ITHACA, N.Y.—Later this month, a time capsule containing 22 items that represent present-day Ithaca will be placed into the new bridge on Cecil Malone Drive.

Ithaca resident Daniel Slattery had the inspiration for the project after reading about time capsules in other places and wanted to create one symbolic of important things around Ithaca for future generations to find.

To represent modern-day Ithaca, Slattery placed a 2022 silver dollar, a flip cell phone, iPod, earbuds and credit card swipe adapter for smartphones to represent current technology, a Wegmans receipt and a plastic bag, a ticket for a New York Yankees versus Tampa Bay Rays game from earlier in the season, N95 and cloth face masks to represent the COVID-19 pandemic, a red Hot Wheels Charger car to represent gasoline-powered cars and Slattery’s first Ithaca Police Department ID badge.

“I didn’t know what container to use, so I just bought one,” Slattery said with a laugh.

The container is fairly small so as not to disrupt the concrete on the bridge, and a marker is being made stating that a time capsule is located on the bridge with the date that it goes in.

“It won’t be found for probably 100 years or more, and it’ll be on the embankment of the bridge,” Slattery said.

Slattery said that he consulted with the Tompkins County History Center and spoke with the contractor at the construction site of the bridge when he first decided to create the capsule.

According to the contractor, Slattery said, the request to place a time capsule isn’t uncommon and the working crews are typically enthusiastic about the idea.

“There really wasn’t a protocol,” Slattery said. “[People] do like to find them, though. Whenever you see a time capsule found, you have to read the article — it’s interesting, it’s like buried treasure.”

A plaque will mark the capsule’s placement with the month and year of placement.

“You have to make it so it can be found, you want to maximize the chances of it being found,” Slattery said, adding that the part of that is making sure there is record that it was placed, for example, this Ithaca Voice article.

The exact date of placement is to be determined, though it will likely take place over the next couple of weeks.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...