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Subject: Rope covered in tar or pitch

Rope covered in tar or pitch

From: Susanne Grieve <sgrieve<-at->
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The USS Monitor is one of the first Civil War ironclads constructed
in 1862 and was famous for the revolutionary rotating gun turret
located in the center of the vessel. The vessel sank in 250 feet of
water. Some of the waterlogged organic objects that are undergoing
conservation include a four foot long section of hawser rope that is
covered in tar or pitch and several gun tools that have remnants of
a pine or coal tar on the surface. The pitch is very sticky and does
not harden upon air drying. Has anyone treated rope that has been
tarred or pitched? What treatment was used? Is there a method of
re-crosslinking the pitch? Any thoughts or suggestions are

Susanne Grieve
The Mariners' Museum
USS Monitor Project
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, Virginia 23606
Fax: 757-591-7321

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:38
                Distributed: Saturday, January 10, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-38-018
Received on Tuesday, 6 January, 2009

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