo, Caruso, Scotti, Plancon, Pattl, Melba, Calve and others. They are to remain there, hermetically sealed, for one hundred years. Then in the year 2007, they will be withdrawn, and the airships will stop while the passengers hear the historic voices of "the last century."

It's when we read of such things and think what they mean that we begin to realize what a wonderful age this is in which we are living, how different it is from other ages, and what it might have meant to us if the things we know today had been known hundreds of years ago.

Suppose the phonograph alone was nothing new?

We could go today and command all the music of the centuries. We could listen while Bach played the organ, Amati the violin and while Arion swept his harp. We could hear Paganini. We could listen to Palestrina directing the choir in the church of Santa Maria Maggioro, or to Father Ambrose chanting in the dim cathedral at Milan. We might even hear again of David in the psalms, or go back to the shores of the Red sea and listen to the song of Miraim.

And this is only a little in the realm of music alone. There are the orators and the poets and the players who might speak for us. Webster and Patrick Henry and Sapphe and Homer and Demothsenes and Aeschylus - the voices of history in our sitting rooms!

But what is the phonograph? Only one little invention of a multitude. Rameses could never call up the great pyramid. William the conqueror never dreamed of wireless telegraphy. Xerxes never saw a moving picture. Charlemagne never even got a glimpse of a single electric light.

At this moment the cub reporter stirred himself. He has been to college.

"No," he said, "and Darius never had any breakfast food."

"And Adam didn't have no street cars," observed the other boy.

See also:
Gardens of Glowing Electrical Flowers (1900)
Moving Sidewalk (1900)
Moving Sidewalk Mechanics (1900)



Chuck Klosterman on Tulsa's Time Capsule

The August 28, 2007 issue of Esquire ran a piece by Chuck Klosterman on the Tulsa time capsule we examined a few weeks back. An excerpt appears below and you can read the entire story here.

In June of 1957, the community of Tulsa buried a Plymouth Belvedere in a downtown concrete bunker beneath the Oklahoma topsoil. The car would act as the public vortex for a time capsule that would be unearthed five decades later. It would also be the grand prize in a stridently futuristic contest: During the summer of its entombment, various local citizens were given the opportunity to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in 2007. Whoever was closest (and was, presumably, still alive) would win the (now classic) car, along with several gallons of gasoline and oil. It appears that people in 1957 weren't positive that gas and oil would still be in use half a century later. This is how optimistic Americans used to be: We used to imagine that cars of the future would probably run on uranium, potato peels, and distilled water.

See also:
Tulsa Time Capsule (1957)