Tools and Utilitarian Devices
A wide variety of tools, equipment and technical items were recovered from the sunken ironclad. These provide insight into what the crew and officers did to keep the ironclad afloat and man a gunboat.
Blacksmithing was an important function aboard the ironclad, given the large amount of metal aboard. The Cairo’s blacksmith set up shop on the top deck.
Much of the communication with the crew was handled through the boatswain. Throughout the day, the crew would hear the sharp pitched piping of the boatswain’s whistle as they were ordered to perform tasks aboard the gunboat.
The 400 pound brass bell served as a signaling device to signal, in heavy fog, to other vessels of the Cairo’s approach. The signal board also helped navigation as directions were passed through from the pilot house to the engine room informing engineers what actions to make. The hydrometer was used to help determine specific gravity when measuring water depth.