Moving a cannon is tough work!

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Yesterday we moved a recently conserved IX inch Dahlgren from the CSS Virginia, on loan from our friends at the Naval History and Heritage Command, into The Monitor Center.

What does it take to move a 9000 lb cannon? A lot of planning, and plenty of back muscle from the Museum’s Conservation and Exhibit Design staff members!   Read more

Another Day… Another Gun Tool!

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A shot ladle was recovered under the wooden chest in Monitor’s gun turret in 2002.  Consisting of a copper scoop nailed to a wooden head, it allowed the gunners to perfectly load/unload the Dahlgren guns.

The tricky part was not harming the copper part of the object during the wood stabilization and the wood during the metal treatment. Good time, beautiful artifact!

Gun Carriage Cathodic Protection Anode Upgrade

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This week conservators are installing improved impressed current cathodic protection anodes on the Monitor’s gun carriages.  The anodes are flexible wires supported on removable frames made of PVC pipes.  Josiah designed and built the frames which allow the anode wires to protect the metal parts of the gun carriages from corrosion during wet conservation treatment.  The frames are lightweight and easily removable to provide easy access to the carriages during deconcretion.

Gun Carriage Rotation

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Outboard bottom

Today was a major milestone in the effort to conserve USS Monitor’s amazing artifacts. Almost 147 years after the iconic ironclad sank, conservators rotated the port gun carriage to its original upright position.

USS Monitor’s two custom-built gun carriages have been upside down since the ironclad sank on December 31, 1862. The gun carriages were discovered by archaeologists during excavations of the turret in 2002. The carriages were still secured to the 8-ton Dahlgren guns they supported during the Battle of Hampton Roads. Conservators and archaeologists carefully removed both carriages from the turret in 2004.   Read more