Storage Chest from the U.S.S. Monitor

Conservators at the MAC Lab are completing the final stages of treatment on wood fragments of what is believed to be a storage chest that was recovered from the U.S.S. Monitor. The Monitor is a Civil War ironclad built in 1861 and its recovery off the coast of North Carolina is an ongoing underwater archaeology project. Ironclads (steam-propelled warships protected by iron or steel armor plates) were developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden ships to explosive or incendiary shells. The Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy and she is most famous for participating in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first naval battle between two ironclad warships on March 9th, 1862. Upon completion of treatment, the chest fragments will be returned to the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Placing the wood fragments into the freeze dryer

U.S.S. Monitor

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