There is nothing that creates a connection with the past quite like holding an item in your hands, knowing that the last time somebody held it was a hundred (or more) years ago. Usually intended as a method of communication with future generations, time capsules are a great way to ensure that connection is made – especially when created with care.
According to time capsule historian William Jarvis, most of the intentional time capsules that get buried usually do not provide much useful historical information, as they are typically filled with “useless junk”. Time capsules also run the risk of getting lost when the location is forgotten or they are destroyed by groundwater.
But one recent excavation in Oklahoma City led to a chest full of treasures. The First Lutheran Church just unearthed its Century Chest, which was buried under the church 100 years ago.
The Oklahoma Gazette reported that the church’s Ladies Aide Society were the ones who buried the capsule a century ago. Viginia Sohlberg, the brainchild behind the project, would have been happy to know that her great-granddaughter, Virginia Eason Weinmann, was present during the unveiling of a family album containing poetry and photos.
Inside the copper chest were other incredibly intact artifacts dating back to April 22, 1913. Among the priceless items was a dress; a telephone; a flag; a pen used by President William McKinley; a camera; a newspaper; a shiny black pair of women’s shoes and a divine phonograph record featuring the voices of citizens from that period in time.
The chest was buried in double concrete walls along with instructions on how to dig up the well-preserved possessions.
All items will be displayed at the Oklahoma History Center.
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