News from the Tank Farm

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Turret stanchions waiting for their turned to be cleaned.

Work has been progressing nicely out in the Tank Farm. After a week in Tank 1 with the copper alloy artifacts, we refilled the tank with fresh solution, covered it back up with a tarp and moved into Tank 6. Tank 6 and 5 (which we were into this week) hold wrought iron artifacts. They all received a through cleaned via dry ice blasting, which is rapidly becoming one of my new favorite things.

One of the most exciting things about dry ice blasting these artifacts is that removing concretion often reveals previously hidden features. This has been the case for two artifacts in the last two weeks. The first was one of the stanchions off of the turret.   Read more

Archival Quality Box Making

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Stanchion piece awaiting rehousing.
Stanchion fragment awaiting rehousing.

From January to April 2014, during the temporary closure of our Wet Lab, we supported an intern in the Dry Lab at the Monitor Center from Christopher Newport University. Jessica was a great temporary addition to the team, full of enthusiasm for the history of USS Monitor and the artifacts we are conserving here. She wrote the following post about one of the primary activities she undertook during her internship.

Hello readers!  My name is Jessica and I’m an intern here in the USS Monitor Center.  I’m here this semester as part of one of my history classes at Christopher Newport University.  I help the conservators with a variety of tasks, but one of the most important things I do here is make archival-quality storage boxes.  Box making may sound easy, but I assure you, it is not.  Precision is key, as these boxes must securely hold and support a variety of artifacts.  Today, I will demonstrate the process with a box I made for a stanchion fragment which would have held up the canvas canopy atop the Monitor’s turret.   Read more