They are many outstanding attractions that caught my eye when researching the 1939 World’s fair but interestingly enough I will be discussing the time capsule buried at the New York World’s fair. When you think of time capsules that you would do with friends or at school you might think of a small box with some significant items from that year That really made an impact on the culture. This time capsule was just as unique as the rest of the fair by upgrading from an average box time capsule to just your everyday 800-pound tube called the Cupaloy. The site of the time capsule was in the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company exhibit where they lowered the Cupaloy 50 under the ground. The contents included items from the average household at the time including shopping catalogs, magazines, food, etc. Something interesting the fair did to ensure that the contents stayed in great condition was preserved it inert argon and nitrogen gas so that it would be ready to be opened up in great shape 5000 years later.
Today time capsules are something of the past and nothing new but this was a major attraction and a very popular talked about event during the time of the World Fair. The idea was to leave a legacy behind for the future to unfold. I think to the public it was a positive sign of what could possibly come in the future, especially after the U.S. had just went through the Great Depression.
Something I was surprised to learn is what the time capsule included in the Cupaloy. The 800-pound tube only included 35 items which with how big it was was surprising on its own but what was included in those items was also shocking. Only average ordinary items were included, which of course will be interesting to see but what about leaving a mark on what they were doing at the World’s Fair. Usually you leave behind what you were doing to honor a time capsule, the people in 6939 are most likely not going to know what was going on at the fair and just open up random magazines and food. Like I previously stated before, I think this time capsule was a sense of hope for many; allowing people to think that the country would still be around in the future and hope for the best.
Also something that I thought was cool was that they left a very detailed record of the time capsule. Recorded the contents, plans for changing geographies, political areas, etc. While I think the contents of the time capsule are a little bland, the plans to keep the time capsule in conversation and knowing the whereabouts was super detailed. It is only right that the most talked about event and a huge engineering task be preserved in the most proper way. Below is a picture of where the time capsule is buried and how well the site is preserved today in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park:
A link to the Time Capsule source: https://untappedcities.com/2015/04/13/buried-under-flushing-meadows-is-the-1939-worlds-fair-time-capsule-to-be-opened-in-5000-years/
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Author: Kyler Torres
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