A Challenge

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Here at the Monitor Conservation Lab, we believe that we have created the smallest paper origami USS Monitor in existence. See photo below. We are now challenging all of you to make the smallest Monitor that you can. Send us a picture of your creation and at the beginning of July we’ll do a blog post showing the submissions, and the winner of the “USS Monitor Lab Choice Award”. The winner of this award will be contacted and sent a small Monitor-themed prize. See contest instructions below.

  1. You must use the posted instructions to fold the USS Monitor. Instructions are located here: Folding the USS Monitor
  2. You may not use tape, staples or any adhesive to hold your Monitor together.
  3. Your Monitor must be made from paper.
  4. The photo of your Monitor must include something to show scale.
  5. Your submission must be received by June 30, 2013.
  6. Email your photo, along with your name as you would like it to appear on the blog, to conservation@blog.marinersmuseum.org and include Origami Monitor in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing a fleet of Monitors.   Read more

Into the Condenser Tank – Week 2

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The second week in the condenser tank was no less exciting than the first, but involved a very different set of activities. It is important to understand that while the cleaning and disassembly of artifacts is a big part of what we do, there is a lot more that goes into the care and keeping of our large tanks.

Most of Will’s week was dedicated to constructing new supports that will go under the injection pumps on the forward and aft sides of the condenser. These supports will keep the injection pumps in place and assist in removing the pumps the next time we are in the condenser tank.   Read more

Into the Condenser Tank – Week 1

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Last week got off to a great start as we drained the condenser tank for the first time in two years. This was the second draining of a tank since I arrived at The Mariners’ Museum and I was looking forward to getting back into one of the “big” tanks.

After draining, rinsing, and disassembling the anode rig, it was time for during treatment photographs and a brief condition assessment. The time in electrolysis has been good for the condenser; all of the iron surfaces are black with no active corrosion in sight. Taking the during treatment photos was a bit tricky seeing as we were maneuvering around inside of a steel tank that still had four inches of water in the bottom and a trench along one side.  First rule of using electronics in the tank: whatever you do, don’t drop the equipment. The pictures turned out really well, as you can see in the images below. Keep in mind that the entire assemblage in upside down.   Read more

There’s a New Assistant Conservator in Town

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Hello out there. My name is Kate and I’m the new assistant conservator here at the Monitor Center. I relocated to Newport News from Ottawa, Canada, where I interned at the Canadian Conservation Institute in their Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. I recently graduated from the Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University.  Prior to that, I completed an undergraduate degree in archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. I am really excited to be working at The Mariners’ Museum. The Monitor Conservation Project is not quite like anything I have previously worked on and I think it will provide great challenges and fascinating work. I look forward to providing you with interesting updates and insights from the lab!