Westinghouse pavilion's Time Capsule sentinel stone as it appeared
during the World's Fair.
The silver column to the right marks where the 1939-40 Time Capsule is
"A gleaming torpedo-shaped Time Capsule, suspended by stainless steel
wires over a reflecting pool, is the heart of this exhibit.
Packed with artifacts of our times and accounts of the
history of our days since 1938, it will be buried in tar and concrete
on the next-to-last day of the Fair, there to remain as a message to
the future 5,000 years hence. Ten feet south of this tube is
buried Westinghouse's first Time Capsule, containing a report on
civilization as it stood just prior to the 1939 World's Fair.
Three open-sided circular pavilions in the area are each
to a different epoch in time. *Admission: free.
another era. The first circular pavilion is given to the
Time Capsule. A full-sized model, through a window along one
side, reveals that it was packed with such items as a slide rule, a
woman's hat, synthetic rubber, and 10 million words on microfilm taken
from books, magazines, and newspapers setting forth the state of
civilization in 1938. There were also messages to the future
Albert Einstein, Rober A. Millikan, and Thomas Mann.
now. The second pavilion shows in photographs some of the
things that have happened since the first capsule went down: wonder
drugs, jet aircraft, atomic and hydrogen explosions, commercial
television, and the first man in space, plus other events of war and
peace that stirred the world. A distinguished committee will
choose from amog all these and more the things that will be recorded in
the new Time Capsule - and visitors may sign a book that will go into
the capsule, to be read by later generations.
Of times past. In the third pavilion a 5,000 year calendar
shows events of the past in detail."
Westinghouse pavilion's Time Capsule sentinel stone as it appears today.
(I tried to take a photo from the same angle as the photo at the top of
the page, which was sent to me by another World's Fair fan. I think
I got it pretty close to the spot the original was taken!)
You'll note that there is no longer anything to mark the actual
location of the 1939-40 Time Capsule.
As the Guide Book stated, the Time Capsule was buried on site, and the
pavilion around it was demolished. What remains is a
courtyard made up by what was once the reflecting pool in the center of
the pavilion. The decorative edge has become a circle of
benches, which are perfect places to rest and relax under the shade of
the surrounding trees.
A seven-ton sentinel stone, or capstone, covers the shaft
which the Time Capsule was buried in. The Time Capsule rests
about fifty feet below the surface in a shaft which was filled in with
pitch, concrete, and earth after it was buried.
In case you were wondering what was buried in the 1964-65 Time Capsule,
here's a list...
A 50-star U.S. Flag
Bikini Bathing Suit
Ball Point Pen
World's Fair Guidebook
Pack of Filtered Cigarettes
Film Badge (Measures Radiation)
Pocket Radiation Monitor
Sample of Carbon 14 (Used for Geological Dating)
Fermi Reactor Graphite (From the World's First
Nautilus Film History (World's First Atomic
Calder Hall Film (Film of Queen Elizabeth II
Opening The First Nuclear Power Station)
Synthetic Fibers (Orlon, Dacron, and Lycra)
Pyrocream (Glass Used in Products Like Pyrex
Computer Memory Unit
Plastic Heart Valve
Ruby Laser Rod
Normal and Irradiated Seeds of Grain
"Fresh" Seawater (Salt Water Which Was
Converted Into Drinking Water)
Birth Control Pills
Sequoia Tree Wood Sample
Re-Entry Heat Shield (from the Mercury Aurora 7
Vanguard I Parts (Solar Cell)
Echo II Material (Similar to Mylar)
Tektite (Material Similar to Granite.
Believed to Have Come From the Moon.)
16mm Microfilm (Contains 50,000 Pages of
"Sounds of Our Times" (Recording
of Sounds and Voices of the Past 25 Years.)
relic of the World's Fair is generally maintained by the New York City
Parks Department as part of regular park maintenance. Trees
and hedges are generally maintained, though the walkway, courtyard,
benches, and sentinel stone are pretty much left alone to age
gracefully. During my visit, it appeared that a good pressure
wash might brighten up this relic of the World's Fair.
this relic of the World's Fair is currently maintained by the New York
City Parks Department as part of the park's general maintenance, no
assistance is currently
required. You *can*, however, let the New York City Parks Department
how much you appreciate the work they are doing to keep this World's
Fair relic in great shape or suggest a pressure washing of the area by
Here are some photos I took during my visit to the Westinghouse
pavilion Time Capsule in
small walkway off the Avenue of Peace, next to the New York State
pavilion, leads to the courtyard which used to be the center of the
Westinghouse pavilion. During the World's Fair, there would
have been two small , circular, open-air pavilions in front
and to either side of this walkway, and one directly behind the
courtyard. Trees and hedges were planted after the close of
the Fair to make the courtyard a beautiful place to rest.
The courtyard was originally a reflecting pool during the World's Fair
but now serves as a nice quiet place to reflect on life. The
sentinel stone in the center which caps off the shaft where the Time
Capsule rests features an engraving which reads "The Time Capsules
deposited September 23, 1938 and October 16, 1965 by the Westinghouse
Electric Company are a record of twentieth century civilization.
To endure for 5,000 years."
The small circular insert fills in where the cable from the base of the
Time Capsule display tethered to the sentinel stone during the World's
Hope you enjoyed this short visit to the Westinghouse Time Capsule!
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a beautiful public space full of easy
Fair finds for the amateur urban archaeologist. In addition
to a few lesser-known (and somewhat hidden) relics in the park, several
remain on-site...some of which still operate daily.
Westinghouse pavilion Time Capsule is located on the edge of the park
near the South end of the New York State pavilion.
The park, itself, is a short subway ride away from downtown Manhattan
aboard the 7 train.
park's official page and plan your visit to the Westinghouse pavilion
Time Capsule by clicking here.
wonderful experiences from the New York World's Fair are still around
today thanks to the support of certain individuals or organizations.
visiting these relics from The Fair, be sure to ask how you get
involved to help ensure they
remain part of our world! You might just be able to become an
important part of the legacy of the New York World's Fair, too!
Enjoy this segment of a documentary about the
history of the
Westinghouse Corporation which shows the pavilion during its time at
the World's Fair. The second portion of this documentary deals with the
turbulent time which followed the Fair. It is a great example
how the 1964-65 New York World's Fair was a "last gasp" for the
optimism of the 1950's and 1960's as American society began a period of
change and economic uncertainty.
following individuals contributed towards making it possible for me to
visit and document this relic of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
I'd like to take a moment to thank them for
helping make my
dream to personally visit the remaining parts of the New York World's
Fair pavilions come true!
This page is hereby dedicated to these