Time is… corrosion

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Hello there readers! It is such a pleasure to be back at work on the USS Monitor. I have missed smelling like a 150 year old ship at the end of a work day and using a crane to move artifacts around… really.

As Kate mentioned last week, we’ve been working on the wooden side of the port carriage for the past month or so. There will be more updates about the gun carriages as we progress with treatment.

In parallel, we are also working on smaller artifacts that need some TLC. One example is this gorgeous spoon recovered from the turret by Will in 2011 (see the old blog post about it http://www.marinersmuseum.org/blog/2011/08/national-treasure/):

MNMS-2002-01-762 BT2 copy

This picture shows it right after recovery.

It has then been stored in deionized water for 4 years. The next picture is the spoon as it looks today.

MNMS-2002-01-762 BT5

Over the past four years, a thin black/purplish corrosion layer formed on the fragile artifact’s surface as a result of oxidation. After looking at the object under the microscope, the shiny silvered surface is still buried somewhere under there! Time is money… and corrosion (which is money too if you want to get rid of it).

Stay tuned, we will be working in the turret from May to mid-July and more stunning artifacts could very well be recovered. Also, don’t forget to visit us during our annual Battle of Hampton Roads event next weekend (http://www.battleofhamptonroads.com/); we’re looking forward to seeing you all!

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