100 year old time capsule reveals perfectly preserved glimpse into Oklahoma City’s past (VIDEO)


posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM EDT


In 2013, Oklahoma City dug up a century old timecapsule, diving into all manner of item stashed away from the early 20th century. What they didn't know was what was inside a perfectly preserve package of Westfall Drugstore wrappings, which they've only now opened. Its contents? An immaculate camera, and a developed roll of film inside that gave a wonderful view of the past.

The camera was the famed Vest Pocket camera from Kodak, a camera widely sold due to its petite size. The camera went for $6 in 1913, more than $140 by today's count, and was able to shoot 127 roll film. The preserved camera was loaded with a roll of developed film negatives—eight shots from Oklahoma City in 1913 that had been specially included in the time capsule.

Talking to NewsOK, Chad Williams, research director at the Oklahoma Historical Society said:

"It was in a package, and it said it was the smallest Kodak camera available, shipped to the Westfall Drugstore. The reason we’re just finding this now is it was packaged in Westfall Drugstore wrapping, and it was a wrapping material that doesn’t exist anymore. So we wanted to preserve the paper."

He also told the news outlet, "they had already processed it — they weren’t taking any chances. That’s how incredible they were in 1913."

The images include a shot of the original Oklahoma City Carnegie Library, which was torn down in 1951, and is the only image to show a fountain in the front.

It's one of the major advantages of film over digital. A properly preserved negative can survive for an extremely long time and still be used to make prints. Digital formats change so fast that those images on your old Olympus xD card are already getting tough to transfer, and those are only a couple of years old.