Scientists and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology decided to build a time capsule that would last at least 1,000 years in 1957. They didn’t use the typical materials like wood or copper, but rather glass that would be sturdy enough to withstand all the elements. Glass is incredibly stable compared to materials like wood that will rot, and metal that will oxidize and rust. During the beginnings of construction on the MIT.nano building in January, the team from the school’s Department of Facilities found the capsule buried in a pipe, the school revealed Tuesday. It’s been determined that the capsule was buried 58 years ago, days before the opening ceremony of their Karl Taylor Compton Laboratories.
There’s a note in the time capsule that says it’s meant to stay sealed until 2957, as it was filled with argon gas, and then sealed airtight with glass blower torches. Carbon-14 was also added so that years down the road when future scientists open it, they can date when it was first buried. Although there are believed to be about eight others around the MIT campus, this is probably the only one of its kind. MIT has yet to open the capsule; it is currently in their museum, but they plan to bury it next to a new time capsule after construction on the MIT.nano building is complete.
Time capsules are such a special idea. They preserve whatever you want for years down the road. The way I see it is that it is history in the making. When you decide to build a time capsule you can put just about anything you want in it that you may think is special to preserve or important to share. It’s completely up to your discretion and I think it’s an amazing way to share history on a more personal level. It connects one generation to the next without needing to physical interaction. Additionally, what you bury says a lot about who you are and what your values are.
I remember being in kindergarten and building a time capsule with my class. We put in drawings and toys that were important to us, and each student got to put in one or two things. We sealed it as a class and buried it on our school’s campus. It was something special to all of us because we knew we would be sharing pictures and toys that meant something to us, with whomever would find it later.
I think what the MIT scientists decided to do 58 years ago is amazing. They built a time capsule that would preserve a message they wanted to share for at least 1,000 years, if not more. It’s hard to fathom what the world will be like so many years from now, and no one knows, but it’s so important that history is passed down. I hope that in 1,000 years from now the messages that the initial scientists wanted to pass down will make a difference in those people’s lives. No one knows what will be there, and it’s possible that there won’t be an MIT in 1,000 years, which is why its so important to remember our present.
I think MIT’s decision to bury it again is a good one, and it is necessary. It would almost be selfish to open it now because likely there’s someone still living who knew the scientists that decided to create the time capsule. MIT needs to bury it for those who were there to bury it, and those who will see it in the future. People need to know the scientists that had the brilliant idea of connecting, through artifacts, with generations to come.