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National Treasure

As concretion removal on the turret has continued, a host of new finds have been discovered!!! The focus of concretion removal has shifted around a bit during the last several weeks (look at previous blog posts). We began work with the documentation and removal of the roof stanchions, which then moved to the excavation of concretion between the roof rails and beams, and currently to the removal of corrosion and concretion in and around the nutguards.

The following images show the variety of discoveries we found during the excavations.

To the right in the image above is a fragment of leather discovered between the roof rails alongside the starboard hatch.

To the left in the image above one can see the top section of a glass pipe, which mostly likely is a component to a monitoring instrument such as a thermometer or manometer.

In the lower right in the image above you can see a monkey wrench concreted to the wall of the turret. On an interesting note, the jaws of the wrench are open to approximately two inches, which corresponds to the width of the nuts nearby.

In the upper right in this image one can see a knife concreted to the wall of the turret resting diagonally on a nut. In the picture below you can see upon removal from the turret wall that the knife has a bone handle with an iron blade.

In the images below you can see a silver/alloy spoon embedded within concretion, and upon excavation, many ornate and interesting details were revealed.

In the images below fine raised relief detail on the spoon can be seen as well as the initials SAL written in the center on the front side of the spoon handle with the letters USN underneath. The initials correspond to the name Sammuel Augee Lewis who was the Third Assistant Engineer on the ship, and was one of the sailors who perished the night of the sinking. However, this artifact is not the only belonging we have of Lewis’ in the Monitor collection, we also have Lewis’s fork! The details on the spoon appear to be identical to that of the fork. (click on the picture to enlarge it)

Lastly, our collection of rimfire cartridges now moves from five to six with another being discovered during nutgard excavation this week. The cartridge is in the lower center of the image.

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