“The Secret of the Lost Time Capsule,” Iowa Magazine, June 2019
lost tc.jpg

“The Best Way to Find a Time Capsule”

Some thoughts on time capsule hunting, from a recent interview with Atlas Obscura.


The politics of commemoration

On January 27, 2017, I gave a talk (via skype) on the politics of commemoration, as part of the San Diego Art Institute’s public art series, “Parkeology.”  The occasion was the opening of a time capsule in San Diego’s Balboa Park.


Unpacking the past

Before the opening, I gave a talk about the history of time capsules – and the history of this particular chest.

After several years studying the history of time capsules, I had the opportunity last week to be involved in the opening of one. A bronze chest, sealed on Wall Street in 1914 but forgotten for several decades, was belatedly opened at the New-York Historical Society, in the presence of a large crowd. I served as a historical consultant in the planning stages and speaker at the opening ceremony.

The story is described in more detail in the following articles:

New York Times


Daily Mail (UK)

The Guardian (UK)

Photos of the event can be viewed here:

Conservation specialists at the New York Historical Society unscrewing the chest’s lid


Untapped Cities

There are videos of the event here:

Associated Press / Telegraph (UK)


Announcing the contents of the chest – in this case, some newspaper headlines

 And the NPR story is here

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