Okay, I used to live in Norfolk, so this may more info than you want, but let’s rock the local advantage. Booyah.
Nomenclature (I really wanted to use that word today, thank you) can be really confusing. Locals use both “Hampton Roads” and “Tidewater” to refer to the area as a whole. Hampton Roads is the body of water involved in this episode and the municipal area made of a chunk curved around that water:
- Virginia: Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Poquoson, and the delightfully named Willoughby Spit (which needs to be a Smollop)
- North Carolina: Kill Devil Hills, Elizabeth City
And, thanks to this Dollop’s event, Hampton Roads’ residents may drive across the water of HR (read: suffer in traffic read: why we moved to the mountains) on the Monitor-Merrimack Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (built 1992).
Con: It never seems to be empty. Always the opposite of empty.
Battle of Hampton Roads = Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack = Battle of Ironclads
I prefer Ironclads myself, because it can go either way: swing all the way to Transformers, or back all the way in the other direction to some jacked-up steampunk Vikings I lost everyone there didn’t I?
Gosport Shipyard => now Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and it is huuuuuge
John (born Johan) Ericcson, Sweden to America (1803-1889), amazing inventor and mechanical engineer
Lincoln’s Navy: The Ships, Man and Organization, 1861-65, by Donald L. Canney
The Man Who Made the Monitor: A Biography of John Ericsson, Naval Engineer, by Olav Thulesius
The Monitor was found on the ocean floor 111 years after sinking, located in 1973:
upside down 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (part of the Barrier Islands, think Blackbeard, the pirate; right below the North Carolina portion of the Hampton Roads waterway), about 240 feet deep.
She was declared a National Marine Sanctuary, the first shipwreck to be so.
The turret and its two Dahlgren guns have been recovered and are in the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. They were submerged in special tanks over a ten-year period to stabilize the metal–
who knew inanimate objects could get the bends?
–and the changing of the fluid is being done again this week, and can be viewed online or in person. Check it out, very cool:
There’s also a full-scale model of the Monitor. Do I have a picture of said model? Yessir. I love pictures. You know that, silly persons. Just keep scrolling.
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 236060
Even better picture: July 9, 1862, after the Battle of Hamptom Roads:
Thunder at Hampton Roads, by A. A. Hoehling (about both the battle and the discovery and recovery)
Sleater-Kinney wrote a song about the Battle of Hampton Roads: “Ironclad”, on All Hands on the Bad One (2000).
The book The Virginia by Winston Brady, based on the Battle of Hampton Roads, depicts Captain(s) Franklin Buchanan and John Worden as tragic heroes who are injured during the battle as a punishment for their over-confidence created by the powerful, nigh-indestructible ships they commanded.
Hubris? Then karma? For a supposedly indestructible ship? Hmmmm, that sounds familiar…
Bands from this episode:
- Dry Dock
- Turtle Ship
- Torpedo Toilet
- The Asylum
- RichBrits (first single: “Brexit” (too soon?))
- Propellor Patent
Cultural references from this episode:
- The Muppet Babies
- The Little Engine That Could (I heard you, Gareth, digital fistbump)
- Mary Poppins
- Phantom of the Opera
- Ali and Frazier
- The Beach Boys
- The Goonies