Conservation of 200-year-old water-logged boats with poly-ethylene glycol

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Seborg, Ray M.; Inverarity, Robert B.;


Studies in conservation, Volume 7, Number 4, p.111-120 (1962)


conservation, glycols, polyethylene, Polyethylene glycol 1000, waterlogged, wood


The boats under examination and treatment were recently raised from Lake George in New York State. Severe degradation and flaking occurred when the wood of these boats was allowed to dry normally. A 50% solution of polyethylene glycol 1000 was used. It was found that for boards of pine up to 2? thick, soaking for 3 days was sufficient to eliminate most of the checking, and to reduce shrinkage to about 1%. The treated wood had adequate strength for museum purposes. Large tanks for treatment were constructed from wood made watertight by lining with sheets of polyethylene. Garry Thomson