At the Commonwealth Conservation Center In Carlisle, Pa., work has begun to restore an 18th-century fog signal cannon that is expected to be one of the oldest artifacts on display at the future National Coast Guard Museum in New London.
For years the cannon was fired at regular intervals during times of poor visibility to steer ships clear of the shoals and rocks around Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association, the group responsible for curating the items that will fill the interior of the 800,000-square-foot museum, hosted a behind-the-scenes look at the cannon and the start of the restoration process in a Facebook live event on Thursday.
The restoration work is being performed by B.R. Howard & Associates Conservation, whose workers on Thursday hoisted the cannon, which looks like a piece of heavy artillery and probably once was a naval cannon, from its wooden cradle and onto a custom metal platform for better maneuverability.
Boston Light was built in 1716 and a cannon installed there in 1719. National Coast Guard Museum curator Gabe Christy said while the cannon being restored is not the original cannon, it likely dates back to the mid-18th century and is an important part of maritime history. Boston Light was mostly destroyed in the Revolutionary War and rebuilt in 1776.
The fog cannon hasn't been used since the mid-1800s and was sent to…