During a tour at last year’s Society for Industrial Archeology annual conference in Richmond, Virginia, SIA members got a chance to go behind the scenes at the Batten Conservation Laboratory at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. The big draw of this stop was seeing firsthand the cutting-edge conservation efforts lab staff were taking to reveal and conserve the turret of the USS Monitor and other objects recovered from the ironclad wreck. Two of the biggest objects—twin 11-inch caliber Dahlgren guns—were on display in the laboratory as they undergo long-term conservation measures. Recently, staff at the Mariners’ Museum conservation lab announced that they will begin to carefully drill out the heavy concretions of marine life, corrosion, and sediments within the bores of each gun that hamper continued treatment. A recent article featured in the Daily Press of Newport News gives more details of this upcoming work:
And a special thanks again to Tina Gutshall, Bree Kitchens, and the staff of Mariners’ Museum for a fantastic tour last year.