Helium Time Columns Monument – Amarillo, Texas - Atlas Obscura

The Helium Time Column Monument is a six-story, stainless steel structure erected in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium. It’s mounted in Amarillo, Texas which hosts a major helium plant and played a key role in the US Government’s helium reserve and gas production dating back to 1927. In 1982, the monument was lifted by a helicopter to its current site at the Don Harrington Discovery Center.

The monument has four time-capsule columns that hold exceptional books, artifacts, and documents that will tell the future generations about what life was like in 1968, and to remind them of the importance for efficiently utiliziting natural resources. The contents, welded into four helium-filled columns, are meant to establish a rounded example of the period in which they were created.

In May 1993 the first time capsule was opened during a two-day celebration. In fifty, one hundred, and one thousand years from the time of filling, the remaining three columns will be opened, assuming we haven’t run out of natural resources, and there is anyone left to open them.

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