Time Capsules Are In Vogue

Big and small time capsules are hot sellers

Preservation is now hip as the millennium approaches. Pack rats and collectors are preparing to bury their memories and that has time capsule manufacturers wishing that the millennium came every year.

Future Packaging & Preservation of Covina California, the makers of high end time capsules reportedly has seen its business double in each of the last three years. News accounts say the company has sold 1,000 capsules this year and expects to sell at least 50,000 before the millennium craze ends. The company charges $5,200 for a 30-inch long, 14-inch wide time capsule dubbed "The QE II".

Once you have your time capsule, you can register it will the International Time Capsule Society. So far 1400 groups have register details of their capsules so locations can be kept private and protected. The Society also reports 10,000 capsule not registered have been forgotten and only one in 1,000 are usually unearthed.

As the Year 2000 draws closer, plans for large scale time capsules are being finalized all over the world, especially in the U.S., Canada, England, Cyprus, New Zealand and Fiji.

Winslow Arkansas machinist Lane Baumgardner is creating the U.S. Time Capsule. He's invested $20,000 toward building a complex of four pyramids with flattened points between Fayetteville and Fort Smith Arkansas. According to press reports, he says he's received 1,000 inquiries from people who would pay $210 for a one-by-two foot spot in one of his time capsules. He wants 500 users from each of the 50 states.

In New Zealand, plans call for the construction of a huge " Millennium Vault" filled with memorabilia of the 20th century. It will reportedly be buried beneath a pyramid covered by a bronze relief depicting 1,000 years of New Zealand history.

But if you wanted to get into the world's first and what experts say is the most "scholarly" time capsule, it's too late. The "Crypt of Civilization", a 20-by-10-by-10 foot box built inside a former indoor swimming pool at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta was sealed in 1940 and won't be opened until 8113. The creators picked that year because 1940 marks the halfway point between 8113 and 4233 BC when they believe the Egyptians first kept track of time.

In case you were wondering what our society will be based on, if and when the vault is opened up, here's some of what's inside: Lincoln logs, dental floss, newsreels of Adolph Hitler, a toaster, and the works of Shakespeare.

DATE: 08/03/99

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