About this project

Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society hired BRH to conserve an 18th century coach that was once owned by Jemima Wilkinson, a charismatic, Quaker, evangelist.


What we did

The vehicle was structurally stable, but in poor and fragile condition, having actively flaking paint and varnish layers. The iron surfaces found on the wheels, chassis, and body all exhibited signs of ongoing and active corrosion. Most observed damages appear to be the results of long-term exposure to the poor environmental conditions that existed in a previous storage area. The textile headliner was badly torn and held in position by modern nylon netting that had been stapled into the roof framework. The majority of the interior cushions and textiles sustained numerous tears, insect damage, and all surfaces were covered by a heavy layer of grime.

B.R. Howard packed and transported the coachee to our conservation facility where it was extensively photo documented and assessed. Paint samples were removed from the carriage body and chassis and prepared for microscopic cross-sectional analysis. Surfaces were cleaned using a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner and soft, natural fiber brushes. The painted surfaces were cleaned using various aqueous cleaning gels and solutions after testing was performed.  All active iron corrosion was chemically stabilized. Metal and painted surfaces were then coated in different clear reversible resins to protect and consolidate these areas. The interior textiles were cleaned and stabilized.