What Would You Put in a Modern Boston Time Capsule?

By Bobby Donovan | 09/27/2014

Well here are our favorite responses:

Last week it was discovered that there was a time capsule hidden in the head of the lion statue atop the Old State House in Downtown. The statue containing the forgotten capsule was placed there in 1901. (The Globe even found the original article announcing the time capsule’s placement.)

Inside, they expect to find things like campaign buttons for Teddy Roosevelt, news clippings, notes from local politicians of the time and the like. The statue is being taken down for repairs and restoration and will be opened up in the first week of October – at which point a ceremony will take place to reveal the contents of the capsule.

It really makes you think: If we in modern-day Boston were to make a time capsule now to be opened in 100 or more years, what would we put in it? What should be put in there to really show what the people of Boston in 2014 are all about? What would we want to share with the future? Here are some of my ideas:

  1. A copy of the Metro: Is there anyone who hasn’t been bored on the train or bus and decided to pick up that lovely newspaper that probably could have been put together by a bunch of high school kids? It’s convenient, easy to read, and fits into your commute. Putting it into the time capsule would remind the people of the future that yes, even though we actually read our news on paper, we too still wanted our news short, to the point, and probably wrong on half the facts. 271698521_978c5deeb3_b
  2. One of those visors that the people working at Sully’s at Castle Island wear: Seems like a stupid choice, I know. But really, is there any more quintessential Boston place to eat than at Sully’s? It has a long, storied history and hasn’t fallen to the scourge of gentrification that seems to affect almost everywhere else around Boston. Nothing quite like getting your delicious food from Southie teenagers who have the cynicism of full-grown adults. But really, their food is great… 3776753112_655a89143e_b
  3. A bent iPhone 6: “Why not a working iPhone?” you might ask. Just to show how the city’s yuppies and college kids are so obsessed with having their newest toy that they will actually camp out overnight to buy an expensive phone built by slave labor that will bend and break in their tight pants pocket if they sit down the wrong way. Boston is filled to the brim with these types, so I can’t ignore them on this list. No doubt Boston’s 22nd-century yuppies will laugh at their predecessors’ foolishness while booking their latest vacation to the Mars colony with their implanted iChip.                       
  4. A piece of a stop sign: It’s not like anyone listens to them, so why not put a piece in a time capsule? No one will miss it. Plus, people of the future will probably be using flying cars and the hyperloop to travel, and will have no idea what the hell a stop sign was. 2146559629_770de3d647_z
  5. A piece of pavement from the Marathon Finish Line: This one is not a joke. This is a day that no Bostonian should ever forget. It was the day that we came to realize how we could come together as a city and overcome anything. This was when people learned that if you mess with Boston, we would literally shut down the entire city and hunt you down and bring you to justice. And does anyone else have as cool a phrase as Boston Strong? I think not. 11973375186_adb696e8cf_k

UPDATE: It turns out that a new time capsule will actually be placed inside the statue when it is restored and put back atop the Old State House. You can also directly contact the organization responsible for putting it together:

Ideas can be sent to the Bostonian Society via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail, and should use the hashtag #LionAndUnicorn.

2nd UPDATE (Sep. 26): A medal from the 2013 Boston Marathon will be placed inside the new capsule!