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Examination and Treatment Report for a Carpenter & Co. Lock Found at SERC: Museum Conservation Institute #6955

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posted on 2021-10-20, 11:51 authored by Carol A. Grissom, E. Keats Webb, Thomas Lam
An aged and heavily corroded horizontal iron rim lock for the left side of a door was examined at the request of the director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). The lock was reportedly found by a contractor on SERC’s property during renovation, and the iron corrosion is typical of exposure to the elements. It was anticipated that the lock would date from the time of the oldest part of the Sellman/Kirkpatrick-Howat house constructed in 1735 or its Greek Revival enlargement in 1841. Examination of the lock included x-radiography. A recommendation was made to not conduct further conservation treatment, such as removal of iron corrosion, because it would threaten the structural integrity of the object. Instead it was advised that the lock be exhibited in a case with conditioned silica gel and regularly monitored, which should keep it in stable condition.


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Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center