Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Conservation of a Battle Flag in Ohio

The Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay, Ohio, has conserved a flag of the Fort Meigs Rifles, Company C, 21st Ohio Infantry, at a cost of $25,000.

    Working with a paper-thin needle and silk thread finer than a strand of hair, Jane Hammond stitched together the fragments of a Civil War flag carried by soldiers from the 21st Ohio Infantry.

    "In many ways this fabric is closer to glass than it is to silk because it is crystallized," Ms. Hammond told a group of history enthusiasts gathered yesterday at the Hancock Historical Museum.

    The 34-star flag was unveiled following a nearly year-long preservation effort by Ms. Hammond and other members of the Cleveland-based Intermuseum Conservation Association. A textile conservator, Ms. Hammond figures she put in at least 400 hours sewing the deteriorating pieces of the flag between two layers of nearly invisible silk gauze.


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