The Book of Record of The Time Capsule of Cupaloy Deemed Capable of Resisting the Effects of Time for Five Thousand Years, Preserving an Account of Universal Achievements, Embedded in the Grounds of the New York World’s Fair, 1939

In the days leading up to the 1939 World’s Fair, Westinghouse Corporation took on a project. The company began developing a time capsule–one that would be retrieved 50 centuries after being buried. Westinghouse worked on technology and logistics, while a selection committee began the arduous task of choosing contents. Westinghouse’s resulting product was a bullet-shaped Time Capsule I, constructed from an alloy made of tempered copper, chromium and silver called Cupaloy. The contents, sealed snugly inside an airtight glass envelope, were selected based upon how well they captured American life as it was in 1939. The contents were divided into five basic areas: small articles of common use, textiles and materials, miscellaneous items, an essay in microfilm, newsreel. And what was inside? Some things as common as fountain pens and a set of alphabet blocks — about 35 small, everyday articles in all. The capsule also contained 75 representative fabrics, metals, plastics and seeds. Contemporary art, literature and news events collected on microfilm also secured a spot in the capsule. How will they find it? The Book of Record. Some day, 5,000 years in the future, a person will stumble across a key to the capsule. Perhaps someone will find it in a monastery in Tibet, or in a library in Manhattan. The “Book of Record,” printed in 1938 on permanent paper with special ink, describes the latitude and longitude of the capsule’s burying place. Some 3,000 copies of the “Book of Record” are stored in libraries, museums and monasteries throughout the world Tan Card cover with a silver band across the front.

Text: Mann Thomas, Millikan Robert A. et al. pp. 64; BW ills.; Publisher: Westinghouse Electric, Utica, 1939.

ID: 13760

Product Description

In the days leading up to the 1939 World’s Fair, Westinghouse Corporation took on a project. The company began developing a time capsule–one that would be retrieved 50 centuries after being buried. Westinghouse worked on technology and logistics, while a selection committee began the arduous task of choosing contents. Westinghouse’s resulting product was a bullet-shaped Time Capsule I, constructed from an alloy made of tempered copper, chromium and silver called Cupaloy. The contents, sealed snugly inside an airtight glass envelope, were selected based upon how well they captured American life as it was in 1939. The contents were divided into five basic areas: small articles of common use, textiles and materials, miscellaneous items, an essay in microfilm, newsreel. And what was inside? Some things as common as fountain pens and a set of alphabet blocks — about 35 small, everyday articles in all. The capsule also contained 75 representative fabrics, metals, plastics and seeds. Contemporary art, literature and news events collected on microfilm also secured a spot in the capsule. How will they find it? The Book of Record. Some day, 5,000 years in the future, a person will stumble across a key to the capsule. Perhaps someone will find it in a monastery in Tibet, or in a library in Manhattan. The “Book of Record,” printed in 1938 on permanent paper with special ink, describes the latitude and longitude of the capsule’s burying place. Some 3,000 copies of the “Book of Record” are stored in libraries, museums and monasteries throughout the world Tan Card cover with a silver band across the front.

×