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Fabrics and Textiles

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Fabrics and Textiles

See the section on Upholstery, Rugs, and Carpet Cleaning for tips on fabric used on furniture. Also see Vintage Clothing and Textiles for information about especially delicate items.

Before taking steps yourself to preserve and care for antique fabrics, you should seek professional advice about specific conservation, cleaning, storage, and exhibition problems. Each fabric is unique and requires individual consideration. With that warning in mind, follow these general rules for fabric care.

CARE OF OLD FABRICS

• Provide a stable environment for the textile. Protect it

from rough handling, light, extreme changes of temperature and humidity, and insects. For each of these problems there is a simple remedy.

• Handling. When you must handle fabrics, clean your hands first. Remove sharp jewelry to prevent snags and tears. Do not eat, drink, or smoke near the article. Keep article away from unclean surfaces, and do not place any objects on top of it.

• Light. Light is harmful to textiles. Many older fabrics are made of cellulose (cotton and linen) and animal

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Photography

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Rust

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574411638

Section 3 Torpedoes and Mines

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Section 3

Torpedoes and Mines

Note: during the war, the term “torpedo” was generally used to describe both mines and torpedoes as we know them today. Following that tradition, the torpedoes and mines described in this section will be referred to as “torpedoes.”

The Confederates were forced to invest heavily in the development and deployment of torpedoes to protect their extensive ports and riverways. Confederates could not deploy enough ships, artillery, and men to defend the extensive river and coastal areas in the

South. Even in heavily defended areas such as Mobile, Charleston, and Wilmington, torpedoes added significantly to the threat to exposed Union ships and gunboats.

Initial efforts to develop Confederate torpedo capabilities were headed by Matthew

Maury,1 who is also credited with the design of several smoothbore bolts. After he went to England, Hunter Davidson was appointed as his successor and headed the program until the end of the war.2 It was a high enough priority that Lt. John M. Brooke, later famous for his cannon and projectile designs, designed several types of torpedoes and even a torpedo boat design. He designed an anchored swaying spar torpedo and a fixed bottom torpedo called a “turtle,” that was convex, so antitorpedo boats could not grapple it off the bottom.3 It was deployed together with his swaying spar torpedo, which was said to be one of the deadliest encountered by Union ships.

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Harding

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Harding

The designer of the Harding family of projectiles has proved to be the most elusive of any of the designers of Civil War projectiles. The author searched in vain at the National

Archives, the Museum of the Confederacy, the Library of Virginia, and talked with librarians at the Charleston Historical Society and the Charleston Museum. No information was found to identify Harding.

This family of projectiles owes its “Harding” name to a series of photographs taken at the Charleston Arsenal shortly after the war. In preparing projectiles to be photographed, someone had meticulously assembled about 50 pieces of heavy artillery projectiles and torpedoes and painted the names and calibers on most of them. Among those, were more than a dozen projectiles labeled “Harding.” (See front of dust jacket.)

During modern times some 11 different types and calibers of projectiles from this family have been recovered in various locations around Charleston and along the South

Carolina coast. Based on their recovery locations, Harding projectiles may have appeared as early as 1863, certainly by 1864. They continued to be used until Confederate forces abandoned Charleston as General Sherman began to move north from Savannah towards

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Quilts

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

110

Tips, Tools, & Techniques

• Test for colorfastness by placing a few drops of water

on a small corner of the fabric. Press firmly with a white towel. If the color appears on the towel, do not clean the quilt yourself. If no color appears, try again on other spots to be sure that all parts are safe. Next, try with a few drops of water and a mild detergent.

Avoid washing an old quilt in the washing machine unless the quilt is in very stable condition. The twisting and agitation can break the threads and tear the fabric.

Fill a bathtub half full with lukewarm water. Place an old sheet under the quilt to ease lifting it out of the tub. Fold in quarters and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Drain the tub without removing the quilt, then refill.

Add a half cup of mild detergent or textile soap, such as Orvus. Gently agitate. Let soak for about 30 minutes.

Drain and refill tub with cool water several times until all soap is rinsed away.

Get help to lift the quilt out of the water: it will be very heavy and the pressure can tear the fabric and break the stitches.

