My Cart

This Week in the Lab

It occurred to me that most of our recent posts have been about exciting individual events, and while these are very interesting perhaps you would also like to hear about day-to-day adventures in the lab. However, as I have said before, there really is no such thing as a ‘normal’ day at the Monitor Center. So let me tell you about my week:

Currently I am working on cleaning the wooden components of a block, which would have been part of a pulley system. This particular block came out of the turret and may have been used as part of the system to maneuver the guns. So I spent all day Monday using the ultrasonic cleaner, much like the one in your dentist’s office, to remove the concretion from these pieces of wood.

Cleaning a wooden sheave, the circular center piece of a block.

Tuesday involved more of the same as Monday as far as lab work went. I am still cleaning wooden block pieces and will likely be doing so for some time. It is slow going, but the results will be well worth it. Tuesday evening, during their bimonthly meeting, the Newport New City Council presented a small contingent from The Mariners’ Museum and NOAA with a Resolution of Recognition in Honor the 40th Anniversary of the Discovery of the USS Monitor. This was an honor greatly appreciated by both the museum and NOAA.

Left to Right: Mayor Price, Dave Krop, Stuart Katz, Shannon Ricles, Elliot Gruber, Anna Holloway, and Kate Sullivan at the Newport News City Council meeting

Wednesday was a lab cleaning day, while not one of our more exciting days, definitely a necessity from time-to-time. Wednesday also saw the arrival of Fran DuCoin, aka ‘The Duke’, one of our long-time, out-of-town volunteers. Fran came bearing gifts in the form of the newly rendered 2012 Turret photo-mosaic. The turret photo-mosaics show the interior and exterior of the turret as one long image. Fran is currently researching the crew and the positioning of the turret awning stanchions after sinking.

On Thursday we continued on with our survey of the organic material in the walk-in refrigerator. The survey involves pulling out each container, writing a brief condition assessment of the artifact, taking its photograph, and changing its storage solution. Thursday evening the lab was host to members of the Bronze Door Society and their guests, who had the opportunity to see some newly conserved, never previously displayed artifacts.

Friday is pH survey day, a pH measurement of the solution in each tank in both the wet lab and tank farm is taken, just to ensure that all of our solutions are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Will was back in the lab and working on the Worthington pumps. He had been off earlier in the week having his own adventures. We also had to say good bye to Fran on Friday, hopefully he will be back soon.

So there you have some highlights of the week. Check back to the blog soon for more updates on lab activities.

Scroll to Top