“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Amarillo in Potter County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Helium Time Columns

Monument and Museum

Helium Time Columns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
1. Helium Time Columns Marker
Inscription. Erected 1968, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of discovery of helium in the gaseous atmosphere surrounding the sun. (The discovery of traces of helium on earth was first announced in 1895.)

The four time columns are filled with books, documents, and various artifacts that will tell future generations about life in 1968. After the time columns were filled, the caps were welded on and the contents sealed in a helium atmosphere. In twenty-five, fifty, one-hundred, and one thousand years from the time of filling, the four individual columns are to be opened.

Helium is an element which occurs in commercial volume in natural gas produced since 1918 from wells in the Texas Panhandle. In 1929 the first of several helium processing plants began operations near Amarillo. Large quantities of helium extracted from natural gas are stored underground northwest of Amarillo, and will provide a valuable source of supply for many years.

Once used only in lighter-than-air craft, helium now serves vital needs in industry, science, and the nation's military and space programs.
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 2430.)
Location. 35° 11.972′ N, 101° 54.809′ W.
Helium Time Columns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
2. Helium Time Columns Marker
Marker is in Amarillo, Texas, in Potter County. Touch for map. Marker is on the west side of the Helium Columns at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo TX 79106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jack B. Kelley (here, next to this marker); 1983 Relocation of the Helium Monument (here, next to this marker); Smith-Rogers House (approx. 1.2 miles away); Amarillo Helium Plant (approx. 2.4 miles away); William Henry Bush (approx. 2.6 miles away); Amarillo Natatorium ("The Nat") (approx. 2.8 miles away); Route 66 in Amarillo (approx. 2.8 miles away); Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amarillo.
Regarding Helium Time Columns. From Wikipedia, The Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument was built in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium. The Time Columns Monument is a six-story high stainless steel structure containing four time capsules, three of which form the legs of the monument and one which stands erect. The capsules are intended to be opened in 25, 50, 100, and 1,000 years from the date it was erected in 1968. In 1982 the Helium Monument was airlifted by
Helium Time Columns image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
3. Helium Time Columns
helicopter from I-40 and Nelson to its current site at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. In 1993, the first time capsule was opened, on schedule, during a two-day celebration of the 25th birthday of the monument. The contents of that capsule are in the collection of the Discovery Center, and are not typically on display to the public. Among the most interesting things stored within the monument is the passbook in the 1,000 year capsule to a bank account with a $10 deposit.
The monument also serves as a sun dial, its features oriented to the sun to tell the time.
Categories. Industry & CommerceScience & Medicine
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 19, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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