Future Encapsulated

By | June 18, 2007

This Reuters article:
Centennial time capsule car found ruined | Oddly Enough | Reuters

Got me thinking about a couple of things. First, how might the time capsule have been done better (please confine speculation to approximately mid-century technology), and second, what would constitute

“an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now.”

with respect to early twenty-first century technology?

Please discuss in the comments.

P.S. I think I’ll do some checking into how the economics of the capsule contents might have been improved. I’ll let you know if anything particularly interesting comes of that.

UPDATE (Moments later): a bit of searching yields a price range of about $900 to $11,000 for similar era Belvederes in conditions ranging from semi-restored to … iffy. A restored 1956 done by hot-rod legend Boyd Coddington’s shop goes for $29,500


I’m reminded of Doc Brown’s 70 year preservation of his time traveling Delorean:


Notice how this was portrayed in Back to the Future III. Dr. Brown put the vehicle up on pylons. It’s covered. And it’s in a sealed room.

A mine would be far superior to a natural cave because caves tend to be damp (they’re usually formed by water). The preserver could choose a place in the mine where drainage is assured. Barring a cave-in or the renewed mining activities, this sort of time capsule would be perfect.

But even as portrayed in BTTF III, certain parts – like the rubber wheels – didn’t fare so well. Even a carefully preserved car would need a lot of work before it would be ready for the highway.

  • Phil Bowermaster

    How about an iPod? Seems an almost iconic symbol of our times. A laptop would be good, too. An a less high-tech scale, I would recommend a coffee car cup.