Signal lantern from Hunley sub restored

A photo of the Hunley submarine.
A photo of the Hunley submarine.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - 1 of the most intriguing artifacts from the Confederate submarine Hunley has been restored.

Scientists have conserved the small lantern used to signal from the sub in 1864 after it sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston Harbor.

The hand-cranked Hunley was raised from the Atlantic 12 years ago. It was the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.

It has taken several years to restore the tinplated lantern.

Both Union and Confederate accounts mention a blue light seen after the engagement. But the Hunley itself sank before it could return from its mission.

Scientists say the lantern is clear. They wonder if some sort of blue coating may have been corroded from the lens during the years the Hunley sat buried at sea.

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