Toynbee tiles

  • Top: Large, colorful Toynbee tile found in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Bottom: Closeup of its bottom tab, apparently mentioning the Soviet Union, which had been gone for years by the time this photo was taken. ("As media U.S.S.R. and Fronts are against it.")

The Toynbee tiles, also called Toynbee plaques, are messages of unknown origin found embedded in asphalt of streets in about two dozen major cities in the United States and four South American cities.[1][2] Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate (roughly 30 by 15 cm or 12 by 6 in), but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation of the following inscription:

IN MOViE '2001

Some of the more elaborate tiles also feature cryptic political statements or exhort readers to create and install similar tiles. The material used for making the tiles was initially unknown, but evidence has emerged that they may be primarily made of layers of linoleum and asphalt crack-filling compound.[3] Articles about the tiles began appearing in the mid-1990s, though references may have started to appear in the mid-1980s.[4]

  1. ^ "What Is It?". Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Correa, Vanessa; Spinelli, Evandro (September 19, 2010). "Placa misteriosa é cravada no asfalto da avenida Paulista". Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  3. ^ CrimethInc. Ex-workers Collective (2012). Recipes for Disaster, an Anarchist Cookbook (2nd ed.). CrimethInc. Ex-workers Collective. p. 48.
  4. ^ Stoehr, John (August 2, 2001). "Out of This World". Cincinnati City Beat. Archived from the original on December 5, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2006.