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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
045. (Objects) The USS Monitor gun carriages: treatment steps and innovations for the conservation of complex composite artifacts

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The USS Monitor was the first ironclad ship built by the Union Navy for use in the American Civil War, and with its construction, ushered in a change in the nature of naval warfare and shipbuilding. It featured the world's first revolving gun turret on a ship which was armed with two XI-inch Dahlgren shell guns. Each gun rested on a specially designed gun carriage, which consisted of about 300 individual component parts made of wood, copper alloy, wrought iron, and cast iron. Recovered in 2002, both carriages are housed at The Mariners' Museum's Batten Conservation Laboratory complex, and are undergoing active conservation. No treatment exists to preserve copper alloy, iron, and wood simultaneously so the carriages must be disassembled for treatment. The complexity of the artifacts as well as the magnitude of the task led to innovative conservation methods in order to disassemble and treat the objects safely. This poster discusses the successive treatment phases of these composite artifacts, the innovations used, their successes as well as their restrictions.


William Hoffman

Senior Conservator and Project Manager, The Mariners' Museum
Will Hoffman received a Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology (concentrating in North American and Historic Archaeology) and Fine Arts (concentrating in sculpture and metal casting) from The State University of New York College at Buffalo. In addition, he holds a Master's degree in... Read More →
avatar for Elsa Sangouard

Elsa Sangouard

Senior Conservator, The Mariners' Museum
After completing an MA in Archaeology at the University of Nantes, France, Elsa pursued conservation studies with a specialization in Archaeology and Ethnography at the Heaa-Arc of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. She completed her conservation degree with an internship at The Mariners' Museum... Read More →

Kathleen M. Sullivan

Conservator, Mariners' Museum

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Objects