Digest>Archives> August 2008

Little Known About Sister Service Surfman


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In is fairly common to come across old photos of members of the United States Life Saving Service that do not have a name written on them. Those photos go through history as unknown people, seemingly lost in time.

However, this old image taken by photographer E. F. Cooper of Newport, Rhode Island identified the man as Arthur Palmer. If any of our readers can tell us more about this man, we would appreciate hearing from you.

The United States Life Saving Service was considered the sister organization to the United States Lighthouse House Service. Life Saving Stations were often, but not always, built near lighthouses. It was not uncommon for lighthouse keepers and life-saving station keepers, and surfmen, to become close friends with each other.

In 1915 the United States Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Life Saving Service were merged together to create the newly formed United States Coast Guard. In 1939 the Lighthouse Service was dissolved and also merged into the Coast Guard.

Arthur Palmer was most likely stationed at the Prices Neck Life Saving Station in Newport, RI. Photograph courtesy of Judi Kearney.

This story appeared in the August 2008 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.

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