Archiver > LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS > 2007-11 > 1195954875

From: Kathi Jones-Hudson <>
Subject: Re: [LDR] Chaplain's Chapel Cemetery
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 17:41:15 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <004a01c82f0b$dd4e48a0$6401a8c0@ec.rr.com>


There is a lot of disagreement about shaving cream on
tombstones, some folks think its' fine, others -
including Association for Gravestone Studies and many
professional conservators - say it is harmful.

Emolients and other ingredients in shaving cream can
get into the pores of the stone (remember stone is
alive) and prevent it from breathing which eventually
will cause it to show signs of efflorescence, white
streaks like you see in sidewalks. Shaving cream
changes the natural ph balance of the stone.

Professionals say NO to shaving cream, bleach, chalk,
Tide and all other household detergents. They also are
now discouraging rubbing and some states now prohibit
rubbing in colonial era cemeteries.

One thing to do is to take aluminum foil, lightly wrap
it over the stone and with a soft brush work it into
the lines of the inscription. You'll have something
similar to a rubbing where you can maybe read the
writing a bit more.

Ineffective or no rinsing is one reason why all of the
commercial products people use on tombstones are
discouraged by the professional conservators. You need
a source of running water, which is rarely available
in small old cemeteries. And you need to rinse and
clean from the bottom up to prevent streaking.

One friend who has done lots of tombstone
transcriptions rinses off stones and photographs them
while they are wet. Sometimes this gives a much better
view of the writing.

Kathi Jones-Hudson
MD Tombstone Transcription Project Manager

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