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Tools to Keep on Hand

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

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Tips, Tools, & Techniques

Georgia co-authored three Denton history books during her tenure as museum director. She writes a monthly column for the Denton Record-Chronicle, and has had articles on collecting and caring for antiques in the Antique Almanac, Antique

Prime, and the Latino Times magazines. She was an appraiser for Antiques Roadshow and currently teaches courses on antiques and collectibles and owns enVogue & Vintage at the

Antique Gallery in Denton, Texas. For more information on her classes, contact georgiacaraway@aol.com.

TOOLS TO KEEP ON HAND

• Acid-free paper and boxes (available from craft stores

and library and museum suppliers). Protects photographs, prints, and textiles.

Black light. A device that emits ultraviolet radiation

(UV) light and can detect cracks in pottery and glue repairs in paper items.

Brushes. Soft-bristled baby brushes (try saying that quickly!) are great for cleaning the delicate fabric on lampshades. Makeup brushes are great for cleaning Christmas ornaments and dusting delicate items with crevices.

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Buttons

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Buttons

21

• Brass buttons will turn green when the brass plating has

worn off. Copper also becomes covered with green copper carbonate due to exposure to moisture in the air.

Remove the green by rubbing the button gently with acetic acid or any substance containing this acid (such as vinegar). Wash the button with fresh water and dry well with a hairdryer or an absorbent towel. Do not store until completely dry. If the buttons are pierced, be sure that the inside of the button is dry. This is when a hairdryer comes in handy. Gel or regular toothpaste also works, but do not use on pierced buttons. It is too difficult to remove the paste completely from the crevices.

Composite buttons are made of multiple types of materials, such as pearl on brass, metal on plastic, or celluloid on Bakelite. Clean each material using the individual instructions for that material. Use caution when dealing with varied construction.

Composition buttons are made of a mixture of substances. Polish with baby oil, mineral oil, furniture polish, or Johnson’s Neutral Self Shining Shoe Polish.

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Enamel

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Obtaining a Vintage Look on Fabrics

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Fabrics and Textiles

53

• Wax. Harden the wax by applying an ice cube to the

spot. Gently scrape off as much as possible. To remove the remaining wax, place the fabric between two sheets of brown paper and press with a warm iron, moving the paper as it absorbs the wax.

Colored wax can be difficult to remove. You may wish to consult a professional dry cleaner. Or you may try to treat such stains yourself by dipping a sponge into rubbing alcohol and dabbing it on the soiled area before washing the item.

• Wine. White-wine stains can usually be removed with a hot, soapy washing.

- To treat red-wine stains, sprinkle salt on the area and

immerse the item in cold water. If the spot remains, rub it out with salt before washing the item.

- Another remedy for red wine is to saturate the area with club soda or a solution of baking soda and water.

OBTAINING A VINTAGE LOOK

ON FABRICS

TEA-DYED METHOD

Bring three gallons of tap water to a boil in a 16-quart stainless steel pot. Fill your sink with cold water and soak the fabric.

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China

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

China

31

• This method of cleaning collectible china (Flow Blue,

Ironstone, Harker Cameo, etc.) has been tested by experts and proven effective. This method will remove brown spots and lighten the effects from crazing.

Clear hydrogen peroxide, 30 or 40 percent volume, may be safely used to clean your china pieces. This solution can be obtained at your local beauty supply dealer. If they do not stock clear hydrogen peroxide in these percentages, ask them to order it. Never use hydrogen peroxide over 40 percent. It is too strong.

Work in a well-ventilated area, and do not breathe the fumes. Do not expose your skin or eyes to the peroxide.

Wear rubber gloves, as the hydrogen peroxide can burn your skin.

Pour the peroxide into an airtight, plastic container that has a sealable cover. Hydrogen peroxide is combustible. Do not place the container near a heater or an open flame.

Submerge your china in the solution and seal the cover.

Check the container every few days by carefully opening the lid. You will notice that the discoloration has begun to disappear. Very dirty pieces may take one and a half weeks of soaking.

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Broun

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Broun

Lt. Col. William L. Broun became commander of the Richmond Arsenal in June

1863. It appears that he soon began to work on the redesign of rifled bolts and shells with copper ring sabots to improve their performance (and to reduce the consumption of scarce copper). Shells attributed to Broun’s designs appear on 1864 battlefields.

