Dahlgren plans, and a new face in the tank farm!

Posted on
A view down the bore: although the front section is largely clean, patches of concretion several inches thick remain on most of the interior surface, beyond the reach of hand tools.

Hello everyone! After a sneak-preview of my existence in the most recent blog, I’m writing this post to introduce myself as the newest addition to the USS Monitor team. My name is Erik Farrell, and I joined as an Archaeological Conservator at the beginning of July. I previously worked as an archaeological conservator for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, conserving materials from the wreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge with a focus on artillery and other ordnance. Before that I interned at Bevaringscenter Fyn in Denmark, working on a variety of objects including archaeological arms and armor components. I have a great love and affection for historic weapons (and historic artillery in particular), so I’ll give you two guesses what I’m most looking forward to… Dahlgrens!

A lot of work has gone into the conservation of Monitor‘s two XI-inch Dahlgren guns and their carriages already over the years. These are big, complex objects though, and there is still a great deal of work to be done. Marine archaeological guns always have one big problem in particular – how do you clean the inside?   Read more

Das Kamera

Posted on
Eastman Kodak 35mm Submarine Periscope Camera Mark I. Catalog #: 2001.0038.000001

From Memorial Day until Labor Day, The Mariners’ Museum is hosting $1 admission for every visitor. As part of our offerings, we are getting artifacts that aren’t normally on display out of their storage spaces to share with our visitors. I’ll admit that quite a few of my colleagues far outpace my maritime knowledge. If there is something I know, however, it is cameras. I did some digging into the collection and was surprised and thrilled to find something that falls into my area of expertise.

This is an Eastman Kodak 35mm Submarine Periscope Camera Mark I. Which might well be the longest title ever assigned to a camera. Before this little beauty came along, submariners were restricted to holding regular cameras up to their periscope lens, taking a photo and hoping for the best. It rarely, if ever, worked as planned.   Read more

What do you mean you “accessioned the bike rack”?

Posted on

Well, TECHNICALLY, I didn’t accession the bike rack. I accessioned the slab of concrete that sits UNDERNEATH the bike rack.  But I promise, it’s not just any old slab of concrete! It is the site of a “noon pole” built by the Museum staff in 1938.  What the heck is a ‘noon pole’ you ask? Well, I’ll tell you (and no, Lyles, dancers are not involved).

If you’ve ever paid attention to the position of the sun during the seasons of the year then you know the sun doesn’t appear at the same spot in the sky each day—it moves around.  If you plot this movement from a single location at the same time of day for a year you end up with something that sort of looks like a lopsided or asymmetric figure-eight.  This graphic representation of the sun’s movement is called an analemma.  I know you’ve seen one, it’s that weird loopy thing that appears in the Pacific on almost every globe.   Read more