Organ of Musekts discoveries

Original floor of musket rack shown
During 2002-3, conservation and examination of the double musket rack revealed that the segmented floor, upon which the US M1861 rifle muskets rested, was built likely in the late 1850's on an earlier floor found below it. This earlier floor, about two inches lower, was grain-painted pine and originally supported longer Springfield US M1816 flintlock muskets (three of which are now displayed resting in their original slots) when it was built about 1833-34.

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

 
M1816 flintlock muskets shown alongside later M1861 rifle muskets
Here may be seen the three original Springfield US M1816 flintlock muskets resting on the original early 1830's floor alongside the later Springfield US M1861 rifle muskets resting on the later floor. Note how the barrel bands of both models appear to align. The light-colored US M1861 stocks seen above, mixed among the darker wooden stocks, lost their original darker finish due to over-cleaning in the late 20th century.

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

 
close-up of the M1816 and M1861 muskets
Seen in this close-up view are the flintlock mechanisms of the Springfield US Model 1816 flintlock muskets arrayed beside the later percussion mechanisms of the Springfield US Model 1861 rifle muskets.

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

 
Layers of paint on the Organ of Muskets rack
Careful scraping of the gold-colored paint revealed seven layers (count them!) of paint below it. These were each placed in turn on the wood surface over the last century and a half, starting in the early 1830's when the cheap pine wood was made, through grain-painting, to look like more expensive wood. Note that the molding on the upper edge, likely made when the later floor was created, is also grain-painted to match.

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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