Root, 02.12.2021

95-year-old time capsule discovered

Construction workers found contemporary documents from the years after the First World War in a sealed glass bottle. The community of Root (Canton Lucerne) has now re-buried the time capsule in the same place– with a message from the time of the global pandemic.

This tree was planted today by Albin Duss, gardener in Root, on the occasion of the schoolhouse expansion taking place in May," says a letter dated February 18, 1926. This letter was found by construction workers a few months ago when working on the St. Martin playground in front of the Root Primary School. They were found in a sealed glass bottle that also housed other historical treasures.

German mark and Austrian crowns
Among the finds are some German marks and Austrian crowns. These currencies had "lost their value due to the post-war period," write the two authors of the letter, the then caretaker Xaver Gärtner and his son Xaver Gärtner junior, secretary of the Feldmusik Root. The message was also written on the stationery of the Feldmusik. The report is detailed: Xaver Gärtner senior not only lists the name and birthday of his wife, but also those of his seven children – including their professions (painter and mechanic).

The bottle also contained an empty wage bag and a list of the candidates for the "Secondary Teachers' Committee of the Root District". In first place– probably by virtue of his office – is the pastor of Root, Josef Bucher.

Photo 1: The historical documents found under the St. Martin playground.
Photo 2: "This tree was planted today by Albin Duss, gardener in Root, on the occasion of the schoolhouse expansion taking place in May," says a letter dated February 18, 1926
Photo 3: The old and new contents are to be reburied
Photo 4: Reburying the time capsule: from left to right: Municipal Councillor Stefan Hoffmann, Municipal Councillor Margrit Künzler-Niederberger, Mayor Heinz Schumacher and Managing Director André Wespi.
Photo 5: Time capsule reburied

Photos: Manuela Jans-Koch, Root

The Root municipal council has decided to re-bury these historical finds in the same place again – and to add documents from the current time. For example, a report about Root from our newspaper and an edition of the community newspaper "Info Root".

A second letter will also be added. Among other things, it says: "The discovery year 2021 is characterised by the corona pandemic. A report of the events will be not be given at this point, as the pandemic is not over yet and this event will be well documented in countless media."

As the excavator had damaged the glass bottle from 1926, the municipality has procured a new, more robust time capsule and stowed all the contemporary documents in it last Thursday:

Three out of five local councillors were present at the burial, as well as Managing Director André Wespi:

"Now, of course, we hope that our descendants will enjoy the second discovery of the bottle in 95 years," said Mayor Heinz Schumacher after the work was completed.