1950 Time Capsule Unearthed In Downtown Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A time capsule buried beneath the old Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters in downtown Brooklyn was cracked open Wednesday.

The concrete cornerstone concealed the time capsule for 64 years, but when the lead box was hoisted out and sliced open, the contents looked more like chunky tomato soup rather than a catalog of city transit back in 1950, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“I wish it would have been a little bit more water-tight,” NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco said.

Inside were newspapers, somehow recognizable after soaking in slop for decades, and a glass box that Silverman reported probably contains microfilm constrcution records, now useless to NYU– which now owns the building.

Silverman reports the microfilm will likely be sent to a lab in Maryland to determine if it can be salvaged;the newspaper will have to be frozen before an expert can determine whether it can be preserved.

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

(Credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

There’s one artifact that did survive: a nickel, the cost of riding the subway in 1950.

“Times have changed and that’s probably all I should say,”  Bianco joked.

The capsule itself, along with whatever might be salvageable, will be put on display at the New York Transit Museum.

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