A word from our summer intern, Kim

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Firing hammer from the starboard USS Monitor Dahlgren gun

Hi everyone!
My name is Kim, and I’m an intern at The Mariners’ Museum and Park in the Batten Conservation Complex this summer. I’m currently working towards my master’s degree in archaeological conservation at Cardiff University and am completing this internship as a requirement for my degree. My specialization is primarily focused on the conservation of marine archaeological artifacts. What better place than the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum and Park! For those of you who follow the blog, I am in good company in the lab with assistant conservators Leslie and Laurie, two other Cardiff grads. I’m looking forward to spending my summer in Newport News and working on Monitor artifacts!
I will be working on several projects this summer, including the continued treatment of a few Monitor artifacts: small iron artifacts (studs, nuts, keys) from the port cannon carriage, copper alloy hammer from the starboard cannon, wood handle, and a concreted flange. More information about these treatments will be presented in a public lecture in August.

In addition to these treatments, I will also work alongside the rest of the Monitor team on some of the large artifacts in the “Tank Farm” and the turret later this summer. My second week is coming to a close, and it’s been a busy couple of weeks already! I’ve been fortunate enough to help Elsa and Laurie in the Tank Farm the last two weeks, removing artifacts from the tank and dry ice blasting them before resuming electrolysis.

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Artifacts on the Move!

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Entrance to the Museum

Recently I had the good fortune of being in the Boston area and was able to visit some of our artifacts currently on loan to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.  Their exhibition, Ocean Liners:  Glamour, Speed, and Style is open from now until October 9, after which it will be traveling to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  We loaned them a number of fantastic pieces, including some that are quite large.

In the second room, seen in the picture above, the engineering of these mighty ships was discussed and two of our artifacts were included.  The first is the piece hanging from the ceiling, a towing tank model of SS United States.  This model was tested in the U.S. Navy’s David W. Taylor Model Basin at Bethesda, Maryland in 1946.  The other piece is the cream-colored half model on the wall to the right.  It doesn’t look like much in this photo, but it is a 21′ plating model for SS United States, made in 1949.

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More! Handling History

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Discussing the mariner’s quadrant in the Age of Exploration gallery.

We had another great Handling History tour with a group from the Virginia Chapter of Sponsored Research Administrators International (SRAI) who were in town for a conference at Christopher Newport University. The group received a tour of the USS Monitor Center and then I met them to look at pieces from our fantastic collection of navigating instruments and a few other wonderful items.

In our Age of Exploration gallery we looked at some of the instruments developed as Europeans began to explore the world around them to find new sources or routes of trade. Instruments included our Mariner’s quadrant (by Jacques Canivet, Paris, circa 1760); our truly fantastic silver-coated Mariner’s astrolabe— (by Nicolao Ruffo, Portugal, 1645); Cross-staff (by Hendrick Noordyk, Netherlands, 1804; Back-staff (by Walter Henshaw, England, 1711); and our 2-Day Marine Timekeeper (by John Arnold, England, ca 1772—this instrument probably traveled with Captain James Cook on his second voyage!).  I have reproductions of many of these instruments so I was able to let the group handle them and learn how they would be used by early navigators.

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