Thursday, March 15, 2007

U.S.S. Monitor Center - museum review (cont'd)

The John Ericsson story is very interesting too. There was to be a statue of him installed in Theodore Roosevelt Park I think I recall in Manhattan fairly recently. He steamed into New York City on a boat driven by his invention, the screw propeller but no one was interested, still (and for a long time after) using sidewheels to drive the ships. And why not, they kept the coal industry happy, as propellers used half as much coal attaining the same efficiency.

One of the descendants of the people who worked on the contract for the "Monitor" wrote a letter to the NY Times stating that it was one of the first contracts where all the necessary parts were "farmed out" to twelve (12) or thirteen (13) other companies, one of the first contracts where a single provider had not done all the work he claimed, also stating that perhaps those that did let the contract, never thought they would succeed in 100 days. Many ships adopted the screw propeller technology after. John Ericsson was a resident of NYC for many years in the East Village, and was buried in the New York Marble Cemetery (est. 1830) until removed (as was former President James Monroe to the Hollywood Cemetery in Virginia before the Civil War) to Sweden and reburied in his native land.

It's also interesting that the predecessor to the "Alligator" I read was seized by the US government, considered a serious threat to national security.

Joel W. Grossman, Ph.D., the principal investigator on the Cold Spring, NY EPA project which recovered R. P. Parrott's "gun platform" along with other work in the vicinity of the remediation involving the periphery of the West Point Foundry remains, said something about President Lincoln wanting to send 20 submarines out to Great Britain if it did not remain neutral during the US Civil War. The President was also at a firing of 200lb and 300lb shells of the rifled Parrott "guns" (cannons) at the West Point Foundry, across the Hudson River from the famous military academy. One of Great Britain's shipyards built the notorious CSS Alabama which sank much shipping in the North Atlantic until sunk off Cherbourg, France. A huge reparation, for the time (20 million?) was paid in a Swiss negotiated settlement after the Civil War, between the US and Great Britain over the building of the CSS Alabama, sunk by the USS Kearsarge which had a small Parrott gun aboard.

Gordon Watts, Ph.D. (St. Andrews of Scotland University) at East Carolina University, has an interesting archaeological career having found the "Monitor" in the State of North Carolina SHPO mandated survey, worked with us in Cold Spring, NY and it's West Point Foundry providing magnetometer, side-scan sonar and other testing, and worked on the remains of the CSS Alabama, where some of its Confederate crew are buried in France, and some perished with the sinking, and other underwater and terrestrial archaeology. Glad we switched to Ericsson's propellers!

No comments:

Post a Comment