Time Capsule Hidden In An Indiana Mental Hospital In 1958 Discovered — and There Was A Video Inside

iAn Indiana mental hospital that has sat unused for over two decades is being demolished to make way for residential and business space. But a recent discovery by construction crews is taking people back in time to the late 1950s.

A time capsule from 1958 containing video from the Central State Hospital was found in the cornerstone of the Bahr Treatment Center, according to the Indianapolis Star.

 The video gave some insight into where psychiatric care was at the time.

“Today marks the cornerstone ceremony of the Bahr Treatment Center,” Central State Hospital Superintendent Clifford Williams said sitting on the left in the video shot on July 22, 1958.


“How well do you think we’ve solved the problem for the future?” he asked.

Audio in the video is disrupted for almost two minutes but resumes with the man on the right talking about electric shock treatment.

“We may someday — and only the people who open this time capsule will be able to say — we may go back to insulin shock or the development of some other drug techniques and so forth,” he said. “Let me repeat, because of the development of this program […] we have developed a building which is completely flexible in all aspects to keep up with the changing face of the mental health program.”

“It’s our hope to use this building for the admission of all patients,” Williams said. “[It’s] where the patients will be admitted, receive all their examinations and a treatment program outlined for each patient.

“We hope that we’ll be able to treat and improve many patients so they’ll be able to go home from this building. Those who do not improve sufficiently to go home from this building may have to have some continued treatment in the other parts of the institution,” he continued.

“When the psychiatrists of the future open this time capsule, only they will be able to tell how well we have solved our treatment problem, not only today but in the future,” Williams said.

Watch the video (Note: Audio starts around 1:40 into the video, but footage leading up to it shows the placing of the cornerstone and other parts of the ceremony):

Central State Hospital, which the Indiana Medical History Museum notes was originally founded in 1848 as the ”Indiana Hospital for the Insane,” at one point had 2,500 patients. It was closed in the 1990s.

Derek Naber, the city’s master project manager who posted videos from the time capsule, told the Indianapolis Star that it was “definitely a fun find.”

“It’s very interesting to see the thinking in 1958 of why they built this building,” Naber told the newspaper.

The time capsule also contained old newspapers, architectural plans and photographs.

Here’s a shorter video from the time capsule, showing more of the placing of the actual cornerstone:

(H/T: Gizmodo)