The 64-Year-Old Time Capsule Fail In Brooklyn

October 1, 2014 | Amy K. Nelson

Over a half-century ago, then-mayor William O’Dwyer buried a time capsule at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn, which was the site of the Board of Transportation building at the time. The contents? Sexy microfilmed documents relating to the construction of the building.

Even if it is only just a bunch of old documents, on Wednesday morning, officials invited a live audience to attend the unveiling of the time capsule, brought to life via a rope and pulley.

The time capsule was dug up from the ground, placed on a table and chiseled open. The inside was a wet, rusty, sloppy mess.

“It looks like Vodka sauce,” someone said.

A conservationist was on hand to inspect all the items, which were:

– a newspaper, believed to possibly be a Brooklyn Eagle but officials were unsure and also unclear the date of newspaper
– a nickel
– a container of the microfilm

The paper will be frozen and hopefully they will be able to wipe it clean to determine the date and publication. The microfilm is too damaged to be sent to a lab. So it ends up being the nickel as the only salvageable item, which will be cleaned and sent to the New York Transit Museum.

“Kind of sad after all that,” said Gabrielle Shubert, director of the New York Transit Museum said.

(Photos: Amy K Nelson/ANIMALNewYork)