As mentioned in our previous post, we’ve been spending quite a lot of time working in the turret the past few weeks! We’ve been taking a lot of photographs, to document how the conservation process is proceeding. We’ve also been doing some assessment for the future. But most importantly, we have been cleaning away the concretion (marine growth) and mud that is trapped in the rails.
Some of you may remember that when the USS Monitor sank, it turned upside-down. The turret is still upside-down as that is the most stable position for it to be in at the moment. Which means that in the picture above, Lesley and I are actually standing on the turret’s ceiling! The ceiling was constructed out of railroad tracks, which means there’s plenty of nooks and crevasses for concretion and corrosion to build up. AND there’s plenty of places for objects to hide!
While removing the concretion from the rails, a knife with a wooden handle was discovered!
The knife was excavated using small hand tools, and is largely intact. You can see in the image below that most of the blade and all of the handle still survive. Now the knife can be treated on its own and will be a fantastic addition to the USS Monitor collection.
Stay tuned for more updates from team Monitor!