These designs simplified the manufacturing process by eliminating the lower bourrelet on the shell body, replacing it with a copper sabot that was wider than the shell base diameter. He attempted to improve the sabot effectiveness with lugs that were cast about one-half inch into the shell to hold the sabot firmly to the body. There is some evidence that these changes produced better performance, and manufacturing was simplified.

Large-caliber Broun shells have been recovered from two areas. The 4.2-inch caliber

Brouns have been recovered from late war Richmond-Petersburg lines and from Mobile

Bay. The larger calibers, 6.4-inch and 7.0-inch, are known to have been recovered only from the Mobile Bay area.

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Appendix A Missing and Unaccounted For

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix A

Missing and Unaccounted For

Research for this book produced tantalizing clues about projectiles that are unknown to the author and could not be documented for inclusion in the book.

This list of “missing” projectiles is provided below, together with the data source where they were identified. They are “unaccounted for” among surviving projectiles.

Hopefully others will do additional research and locate these projectiles. Some of these are field calibers, but are included as part of an effort to expand the knowledge in the field:

Caliber (In.)

2.9

3.0

3.4

3.5

3.67

3.67

3.8

4.2

4.2

4.5

4.62

4.62

4.62

4.62

5.1

5.82

5.82

6.4

6.4

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.5

Design

Hotchkiss Shell

Stafford Shell

Hotchkiss Bolt

Hotchkiss Case Shot and Shell

Hopson Shot

Stafford Shell

Schenkl Case Shot and Shell

Absterdam shell

Hotchkiss Shot

Dyer Shot

Hotchkiss Shell

Sawyer Bolts and Shells

Schenkl Canister

Schenkl Shells

Cochran Shell

Hotchkiss Shell

Parrott Bolt

Dyer Shells and Bolts2

Hopson Shot

Brooke Concussion Shell

Hotchkiss Bolts and Shells

Sawyer Shell

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Skates

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Skates

The Skates Foundry in Mobile, Alabama, manufactured both projectiles and bronze field caliber cannon for the Confederacy. They are credited with the manufacture of some very early 6.4-inch shells, which were used throughout the war by Confederate gunners in Mobile Bay. As with Selma shells, documentation indicating the individual designer of

Skates shells has not been found to date. Using the precedent of naming the Selma projectiles after the foundry, the designation of Skates is the most accurate attribution we can provide at this time.

All recovered Skates shells have been in the 6.4-inch caliber. The shells are relatively short and light in weight (65 pounds), indicating they were manufactured for rifled 32pounders. They do not have bourrelets, and have lead ring sabots pre-engraved for 5groove rifling. Recoveries of this pattern shell have been confirmed only from Mobile

Bay, although two shells of this design are reported to have been recovered in Norfolk. It is not coincidental that the only surviving 6.4-inch rifles with 5-groove rifling are three rifled 32-pounder seacoast guns located at Fort Gaines, at the mouth of Mobile Bay. These projectiles were probably manufactured before May 29, 1862. That was the date the

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Hotchkiss

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Hotchkiss

Andrew Hotchkiss of Connecticut developed the Hotchkiss family of projectiles and was granted his first patent on October 16, 1855. He improved the design and was granted subsequent patents on July 24, 1860, and May 14, 1861.1 The dates cast into many of his projectiles—October 9, 1855, and May 14, 1861—are somewhat confusing. The October

9 date is the date the first patent was applied for, not the date granted.2

The initial design was a smooth-sided projectile, now classified as Type I. Flame grooves were added for the Type II shells, which improved the performance of time fuzes, and for some unknown reason, they were also added to bolts. A flat-nose version with a rounded base cup was developed for case shot, identified as Type III. At the very end of the war, a flat base cup was added to the flat-nose case shot, a wooden disk was inserted between the cup and the shell, and the Wright 14-second or 16-second time fuze was added. This is known as Type IV.

In all four types, the base cup pushed into the lead band sabot, forcing it into the rifling. Because of this design, however, the base cup and the sabot often separated, creating major friendly fire hazards to forward troops. Nonetheless, in the 3-inch caliber, the Hotchkiss was the preferred projectile for the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle and saw widespread use through the end of the war and afterwards.

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