November 3, 2013

OUR VIEW: Storing a slice of history

In 1940, a pair of researchers in Georgia buried an ambitious time capsule — one filled with hundreds of documents, photographs, recordings and samples of everything from a make-up mirror to a child's savings bank.

Behind a great stainless steel door, the "crypt of civilization" awaits the year 8113 A.D. It's meant to preserve the essence of modern civilization for the world's descendants to study.

Logansport now has its own "crypt" of meaningful artifacts from 2013, the 175th anniversary of its founding. City officials on Wednesday buried a time capsule holding more than 50 items of significance from the past year.

The 2-foot canister encloses things like a Berries T-shirt and an Ivy Tech pennant. A menu from Bruno's Pizza and wine labels from The People's Winery. And of course, a brass ring from the Dentzel Carousel in Riverside Park.

Those officials hope that when it's exhumed 25 years from now, those living in Logansport then will use the occasion to reflect on what's allowed the city to flourish.

As repositories of history, time capsules carry with them a sense of the impossible — of traveling through time. Children love to fill a shoebox with a few small possessions and bury it, then a few hours later put on their archaeologist's hat and dig it back up.

What we bury tells not only of how we lived, but what we valued. The Ivy Tech pennant tells not only of the presence of an economy-boosting institution of higher education, but of the importance we place on children pursuing an education past high school. That menu from Bruno's isn't just a testament to the longevity of a small local pizza place — it's a reminder of how many of Logansport's high school students called it their favorite food or their first job.

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