We always have new and interesting items come through our store and museum. At times the items need restoration and that is where I come in.
One of the items that we recently received was a World War One German Minenwerfer (literally "mine thrower") but it basically acts as a mortar. A mortar was a device to lob a shell high into the air at an angle so it could hit the enemy trenches. This Minenwerfer was designed by the Germans in World War One for use against the Allied forces. The interesting thing about ours was that it was adapted later in the war so that it could be used against tanks which were first deployed by British forces in September of 1915.
Our Minenwerfer was brought home by American Forces after the war ended and was deactivated and used as a display piece in a museum until it closed. We purchased it just recently after it sat outdoor for years in the elements. We are currently in the process of removing all the rust and cleaning the piece so that it can be painted and placed into our museum to be a part of the World War One trench display.
One major issue which we could not restore in-house are the wheels. Originally it had wood spoke wheels similar to wagon wheels. Unfortunately those rotted away years ago and someone used metal pipe as the spokes. We removed the pipe and sent the remaining parts off to have the wood spokes made and installed into the wheels so we could have an accurate display. We always try our hardest to create displays in our museum to represent the period as correctly as possible so we have painted the Minenwerfer to match original photos and existing un-restored originals.
Please take a look at the photos I have posted, one period picture and a before restoration and it in its current state. The weird pattern on it was the style of World War One German camouflage, which was intended to break up the silouette of the mortar. Please come check out our museum. We will announce when the restoration is complete and it is placed in the museum.