In 1630 eleven ships came into Boston harbor, landing emigrants at Salem and Charleston. Up to that time it was the largest fleet of vessels ever seen in an American harbor. In those years Massachusetts was described by enthusiastic voyagers from England as the garden spot of the New England coast.
Though 412 years is a very respectable age in itself, the present Branderis tower, having survived more than 400 years of war, weather and politicians, is not the first one on the Dutch island of Terschelling. Documentation in 1323, states that the Dutch town of Kampen and the council of Terschelling signed an agreement to construct a seamark. In those days Kampen, member of the Hansa (a trading group known as the Hanseatic League) was an important trade town at the Zuiderzee (South Sea).
Brant Point Lighthouse, marking the entrance to the harbor of Nantucket, on the island of the same name, and the second oldest light station in the State of Massachusetts, as well as in the United States, is unique among United States lighthouses in several respects. It was the first and also among the very few lighthouses erected and maintained at the expense of a township. Probably no other light in this country has been shown from so many different structures, or has been moved about so much, for no less than seven successive lighthouses have been built on Brant Point.
Bridgeport's first aid to navigation was established in 1806, when Congress appropriated $1,000 to construct an unlighted beacon at the entrance to the harbor. It was an iron spindle surmounted with a cage and often had to be replaced after being destroyed by storms or ice floes. In the 1820s, steamboat service was established between Bridgeport, CT and other ports along Long Island Sound. In those early years, cargo consisted primarily of passengers and oysters harvested from the harbor.
This is the story of a brilliant engineer who created some of the most interesting lighthouse equipment ever developed. His designs would be both praised and maligned and would lead to jealousy, conflict, prejudice, plagiarism, and the ultimate resignation of one of the leading scientists of the day. Part Two will appear in the next issue of The Keeper's Log.
In the last issue of The Keeper's Log [Volume XXIII, No 2] you read about the brilliant and innovative designs of John Wigham, and yet why is it that you probably have never heard of him before? Have you known of gas being used to illuminate lighthouses? Perhaps you didn't know gas was ever used in any significant way. Have you heard of the Wigham group-flashing lamp? Why did John Hopkinson get all the credit for its equivalent, the group-flashing lens? Have you heard of Wigham's bi-form, tri-form and quadri-form lenses?
This is the story of the Browns Point Lighthouse, which marks the hazardous shoal and north entrance to Tacoma’s Commencement Bay. This lighthouse is one of the lesser-known lights of Puget Sound, and yet it has a history that we think you will find interesting.
For millions of Americans it marked a gateway to the future – a beacon on an inland sea that served as a highway to a continent's heartlands and the promise of new life in a new world.
Ka'ula Rock Light was one of the most difficult and dangerous navigational aids to erect in the Hawaiian Islands. Sharks, birds, fierce winds, hazardous seas, and treacherous terrain combined with legends and ancient religious relics create the setting for this now defunct beacon.
At just past noon on June 2, 1884, the Light-House Service tender, the schooner Pharos, anchored near the channel buoy off the bar at Mosquito Inlet, today known as Ponce De Leon Inlet, just south of Daytona Beach, Florida. From the rail of the vessel, forty-nine-year-old General Orville E. Babcock gazed at the spit of land to the west, shimmering under the high, hot summer sun.