Week Five in the Turret

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Although the outside of the nut is degraded, the inside threads are easy to unscrew.

Hello Everyone! We’ve been busy in the turret for the last few weeks. As Kate explained in her post earlier, we are concentrating on removing the remaining nutguards. There are a total of 24 ringing the inside of the turret in various states of preservation. So far we’ve dismantled the smaller fragments and are working towards the larger, more intact ones. We chip away at the concretion behind the nutguards and along the edges until they can be lifted off. Some are still bolted in place and the bolts can be unscrewed with a wrench due to the excellent preservation of the inner thread system.

Once the nutguards are detached, we concentrate on removing the concretion that formed behind the barrier. This consists of hard iron corrosion and concretion mixed with sludgy sand and softer corrosion products. In addition to revealing more of the turret walls, we are interested in any remaining artifacts lodged behind the plates.   Read more

Great News!

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We had some fabulous news here in the lab this week. Our former intern Jessica, who wrote the great post on archival box making, has just accepted a job as a museum technician at James Madison’s Montpelier. Congratulations Jessica. We are all so proud of you. Best of luck as you start this new adventure, you will be brilliant.

Way Back Wednesdays

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April 1937 Main entrance to museum

A new month means it’s time again for more #WayBackWednesdays photos, showing the exciting history of our museum.  This first picture (directly below) shows the front entrance of the museum (now the business entrance) in April of 1937.  A lot has changed since then as our museum has grown and further developed the area around the building.  I really like the old cars and buses visible in this shot as it makes you wonder if that was the only parking spot for museum visitors.  Probably so!

This next photo (below) shows children operating a bilge pump from USS Hartford that was placed at the museum.  The pump is ca 1865, so it’s great to see that it still worked for these kids.  Hartford was famous as the flagship of Rear Admiral Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1964.  She was disposed of in Norfolk, Virginia in 1957, which is likely why we have the pump.  90+ years is an extremely long life for a ship, so she must’v been well built.   Read more

"Pharmaceutical rep visits his roots"

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I know there are many who missed my weekly blog, (LOL) but I have been busy connecting with our nine grandchildren before they return to school. (3 in college)

I had a cordial conversation with a visitor from Missouri and Civil War buff.  He had retired as a pharmaceutical rep and had attended William and Mary (yeah!).  He said that his family can be traced back to 1774 in New Kent County.  I said “‘don’t you think you should move back to your roots, because they must have shown you everything worth seeing in the “show me state” of Missouri by now?”  This was  a friendly exchange and he couldn’t wait to get into The Monitor Center.

Visitor Experience – The Library of Congress

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I recently had the pleasure of greeting ladies from The Library of Congress, (Juretta, Susan, & Kris) who were in town for the Virginia Forum at Christopher Newport University.  They had  been to The Mariners’ Museum on Thursday for a meeting and dinner and had time for a small sampling of the treasures of the museum. They decided it would be a good opportunity for a further look.  They were especially interested in The Monitor Center, and I was pleased to provide them with a few of the in-depth aspects of the center and the historic Battle of Hampton Roads.  I also gave them a view of our new and innovative slide-show highlighting the other galleries.  What a joy to have real scholars who are interested in what the museum has to offer.  I expect to see them on a return visit in the future.