Red Ink and Rewrites Too

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Archive for the ‘Marathon Battery’ Category

The Alabama Escapes

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The clandestine construction led to Great Britain paying ~ $20 million in Switzerland, I read, perhaps one of the first international reparations there. They had also built a class of ‘Scorpion’ ships for the Confederacy, stopped, led to the modern British battleship. I was told while we were excavating the ‘Parrott platform’ in Cold Spring, NY (used in the ‘Swamp Angel’) then President Lincoln might have threatened GB with a 20 or so vessel fleet of Alligator submarines, the first recently sought by the NOAA, lost off North Carolina in a stormy tow. Not too far-fetched given it was ordered up the Appomattox River, stopped by very low water, perhaps in a regional drought? Admiral Cornwallis was once ordered by King George to sail up the Bronx River to beat the rebels in White Plains. A fleet of canoes I think was never built. Maybe it was dry then too?     NY Times Opinionator


On Forming a Digital Anthropology Group–Neuroanthropology

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George J. Myers, Jr. says:

February 24, 2012 at 5:15 am

I worked in some of the early digital uses for archaeology in particular when Intel 387 chips allowed complex trigonometric processing in hardware. While at Grossman and Associates in NYC we had the use of the then developing Rolleimetric 3D photo recording system allowing aerial photogrammetry “brought to earth” so to speak for many types of investigations, ours, the “least contact” recording of a HAZMAT Superfund site in Cold Spring, NY. Measured and drawn from a digitizing tablet the 3D digital information was traced from field photos, using a documented camera, lens and reseau. Other uses were where wall-mounted maps could be recorded for further digital overlays, i.e., aerial photos, digital maps, digitized historic maps, etc. Other uses have been reported for petroglyph recording, sculpture design, i.e. “Crazy Horse” monument, “as-builts” for historic preservation plans, underwater shipwrecks, etc. The quick exposure and treatment of human remains might be also so documented for further research with these digital tools. Not sure if this fits the AAA idea however.

On Viewing: The Tappan Zee from the Half Moon to the Bridge

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Half Moon to the Bridge

Tappan Zee Bridge Dedication Committee 1955 pamphlet: Thanks, I appreciate it. According to the Constitution Island history group they mention in one of their newsletters that island was an ancestral home of the Tappan natives. I sometimes think the State of NY should take it and join up with the marsh they run, once an Audubon nature preserve, Constitution Marsh. There was an attempt to grow rice there, maybe ca. WWII?  I often looked at it, and stood on it for survey and perspective of old stereo pairs of the West Point Foundry, most likely taken from there, and wondered if there wasn’t a whole bunch of workers there too. If you look on my blog, there is a recent entry of maps that I’ve seen online that show some of the older “roads” or walkways through the marsh to Constitution Island. The island it’s written somewhere also predated the American cause as cited. Bernard Romans, the Dutch patriot and cartographer to the American Revolutionary Army was in charge of designing the forts on it, which General Washington thought too…ah pretty or refined. The British later sacked and ruined them during the “divide and conquer” the Cornwallis brothers were attempting, the one a personal friend of the King. His wig tested by British forensics (Scientifics) was found to have had at least five times the amount of arsenic put into wigs recorded to prevent lice and other bugs. It’s thought sitting next to the King George he may have “inadvertently” poisoned him. Ah, cloak and dagger, is there no end to it? In my opinion, not as long as there was iron manufactured in the lower Hudson River.

In my web: Historic American technology: Swamp Angels

which hyperlinks also here: Loose cannons and foggy logic

duplicated in my Blogger blog: Red Ink and Rewrites? We don’t need no…

Historic American technology: Swamp Angels

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A couple of markers in Cold Spring, NY shown in 3D from the work I was hired to do there with a number of archaeologists, headed by Joel Grossman, PhD who also formerly wrote for the Encyclopaedia Britannica yearbook, the section on the notable archaeology research in the “Western Hemisphere” reported per annum.

New data:

A Bing view, looking east from the West Point Military Academy across the Hudson River is here at Cold Spring, NY and Constitution Island. Note: interactive in Microsoft’s Bing Maps. May not be supported on all machines.

Below, another view, from Google Earth: (similar Google Maps link):


Below: Early 20th c. map of 19th c. foundry from Google “Historic Topos


Below: a USGS ca. 1950 (West Point) shows a building at end of the rail pier


Bing Map User Contribution: Historic American technology

Cold Spring, NY: West Point Foundry

1 West Point Foundry Cove

West Point Foundry Cove marsh was remediated (cleaned and restored) by the EPA and private industry as a National Priority Superfund Site (Marathon Battery) in the 1990s. The factory had released cadmium and nickel into the environment in the production of batteries for NIKE missiles, it was reported. The historic West Point Foundry was in the small valley to the north and east.

2 West Point Foundry dock remains

This is the approximate end of a large dock which had two railroads tracks on it that cross-looped (“frogs”) at its end near the marker. Was it used to load and unload ordnance that was not shipped on the mainline? There is a map in the Foundry School Museum nearby. While working there for the EPA, we witnessed its apparent demise, by fire, when a reported waterspout that winter temporarily lowered the Hudson River, exposing the tops of burned pilings all the way out to the marker, which is placed based on map and the visual emergence anomaly seen in these photos. Nearby land-filled peninsula is not the remains of the historic rail-head but a more modern one, for the Chicago Bridge and Steel Co., which ended around the end of 1912.

Bing Map showing “2”. Could it use a buoy or a light? Like Lake Mendota Buoy – GAMIS?


Below: The West Point Foundry Preserve – map of trail and historic foundry remains


Scenic Hudson, Inc. from Rutsch report and Michigan Technological U. industrial archeology field-schools.

Industrial archeologist Edward Rutsch’s, et al., report described the site as a “sea of bricks”. I think it  resulted in part, from the large chlorine fire, (“pool supplies” pers. comm. ca. 1991, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., employee) on the concrete pad nearer the marsh, (appears on various aerials and on the map here) and, as I recall, involved hundreds of firefighters for over 24 hours in the 1970s. Source: newspaper clippings file in the Foundry School Museum which don’t state the cause. The burnt “Bridge Shop” is also shown there, ca. 1913.

Initial map of  West Point Foundry Cove

EPA “Marathon Battery” National Priority Superfund Site Cold Spring, NY


“Bridge Shop” and rail yard for structural steel, Chicago Bridge & Steel Co. until ca. 1912.

Grossman and Associates, aiding remediation designers Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.

What was recovered from the archaeology of Foundry Cove, along with other features connected with the “iron age”, was the wooden platform and gun carriage pintle as depicted in the document photo below: the so-called “Swamp Angel” after it exploded bombarding Charleston in 1863. The State of South Carolina has yet to find any remains of the man-made island in the swamp but a marker is where it probably was.


Morris Island (vicinity), South Carolina. The “Marsh Battery” or “Swamp Angel” after the explosion, August 22, 1863 – Library of Congress link.

A simple search brings other “swamp angel” photos some have nothing whatever to do with it, i.e., a “Swamp Angel Bulletin” which shows the beginning of advertisement on the outside of buildings “Store on corner of city block is completely covered with advertisements” others appear wrong. Compare, however, the plaque on the public display:

The “Swamp Angel”: Cadwallader Park, Trenton, New Jersey

and the Wikipedia entry on the Parrott rifle (“Swamp Angel” section) and you will see there seems to be a disagreement on the facts of that event in 1863 in the number of shells before the gun became inoperable. It also explains that it was the “First” so the Library of Congress photos are of other(s) that followed.

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