What’s New with the Coat?

Posted on

As with many artifacts, finding the most suitable treatments for the wool coat involved exploring a lot of options. Ten cleaning methods and thirteen consolidation/drying techniques were tested and assessed on samples of the coat.  Quite a lot of work, but now we have them identified. These methods will properly conserve the artifact, be reversible, safe, and inexpensive. 🙂

The coat is getting cleaner and will be ready to dry sometime soon!

Turret Core Sample

Posted on

A while ago, conservators, archaeologists, shipyard employees, and a corrosion expert removed a core sample from Monitor‘s revolving gun turret armor. Although long-term analysis is ongoing, yesterday we utilized a portable XRF analyzer to perform additional elemental analysis. We’ll let you know what our results are after we have a chance to review them. In the meantime, check out this picture. The 2″ metal disc is a section of the turret’s iron armor plating. It is resting on the XRF analyzer.

Moving a cannon is tough work!

Posted on

Yesterday we moved a recently conserved IX inch Dahlgren from the CSS Virginia, on loan from our friends at the Naval History and Heritage Command, into The Monitor Center.

What does it take to move a 9000 lb cannon? A lot of planning, and plenty of back muscle from the Museum’s Conservation and Exhibit Design staff members!   Read more

Gun Carriage Cathodic Protection Anode Upgrade

Posted on

This week conservators are installing improved impressed current cathodic protection anodes on the Monitor’s gun carriages.  The anodes are flexible wires supported on removable frames made of PVC pipes.  Josiah designed and built the frames which allow the anode wires to protect the metal parts of the gun carriages from corrosion during wet conservation treatment.  The frames are lightweight and easily removable to provide easy access to the carriages during deconcretion.

Gun Carriage Rotation

Posted on
Outboard bottom

Today was a major milestone in the effort to conserve USS Monitor’s amazing artifacts. Almost 147 years after the iconic ironclad sank, conservators rotated the port gun carriage to its original upright position.

USS Monitor’s two custom-built gun carriages have been upside down since the ironclad sank on December 31, 1862. The gun carriages were discovered by archaeologists during excavations of the turret in 2002. The carriages were still secured to the 8-ton Dahlgren guns they supported during the Battle of Hampton Roads. Conservators and archaeologists carefully removed both carriages from the turret in 2004.   Read more