Saturday, September 3, 2011

USS Monitor's Turret Tank Drained-- Part 1

From the July 19th Virginian-Pilot "USS Monitor's tank drained for public display" by Teresa Annas.

This past July and August, the tank in which the innovative turret of the famous ship had rested while destructive salt was removed was drained for some real up and personal work.

Visitors to the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia can watch from a viewing platform above it, only now, they get a much better view of it since the water has been drained. (I had really hoped to get a chance to see the turret out of the water, but was unable to get there on my August trip.)

You can also view it online.

A small decorative star-shaped piece of metal was found, perhaps a kurb.

Workers in the now-drained tank said it smelled like decaying sea life in the turret, but after awhile, they barely notice the aroma.

Gary Paden is an objects handler and was gently nudging, hour-after-hour, a wrought iron stanchion from the nine-foot tall turret. (At this point, I was wondering what a stanchion was.) It turns out the stanchions rimmed the roof of the turret and held up a canvas awning for shade during the summer. (If the turret is upside-down, I wonder how they got at the stanchion.)

The stanchions need to be removed and treated separately.

(I sure would have been happy to volunteer for this job. Talk about your history!)

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

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