The 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 buried.



"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 eventful 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 devoted to a different epoch in time. *Admission: free.

Highlights
Of another era.  The first circular pavilion is given to the original 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 from Albert Einstein, Rober A. Millikan, and Thomas Mann.

Of times now.  The second pavilion shows in photographs some of the awsome 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."




The 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
  • Bible
  • Credit Cards
  • Electronic Watch
  • Contact Lenses
  • Freeze-Dried Food
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Bikini Bathing Suit
  • Long-Playing Record
  • Rechargeable Flashlight
  • Ball Point Pen
  • Detergent
  • Transistor Radio
  • Tranqulizer Pills
  • World's Fair Guidebook
  • Electric Toothbrush
  • 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 Nuclear Reactor)
  • Nautilus Film History (World's First Atomic Submarine)
  • Calder Hall Film (Film of Queen Elizabeth II Opening The First Nuclear Power Station)
  • Antibiotics
  • Synthetic Fibers (Orlon, Dacron, and Lycra)
  • Pyrocream (Glass Used in Products Like Pyrex Dishes)
  • Computer Memory Unit
  • Plastic Heart Valve
  • Superconducting Wire
  • Ruby Laser Rod
  • Normal and Irradiated Seeds of Grain
  • "Fresh" Seawater (Salt Water Which Was Converted Into Drinking Water)
  • Permanent Magnet
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Molecular Blocks
  • Sequoia Tree Wood Sample
  • Re-Entry Heat Shield (from the Mercury Aurora 7 Spacecraft)
  • Vanguard I Parts (Solar Cell)
  • Echo II Material (Similar to Mylar)
  • Fuel Cells
  • Fiber-Reinforced Material
  • Tektite (Material Similar to Granite.  Believed to Have Come From the Moon.)
  • 16mm Microfilm (Contains 50,000 Pages of Information)
  • "Sounds of Our Times" (Recording of Sounds and Voices of the Past 25 Years.)


This 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.



As 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 know 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 clicking here.



Here are some photos I took during my visit to the Westinghouse pavilion Time Capsule in September (2016).


A 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 Fair.


Hope you enjoyed this short visit to the Westinghouse Time Capsule!




Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a beautiful public space full of easy World's Fair finds for the amateur urban archaeologist.  In addition to a few lesser-known (and somewhat hidden) relics in the park, several pavilions still remain on-site...some of which still operate daily.  

The 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.

Visit the park's official page and plan your visit to the Westinghouse pavilion Time Capsule by clicking here.

Remember...These wonderful experiences from the New York World's Fair are still around today thanks to the support of certain individuals or organizations.  While 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 of 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.





The 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!

John DePalma
Nicole Desmond
Joe Desmond
Susan Tackett

This page is hereby dedicated to these individuals.