Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2022

The 1876 Centennial Exposition


You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<

Shown here from an antique stereo-view card is a lighthouse that was on display at the Centennial Exposition that opened on May 10, 1876 in Philadelphia to celebrate America’s 100th Anniversary of Independence.

The government had planned for the building of two identical lighthouses, the first one was to become the new Ship John Shoal Lighthouse, near Fortesque, New Jersey. However, when the foundation for the Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, near New Haven, Connecticut, was unexpectedly completed early, the builder was instructed to ship the structure to the Southwest Ledge location. A short time later, when the builder completed the structure for Ship John Shoal Lighthouse, the government decided to have it shipped to Philadelphia where it would be assembled to go on display, as shown here, for the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

For the exposition, the Lighthouse Establishment assigned a full-time lighthouse keeper to live in the lighthouse where he could greet visitors to the exposition and talk to them about role of lighthouses and keepers.

Among the lighthouse exhibits were also displayed other lighthouse-related items, including a fog bell, fog horns, and a small lantern that included reflector lenses that were being replaced by Fresnel lenses, as can be seen in front of the structure in this stereo-view image.

When the exposition was over, the lighthouse was disassembled and shipped to its new location where it was reassembled as the Ship John Shoal Lighthouse in the Delaware Bay in New Jersey. After completion it was equipped with a 4th order Fresnel lens and lighted for the first time on August 10, 1877.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2022 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History