Episode 131: Dollop: The Monitor

Okay, I used to live in Norfolk, so this may more info than you want, but let’s rock the local advantage. Booyah.

Virginia Is For Lovers: Hampton Roads

Nomenclature (I really wanted to use that word today, thank you) can be really confusing. Locals use both “Hampton Roads” andTidewater” to refer to the area as a whole. Hampton Roads is the body of water involved in this episode and the municipal area made of a chunk curved around that water:

  • Virginia: Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Poquoson, and the delightfully named Willoughby Spit (which needs to be a Smollop)
  • North Carolina: Kill Devil Hills, Elizabeth City

History of Hampton Roads

And, thanks to this Dollop’s event, Hampton Roads’ residents may drive across the water of HR (read: suffer in traffic read: why we moved to the mountains) on the Monitor-Merrimack Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (built 1992).

Pro: remember those cool scenes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “Heroes“, tunnel to a bridge? Yeah, it’s like that, if it’s empty.

bridge tunnel virginia

See? We can be heroes, baby.

Con: It never seems to be empty. Always the opposite of empty.

Battle of Hampton Roads = Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack = Battle of Ironclads

I prefer Ironclads myself, because it can go either way: swing all the way to Transformers, or back all the way in the other direction to some jacked-up steampunk Vikings I lost everyone there didn’t I?

 

Gosport Shipyard => now Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and it is huuuuuge

the Shipyard’s official Historic American Engineering Record, filed at the Library of Congress

official site at navsea.navy.mil

 

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum (Facebook page, Twitter account)

John (born Johan) Ericcson, Sweden to America (1803-1889), amazing inventor and mechanical engineer
Lincoln’s Navy: The Ships, Man and Organization, 1861-65, by Donald L. Canney
The Man Who Made the Monitor: A Biography of John Ericsson, Naval Engineer, by Olav Thulesius

 

 

Zachary Taylor's portrait by Matthew Brady, thanks to the Library of Congress Poor Taylor looks like he's seen it all, doesn't he? "And then they coated them in iron. Iron, Brady. And the gun. Lord, Brady, the gun."

Zachary Taylor’s portrait by Matthew Brady, thanks to the Library of Congress
Poor Taylor looks like he’s seen it all, doesn’t he? “And then they coated them in iron. Iron, Brady. And the gun. Lord, Brady, the gun.”

The Monitor was found on the ocean floor 111 years after sinking, located in 1973:

upside down 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (part of the Barrier Islands, think Blackbeard,  the pirate; right below the North Carolina portion of the Hampton Roads waterway), about 240 feet deep.

She was declared a National Marine Sanctuary, the first shipwreck to be so.

The turret and its two Dahlgren guns have been recovered and are in the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. They were submerged in special tanks over a ten-year period to stabilize the metal–

who knew inanimate objects could get the bends?

–and the changing of the fluid is being done again this week, and can be viewed online or in person. Check it out, very cool:

screencapture 2016-07-05 at 7.10.45 PM

 

There’s also a full-scale model of the Monitor. Do I have a picture of said model? Yessir. I love pictures. You know that, silly persons. Just keep scrolling.

Marineers_Museum_MonitorMariners’ Museum (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube)

100 Museum Drive

Newport News, VA 236060

Even better picture: July 9, 1862, after the Battle of Hamptom Roads:

Look at all those officers thinking different variations of "aw, fuck, how much is this gonna cost and who can we blame?" Many a tight asshole in this image.

Look at all those officers thinking different variations of “aw, fuck, how much is this gonna cost and who can we blame?” Many a tight asshole in this image.

 

Thunder at Hampton Roads, by A. A. Hoehling (about both the battle and the discovery and recovery)

Sleater-Kinney wrote a song about the Battle of Hampton Roads: “Ironclad”, on All Hands on the Bad One (2000).

From Wikipedia:

The book The Virginia by Winston Brady, based on the Battle of Hampton Roads, depicts Captain(s) Franklin Buchanan and John Worden as tragic heroes who are injured during the battle as a punishment for their over-confidence created by the powerful, nigh-indestructible ships they commanded.

Hubris? Then karma? For a supposedly indestructible ship? Hmmmm, that sounds familiar…

And finally, yes, we end this story on a fine Dollopy subject: on-board toilets. Hey, sailors poop. Everybody poops.


Bands from this episode:

  • Dry Dock
  • Turtle Ship
  • Torpedo Toilet
  • The Asylum
  • RichBrits (first single: “Brexit” (too soon?))
  • Propellor Patent

Cultural references from this episode:

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Carla Hufstedler

About Carla

This Bluestocking bookworm is your friendly Dollop web-wrangler and digital library curator. In other words, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. I'm just here to John Nash all this stuff together. It's all about connections. IT'S ALL CONNECTED. I live atop a mountain, geographically isolated for the protection of others. Yes, an American mountain.

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