Featured: A Union Spy

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Happy Women’s History Month!

I realize that this is the last day of March and that makes this write-up a late celebration of the heritage month. But, to be completely honest, I really struggled with how I wanted to approach this blog. There are so many awesome women and deciding on one story to share was incredibly difficult.   Read more

Update! 3-D Modeling Monitor

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Untreated sconce recovered in 2002

You guys! We are so excited to share this news with you:

Many of you know that we have recently been working to create 3-D models of USS Monitor artifacts. We shared the plan for modeling the turret previously. We are happy to announce that we now have a platform to showcase all these models! But, first, please ogle over these stills of a few of our projects:   Read more

More Than Words: Explaining the mission of The Mariners’ Museum and Park

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Kevin Bacon; 1984, Footloose

You learned the mission statement. Maybe you even memorized the words, but if someone asked you “why?”, “how?” could you explain the point? School songs, organizations’ codes, institutional missions – all too often these important and carefully crafted statements are recited without much attention to what the deeper meaning is.

Recently, The Mariners’ Museum and Park underwent a major re-invention of our purpose. We do not want to stand by, stagnantly aging. Instead we aim to become a world leader through our collections and archives, their care and management, and our message to visitors.   Read more

Meet (a few) Monitor Crew

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Monitor crew on deck, 9 July 1862

This post is taking a break from the ever-excellent conservation efforts to talk about another important facet of the Monitor Center’s job. Don’t get me wrong; we love the artifacts. Not only are they super cool, but they also connect us to the people who served on board the ship. When we recover a spoon, or a button, or even engine components; we are the first people handling and caring for these artifacts since 1862. We are stewards of the crewmember’s stories.

In honor of African American History Month, I want share the stories of the African Americans who served onboard Monitor.    Read more

3-D modeling the turret

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One of the many photos taken to photo-model the turret
One of the many photos taken to photo-model the turret

It is certainly awe-inspiring to be in the turret tank. Standing within inches of the massive iron object is almost surreal when you consider that it spent 140 years at the bottom of the ocean. Every bolt, dent, ding, and hole have a story to tell. But how do you study or share those stories when the artifact spends most of its time submerged in a treatment bath?

Over the past few weeks, we have been photographing every detail of the turret in hopes to make a 3-D photo-model of the object. In total, staff and volunteers took more than 1,600 photos of the turret to try to piece together models of the interior walls, exterior walls, interior ceiling, and bottom ring.   Read more