Tuesday Nov 08, 2016

BT time capsule from 1958 unearthed in London

BT time capsule from 1958 unearthed in London

A BT time capsule buried 58 years ago has been unearthed during redevelopment at the site of a former BT building in Islington, London.

The capsule was buried under the foundation stone of BT's Fleet Building on 20th October 1958 by then Lord Mayor of London Sir Denis Truscott containing items used for telecommunications during that era.

Items inside the capsule include a 700-type telephone handset, a polythene-covered subscribers' cable that reduced corrosion, a Telex-answerback unit that lessened the risk of messages being misrouted and a 3000-type standard relay used in telephone exchanges of the era.

Head of BT's heritage and archives division, Joana Smith expressed her delight at the capsules discovery adding that while she knew about the capsule she did if it would turn up during the redevelopment. 

Smith said in a statement:

“It's great to have the capsule in the BT archives. The contents look as pristine as when they were put in it, probably because it was filled with nitrogen gas before being sealed. And they really bring home how far our technology has advanced in the past 58 years.”

BT or British Telecommunications is one of the world's oldest communications companies tracing its roots to the Kingdom's Electric Telegraph Company which was incorporated in 1846.