From Art in America
By Michael McCanne
In 1936, with the clouds of war rising in Europe, Thornwell Jacobs, president of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, set about to create a record of human progress thus far, sealed in a room so future civilizations could understand what life was like in the mid-twentieth century. He is considered the inventor of the time capsule, but he didn’t use that term to describe his project-he called it The Crypt of Civilization. In 1940, films, sound recordings, and over a thousand micro-filmed books were placed alongside everyday objects and machines in a porcelain-lined room, filled with inert gas, and sealed until the year 8113 CE.