Time Capsule Opened, Contains Punchline For 71-Year-Old Joke

By Matt Novak on at

The residents of Lebanon, New Hampshire, recently discovered a time capsule hidden under the steps of their City Hall. Dated 1944, the capsule was in the form of a brown whiskey bottle. But sadly, there wasn’t any whiskey inside. Instead, it seems like it was just the set-up for a punchline 71 years in the making.

The time capsule was placed there by former city surveyor Samuel Stevens, who has since passed away. And the note that he included, along with a lone penny and some newspaper clippings, apologised for the lack of whiskey.

“Whoever finds this bottle may keep it,” the note from June 10th, 1944 read. “Sorry there is no liquor in it, but I drank it all up.”

But incredibly, this may be just the beginning for time capsule hunters in New Hampshire. Included in the note was a claim that Mr. Stevens had hidden many more whiskey bottles for people of the future to find.

“I have many bottles buried all over town,” Stevens wrote in the note. “There is one under the Catholic church.”

So there very well could be more buried treasures for the people of Lebanon to dig up. Or it could be Mr. Stevens just setting up another joke, sending people of the future (that’s us) on a wild goose chase.

“It’s like a mystery to figure out where else (they) could be,” one 10-year-old at the time capsule ceremony told the local newspaper. “It’s going to lead us somewhere else, then somewhere else, then somewhere else.”

Let’s hope that kid’s right. But speaking as a frequently disappointed time capsule nerd, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

[Valley News]

Image: Screenshot from the Valley News YouTube showing City Historian Ed Ashey and Mayor 


This article originally appeared on Paleofuture, a Gizmodo blog looking into the future that never was