Officials took 50 years to realize they lost a time capsule buried in a dam, but they still have 50 years to find it.

The capsule was buried July 22, 1941, as part of the dedication of Kingsley Dam on Lake McConaughy, with plans to unearth it 100 years later, or the year 2041.Officials of the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District went looking for the capsule to erect a marker at its site in honor of its 50th anniversary and discovered no one remembers where the capsule was placed.

A plaque detailing the exact location of the capsule was sent to Lincoln for safekeeping, but state officials there say the plaque is lost, too.

Among the items in the 5-foot-by-8-inch copper capsule were some baby shoes, a can of apple juice from the apple-growing area of Nebraska City and a gold coin commemorating the anniversary of Wausa, utility records show.

News accounts of the dedication say it was lowered into a steel casing 100 feet into the heart of the 162-foot-tall, 3-mile-long dam.

A utility official started looking for the capsule in 1980 but found nothing. Utility spokesman Tim Anderson took up the hunt this year.

He contacted the Nebraska State Historical Society and the state architect and asked them to search for the plaque.

"They both said it's been misplaced and cannot be located," Anderson said.

After searching the utility's archives, Anderson found a photograph of the the capsule being lowered into the dam. He said engineers are examining the picture in hopes of calibrating the exact spot.

Rodger Knaggs, superintendent of the dam, is trying to locate the capsule with metal detectors. If it's found, utility officials say they still won't open it until 2041.