Time Capsule 1964

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1964 time capsule exhibit.

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The 1964 time capsule The 1964 Westinghouse Time Capsule was buried ten feet south of the original 1939 capsule, though in some ways it was buried in another epoch.  The 1939 capsule set out to describe an era in detail and to allow that era to define itself for future generations.  The 1964 capsule did not even attempt this.  It was more of a yearbook to 1939's encyclopaedia; updating the previous edition to take into account the changes between 1939 and 1964. 

1964 time capsule design.

The basic design of the '64 capsule was the same, only this time it was made of kromarc stainless steel and its collection of artefacts was much more modest.  Part of this was due to its more modest mission, though part of it can also be explained by the differences between the two fairs.  The 1939 fair was a genuine display of optimism about the future.  It was staged when Future Past was at its crest and the future that was extolled was painfully visible.  Small wonder that the '39 fair had so many exhibits showing the city, robot, and even cow barn of the future.  The '39 capsule was a genuine reflection of this optimism and vision.  In 1964, Future Past had hit its watershed.  Just as it seemed as though the long-predicted future was at hand, it was beginning to waver out of focus; not completely, but beginning to.  It was a time when it showed that strange mixture of forced optimism and self-conscious confidence that marks an empire on the verge of collapse.  While '39 boomed out the message, '64 merely echoed it as though it was trying to convince itself, and its time capsule reflected this.

The 1964 time capsule suspended above its internment site.

Location of the time capsules in Flushing meadows, New York.Unlike the 1939 capsule, the '64 version wasn't buried before the fair, but was displayed suspended between three pylons like a sword of Damocles, though the symbolism may have been lost on the designers.  At any rate, today it lies in cosy proximity to its elder brother beneath the same marker.  Though an update to the Book of the Record was posted to all the relevant libraries, the two for one deal that will be unearthed in 6939 will probably confuse a lot of people. 

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