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Time Capsule

Part of my project involves the burying of a time capsule with messages of peace to the future. Below is an excerpt from the letter I wrote to place in the time capsule. My letter describes the contents of the capsule, and also expresses hopes for world peace in the future.


This capsule was made possible by generous material and labor donations from O&G Construction, Torrington Supply Co., Mega Machinery Co., and the Town of Plainville. The interior pipe is made of polypropylene, and had an estimated material value of around $500 including the pipe ends when the capsule was buried. The exterior pipe is made of PVC sewer pipe, which was in use throughout the United States in 2005. The estimated material value of the PVC pipe at the time the capsule was buried was about $25 including the pipe ends.

The dual pipe design of the capsule was selected with the hope that the exterior pipe will protect the capsule from freezing and thawing and other environmental dangers, while the interior pipe will protect the capsule against acids and other harmful chemicals released by the less stable PVC outer pipe. The polypropylene inner pipe was selected because of its use across the United States as a suitable material for acid drain pipes.

Inside the capsule, you will find many documents and personal hopes for peace in 2055. All documents have been placed in Avery DiamondView Sheet Protectors as an additional form of protection from moisture. These sheet protectors are made of polypropylene, just like the inner pipe, and were considered to be safe for long-term archival in 2005.

You will also find three miniature DVD discs in this capsule. Each is contained in a plastic jewel case, and held shut with clear packaging tape. DVDs were, in 2005, the newest format for storing both electronic computer data and videos. The discs in this capsule are 80mm in diameter. Most DVDs in 2005 were 120mm in diameter. The 80mm discs were selected for the capsule because the 120mm discs would not fit in the limited space of the inner polypropylene pipe.

The jewel cases containing the discs were labeled in blue permanent ink on August 10, 2005 to show the contents of the discs they held. Should the ink wear off, a description of the discs' contents is below.

There are two types of DVD discs in this capsule. While physically the same (all are DVD-R recordable discs), they were meant for playback/reading in different types of devices. DVD-Video discs should be playable on nearly all DVD players made after 2004, and around 98% of players made before that. Other discs were meant for reading on a computer.

Disc in orange jewel case: DVD-Video - Contains a 10 minute time-lapse video of the first day of work on the site of the peace garden at the Plainville United Methodist Church. The people in the video are primarily volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 30. The 10 minute video shows around 4 hours of work in fast-motion, around 25 times actual speed.

Disc in blue jewel case: DVD-Video – Contains three videos, including the history of the Plainville United Methodist Church, video of the Plainville United Methodist Church’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, and a recording of the dedication ceremony for the Peace Garden. When played on a DVD player, this disc should display a menu. Using the DVD player’s remote control, you can select the video you would like to see, and then press the Play or Enter button to see it.

Disc in purple jewel case: Data DVD – Contains electronic copies of everything contained in this capsule, a Microsoft PowerPoint XP (a.k.a. PowerPoint 2002) file used to present the project to the church, and an archived copy of the project website. Electronic copies of the time capsule contents are in the following formats:

• Messages of peace to the future are scanned images saved as BMP (uncompressed), and JPEG (the standard for most images in 2005).
• Other documents (project proposal, speeches, etc.) are saved in both Microsoft Word XP (a.k.a. Word 2002) format, and Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Any of the many available PDF readers should be able to read the PDF files. Any version of Microsoft Word since version 1997 should be able to read the Microsoft Word files
• The website is stored in HTML format. HTML stood for Hypertext Markup Language and was the standard for websites in 2005.

It is necessary to find a computer to with the correct configuration in order to read the disc in the purple jewel case. Most Microsoft Windows-based computers from between 1997 and 2006 should be able to read the disc so long as they are equipped with a DVD-ROM drive and the software described above.

The exact contents of the capsule follow:

• 3x5 handwritten notecards with messages of peace to the future
• Letter from CT Governor Jodi Rell (2005- )
• Letter from Plainville State Representative Betty Boukus
• Copy of the proposal for this project
• Copy of the speech used to present the project to the congregation
• Copy of the bulletin from the dedication ceremony for the peace garden
• Plainville, CT “Great for a Break” brochure
• Tomasso Nature Park brochure
• 2003-2004 Plainville brochure from Chamber of Commerce
• Plainville demographics information
• 3 DVD discs in plastic jewel cases
• This letter
• Several packs of silica gel desiccant

Should any of the contents of this capsule become damaged over time, a copy of all materials was filed at the Plainville Historical Society in mid-August 2005.


The capsule is scheduled to be opened in spring 2055.

Copyright ©2004 Woody Underwood