The Fascinating World of Time Capsules


The Detroit Century Box

Shortly before the 19th century came to a close, Mayor William C. Maybury sent requests to 56 prominent residents asking for their observations, insights, and possible prophecies for the future of Detroit.  The letters were placed in a metal “Century Box” at midnight on December 31, 1900, where they remained for the next 100 years.

The opening celebration carried into the early hours of 2001 which coincided with Detroit’s 300th Anniversary. When Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer finally opened the “Century Box” in December 2000, it was found to contain several dozen letters to the future written by the city’s business and political leaders. Most of the missives included descriptions of the wonders of 1900 Detroit along with musings on what life in the 21st century might be like.