The conservation department has begun treatment on three scuppers from the CSS Alabama, a Civil War Confederate raider that sank off Cherbourg, France in 1864. Scuppers are drains that allow water falling on the ship’s deck to flow overboard or into the bilges. So far, conservators have cleaned them using a scalpel, picks, and a glass bristle brush to remove marine deposits and some areas of corrosion. The scuppers are made of lead, so safety precautions were taken – masks, coats, elbow length gloves (see below). Since the Alabama was found in 1984, artifact recovery efforts from underwater archaeological investigations have been ongoing, so hopefully we’ll see even more of the ship’s artifacts at the MAC Lab in the future.

Fully clad for cleaning lead


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