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25 Lighthouses From Around The World

Come discover and learn about lighthouses across the globe. Exploring the uniqueness of the different shapes and sizes of these spectacular monuments. They were built to aid for navigation and guidance for the ships throughout history. These Lighthouses are beautiful pieces of art surrounded by the water and landscape.

The first Lighthouse in America was the Boston Light, built in 1716 at Boston Harbor. Lighthouses were soon built along the marshy coastlines from Delaware to North Carolina, where navigation was difficult and treacherous. Lighthouses were generally made of wood, as it was readily available. After the Civil War, screw pile Lighthouses became popular and around 100 of these complex structures were built on the Atlantic coastline from the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays down to the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. Few survive to this day, many were replaced with caisson-type Lighthouses.

The source of illumination has generally been wood pyres or burning coal, but this was expensive, some Lighthouses consuming 400 tons of coal a year. The Argand lamp, invented in 1782 by the Swiss scientist, Aime Argand, revolutionized Lighthouse illumination with its steady smokeless flame which became the standard for Lighthouses for over a century. The first Fresnel lens was used in 1823 in the Cordouan Lighthouse at the mouth of the Gironde estuary; its light could be seen from more than 20 miles out. French physicist and engineer Augustin-Jean Fresnel invention increased the luminosity of the Lighthouse lamp by a factor of 4 and his system is still in common use.

There is a shield on the outer glass that surrounds the Light and the purpose of this shield is to protect the land behind the Lighthouse from the light because of the intensity of the light, it could disrupt the ecosystem and the light is so magnified at such a high level that in dry areas it could cause forest fires.

The history of the Lighthouse keeper is that they had to do all the repairs of the Lighthouse, cleaning of the lenses and making sure the wicks were constantly lit. They were referred to as “wickies”. They could be there for a month at a time with no relief. Very demanding and important work. If that light went out, ships could go into rocks or be destroyed. Even during bad weather, the Lighthouse Keeper’s job was to be charting the boats safely as they sailed by.

The last slide will show you the power of nature in action.