SAN ANTONIO – Today the Alamo welcomes the return of two historic cannons used during the 1836 Siege and Battle of the Alamo back to the Alamo grounds. The battle cannons revealed some surprising secrets during their conservation at the Texas A&M Conservation Research Lab in College Station, Texas. The cannons were sent to the lab in October as part of a larger effort to preserve all seven of the Alamo’s 1836 Battle Cannons, and returned with several exciting new discoveries about their origins.
While at the Texas A&M Lab, the two cannons – known as the Rio Grande Cannon and the Spanish Cannon – underwent a thorough conservation process to ensure they remain in great shape on the Alamo grounds for generations to come. The process included electrolytic reduction to remove numerous layers of paint and corrosion products, followed by a series of boiling reverse-osmosis water baths to remove residual chemicals. After that, tannic acid and polyurethane sealant were applied to the cannons to make the iron corrosion-resistant and to form a water- and oxygen-resistant barrier.
“The Alamo cannons have been exposed to the elements for many years, and were in need of a good cleaning and stabilization,” said Lab Manager Jim Jobling. “We were thrilled to be asked to be part of this special effort to preserve the 1836 Alamo Battle Cannons for future generations of Texans.”
Jim’s team at the lab has cleaned and conserved thousands of artifacts over the past 39 years, and were hopeful they could uncover information…