Into Storage We Go!

Posted on
Final image of Yorktown gun

It’s time for an update on the Yorktown gun! In the last blog post, the Yorktown gun was dry ice blasted and beginning desalination to get rid of those pesky chlorides. Since then the gun has been fully desalinated, dried, and given a protective coating to prevent future corrosion. Now the gun is ready for storage until it is time to be displayed again.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, STORAGE?? I wanted to see it back on display on the York River!” which is a fair thought. But as we’ve mentioned before, chlorides and high humidities can cause corrosion in archaeological iron, so to display a newly conserved cannon on a brackish river in the middle of Virginia might not be the best idea. However, we did have the gun 3-D scanned in order to make a cast model. The cast will be displayed in the gun’s place, so it will be just like having the original gun out on the York River again.    Read more

That’s not a knife, THIS is a knife!

Posted on
Lesley and Laurie working in the turret

As mentioned in our previous post, we’ve been spending quite a lot of time working in the turret the past few weeks! We’ve been taking a lot of photographs, to document how the conservation process is proceeding. We’ve also been doing some assessment for the future. But most importantly, we have been cleaning away the concretion (marine growth) and mud that is trapped in the rails.

Some of you may remember that when the USS Monitor sank, it turned upside-down. The turret is still upside-down as that is the most stable position for it to be in at the moment. Which means that in the picture above, Lesley and I are actually standing on the turret’s ceiling! The ceiling was constructed out of railroad tracks, which means there’s plenty of nooks and crevasses for concretion and corrosion to build up. AND there’s plenty of places for objects to hide!   Read more

The Turret is draining! The Turret is draining!

Posted on
The drained turret from summer of 2016

That’s right folks, it’s almost turret season! We will be draining the turret tank on July 31st, and from then on it’s turret all day, every day for those of us in the conservation lab. And trust me, we’re all very excited to get back in the turret again!

You may remember from our previous blog posts that last summer we worked on removing all of the nutguards from the interior of the turret. This summer we’ll be assessing the status of the nutguards and possibly even dry ice blasting them, so stay tuned for more nutguard updates!   Read more

Adventures in Archaeology

Posted on

This past weekend, a few of us from the Monitor Lab got to go on a grand adventure to learn about one of our favorite topics, archaeology! (Conservation of course will always be number one in my heart, but archaeology runs a close second) The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference(MAAC) was hosted this year in Virginia Beach, and not only were we able to attend, but we were accepted to present in the conference as well.

MAAC kindly allowed staff from the Monitor Lab and some of our colleagues from Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab, to form a session specifically on Archaeological Conservation. The lectures ranged from the conservation of archaeological objects, to explaining some of the science behind conservation. Kate talked about some of the many makers marks discoveries made through conservation. And below is an images of Hannah, discussing how technology can be used to bring both conservation and archaeology to the public!   Read more