Other Historical Information
The Lighthouse Board was housed within the Treasury Department Building throughout its existance. The following drawings show the Treasury Department Building and the plans for its fourth and fifth floors where the LIghthouse Board was located.
These Instructions to Light Keepers may be downloaded as a PDF or you can download an audiobook through LibriVox. The Instructions were written for keepers of light stations and light vessels by the U.S. Light-House Board in July 1881.
Over the last 200 years various locations across the world have held local technology fairs as well as the much larger World's Fairs. We have collected data, drawings, and photographs from these fairs to show the participation of the lighthouse authorities and manufacturers. Listed below are the date and location of each fair and a drawing or photograph showing at least part of the lighthouse exhibit at the fair.
Since the establishment of the first lighthouse at Boston Harbor’s Little Brewster Island in 1716, lighthouses have needed supplies. Our first lighthouse keeper, George Worthylake, ferried his supplies to the Boston Lighthouse via rowboat. But as the service grew and the number of light stations increased, more than rowboats were needed. This is the story of the creation of the Lighthouse Depots across the country that supplied the needed materials and services to our growing Lighthouse Establishment.
Who's Lighthouse Bureau? Could these be the Confederates who smashed the lenses? The same fine folks who blew up towers? The Southern gentlemen who systematically destroyed what the Good Guys in the federal government had built?
The first colonial American aid to navigation, of which we have firm evidence, was the beacon erected at Nantasket (now Hull) Massachusetts in 1673. The beacon was a small stone tower erected at Point Allerton, a promontory guarding the south approach to Boston Harbor. The citizens of that community provided funds to furnish “fier-bales of pitch and ocum” in an iron basket surrounding the small beacon.
The following document is a chronology of the major technical events that occurred in lighthouse development throughout time, from the earliest entry of 1300 BC to the last recorded event of 1990.