After the removal of remaining roof stanchions on the turret (see previous post below), conservation staff shifted their work efforts to its interior. Over the last several weeks we have been using an assortment of pneumatic and other hand tools to remove remaining concretion and loose corrosion products embedded in between the roof rails and on the main roof support beams. The following link is a video put together by The Daily Press, which provides a good overview of the work.
Of the approximately 1600 artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor, 1/4 of them have been conserved. Many but not all of the 400+ conserved artifacts are now on display in the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum. So what do we do with the artifacts that aren’t currently on display at the museum? The museum must safely store these artifacts under precise temperature and humidity controls in order to guarantee their long term stability while awaiting exhibition.
The following pictures show one of the many climate-controlled artifact storage areas at The Mariners’ Museum. This specific location houses many Monitor artifacts that aren’t currently on display.
The Mariners’ Museum is once again hosting the Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend this Saturday, March 6! Drop by the museum at 10:00am to see costumed interpretors firing cannon (so loud it shakes the building), museum and NOAA experts giving lectures on the USS Monitor, CSS Virginia, and artifact conservation, listen to Civil War music, and participate in children’s activities. And don’t forget about the behind-the-scenes tours in the conservation lab. Tour space is limited so get to the museum early and sign up. We have something for everybody this weekend! Check out our website for more information:
As with many artifacts, finding the most suitable treatments for the wool coat involved exploring a lot of options. Ten cleaning methods and thirteen consolidation/drying techniques were tested and assessed on samples of the coat. Quite a lot of work, but now we have them identified. These methods will properly conserve the artifact, be reversible, safe, and inexpensive. 🙂
The coat is getting cleaner and will be ready to dry sometime soon!