After removal from the port Worthington pump steam chest, the packing material mentioned in the last post was largely complete and retained the shape of the cavity it was pressed into. Examination under a microscope at 100x magnification revealed that the individual fibers are translucent and have a twist or ‘convolution’. There is also an absence of the scales present on animal derived fibers such as wool. Quite a bit of dirt or other particulate matter can also be seen. Our first conclusion is that the packing material is a type of cotton fiber, possibly with additives to improve its sealant properties. Stay tuned for more details soon!