In 1957, students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to do something to commemorate the opening of Building 26, home to the Compton Laboratories. That’s when Harold Edgerton, the renowned professor of electrical engineering, came up with the brilliant idea to create a time-capsule.
Fast-forward to 2015, when a construction crew working on MIT’s new nanotechnology laboratory (MIT.nano, Building 12) came across something that “looked a little out of place,” as senior project manager Travis Wanat described. After further investigation, school officials confirmed that what they found was indeed the time capsule buried nearly 60 years ago.
According to MIT, some of the items found in the capsule include coins from the First National Bank of Boston, a commemorative mug for the MIT Class of 1957, a small container of synthetic penicillin, and a cryotron.
The time-capsule itself was a glass cylindrical-container designed to keep the contents air-tight and protected — as opposed to other time capsules made of wood or metal that might potentially rot or rust — that Edgerton and his team filled with argon gas before sealing!
The label on the time capsule stated “Please Do Not Open Until 2957 A.D”. It’s clear that they intended for the capsule to last for at least 1,000 years.
While finding a time capsule on the MIT campus isn’t necessarily surprising as there are at least eight capsules buried for other ceremonial purposes, finding one that was intended to be opened 1,000 years into the future is quite remarkable.
What do you think of the design of the time capsule found at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the intention of the designers for it to last 1,000 years? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
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