Historical Lighthouse Videos

One of the Society's missions is to develop and maintain a research library dedicated to the history of lighthouses, the U.S. Lighthouse Service, Life Saving Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the collections of books we have are called Light Lists. If you are not familiar with Light Lists, they were on every ship at one time and it is what the sailors used to identify lighthouses by. Without instructions, however, you would never know how to use these books that are now out of date (except for Coast Guard Pilots). In this regard, we found a great two part film broadcast originally in 1943 demonstrating how to use light lists and actually navigate with their help (location - Chesapeake Bay). It's a little dry, but interesting nevertheless and you gain a better understanding of how important lighthouses were as navigational aids. You gain a great appreciation for GPS after watching these films!


This video is a slideshow of historic images depicting the construction of the Breakwater in San Pedro Bay, CA and the Angels Gate Lighthouse at the end of that breakwater, which marks the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles. It's... a great compilation of historic images with a few later photos from 2009. The Angel's Gate Lighthouse is in the final stages of a $1.8 million renovation project with many entities cooperating in the effort. Angel's Gate is an endangered species, representing one of the few art deco style lighthouses remaining in the U.S.


Here are some great videos from the website British Pathe.

Wolf Rock: The World's Loneliest Christmas 1950
An incredible historic film showing the use of a type of breeches bouy and other equipment

Copter Aids Lighthouse AKA Helicopter Aids… 1959
Here is another amazing clip from Brittany, France taken at Ushant Island. It's depicts how important helicopters are for offshore light maintenance . . . but don't fall over the side of the landing pad and hold on while climbing down that ladder on the exterior of the tower!

Lighthouse Story Video
Clip from a film depicting work at the Dungeness Lighthouse in Kent, England, 1958. Interesting because it shows operation of now defunct equipment, Fresnel lens manufacturing, etc. Worth a look.

Twilight Of The Beacons 1939
Here is a great news clip from 1939, which marks the year the U.S. Coast Guard took over the U.S. Lighthouse Service . . . from the British perspective.

HAZARDS OF THE SEA - Overdue relief for a Brittany Lighthouse
Small harbour with men boarding a boat to go to a lighthouse and change with lighthouse crew - change is a month late due to storms.


Here is a nice video about the Chance Brothers history


Here is a little bit of history about Trinity House, made in 1941