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Posted on Oct 7, 2014 in History News

Oldest U.S. Time Capsule to be Opened in New York

Oldest U.S. Time Capsule to be Opened in New York

By Media Release

On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 4 pm

 Eastern Time, the oldest unopened time capsule in the United States will be opened at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, and a new time capsule created to be opened in 2114. We received the following media release about the event.

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In 1914, a time capsule marking the tricentennial of the New Netherland Company charter was put on deposit at the New-York Historical Society by the Lower Wall Street Business Men’s Association. It was intended to have been opened in 1974. As the opening date passed without notice, New-York Historical’s curators and historians decided to open it in 2014 to mark the quadricentennial of the New Netherland Company. Whether or not the Association realized it at the time, 1914 was a year of major historical change with the adoption of federal income tax in the prior year, the coming onslaught of World War I, labor reform and unprecedented changes in technology and communication. For more information, see:


The Student Historians in the New-York York Historical Society’s high school internship program— the recipient of a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award—have created a new time capsule with contents that may similarly speak to the events of 2014 and recent years. Beyond an antiquarian collection of ephemera, the time capsule demonstrates the Teen Historians’ critical thinking and profound understanding of historical processes and trends that New-York Historical’s education programs stimulate. The 2014 time capsule will be accessioned into the museum’s collection after the event and slated for opening in 2114.

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

Photo of the 1914 time capsule, courtesy New-York Historical Society

Photo of the 1914 time capsule, courtesy New-York Historical Society