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Xcel Energy’s 50-Year Old Time Capsule Opened

A variety of interesting and intriguing artifacts revealed

By: | October 7, 2015 9:40 am

In the fall of 2015, Xcel Energy employees opened an NSP (Northern States Power) time capsule that was placed in a column during the construction of the 414 Nicollet Mall Building completed in 1965, which is the current Xcel Energy headquarters.

Click on image above to watch video

If you weren’t around then, let’s refresh your memory…

  • Baby boomers were going bonkers for the Beatles
  • The Vietnam War was escalating
  • The Civil Rights Amendment was just signed
  • 32 cents would buy a gallon of gas and a brand new home cost just $21,000.

Time capsule captures many artifacts

The copper vessel contained items revealing what life was like in 1965, including an energy bill, brochures about downtown development and NSP business operations such as power plants and facilities, and a letter from two children!

Especially interesting from 1965 was the NSP’s marketing emphasis on electrical appliances like clothes washers, toasters, ovens and radios, which at the time revolutionized everyday life in the upper Midwest.

Before you take for granted one of today’s many power-dependent creature comforts, check our video of the 1965 Time Capsule. It’s surprisingly timeless.

Special thanks to Hennepin County Library’s James K. Hosmer Special Collection
for providing historical documents.


A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.

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