Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2015

From the Lighthouse Service Bulletin

US Dept of Commerce

By Jack Graham


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This column continues to provide excerpts that have been compiled by Jack Graham from the “Lighthouse Service Bulletin,” a monthly publication of the Bureau of Lighthouses, U.S. Department of Commerce. The first was issued in January 1912. Verbatim quotes from Issue Number 17, May 1913, follow. The Bulletin had as it object “supplying information that will be immediately useful in maintaining or improving the standards of the Lighthouse Service, and of keeping the personnel advised of the progress of work and matters of general interest in the service and in lighthouse work in general.”

Vessels – The overhaul and repair of the following vessels has been completed: Light Vessel No. 97; tenders Daisy, Hyacinth, John Rodgers, Lilac, Oleander, and Sumac. The following vessels are being overhauled and repaired: Light Vessels Nos. 48, 49, 52, 58, 68, 73, 88, 90, 93, and 94; and tenders Clover, Crocus, Cypress, Myrtle, Manzanita, Columbine, Pansy, Marigold, Amaranth, and Mangrove. The tender Woodbine is under construction.

Use of Smoked Glasses In Attending High-Power Lights – The intensity of high-power lights is injurious to the eyes of the operator. Keepers and others when attending and regulating lights of this character should wear blue or smoked glasses at all times.

American-Made Lenses - Until recently it has been necessary to procure all the cut-glass lenses used in the Lighthouse Service from either France, England, or Germany, most of them coming from France. The making of a light-house lens has hitherto been largely a matter of manual labor, and as labor abroad is cheaper than in this country, the American manufacturers have declined to compete with foreign makers. Recently the matter has been taken up with an American firm of glass manufacturers with the idea of ascertaining if a better lens could not be made in this country than abroad by using some modern manufacturing methods. The first lenses made were 187.5 mm radius, or what is known as a fifth-order, and they were so successfully made that there are now being manufactured a number of fourth-order fixed and flashing lenses.

Reinforced Concrete Beacon Tower, Off Alexandria Egypt - The entrance to the outer harbor at Alexandria, Egypt, is protected by a reinforced concrete beacon located 1.5 miles from the nearest coast line and about 3.5 miles from the port itself. . . . . It replaced a steel beacon destroyed in the severe storm of February 1911. The structure was made in two parts, an irregular 7-sided substructure and a regular octagonal superstructure, both pyramidal. . . . . The whole structure weighs 1700 tons .

Radio Time Signals and Notices To Mariners - The United States Naval Radio Station at Arlington, VA., is now sending time signals at noon and 10 p.m. each day on a wave length of 2,500 meters, which will be followed by hydrographic information concerning obstructions along the Atlantic coast, important emergency information regarding aids to navigation, and weather reports and storm warnings.

Saving of Life and Property - On March 30, Alfred A. Howard, keeper of Stage Harbor Light Station, Mass., rescued from probable drowning a man on an overturned dory, brought him to the station, and furnished him food and dry clothing.

At about 12:30 on the morning of April 15, Charles H. Pertner, mate, and John T. Tolson, seaman, on Bush Bluff Light Vessel, VA., rescued from drowning a party of seven men who had abandoned a burning launch.

On April 15, Thomas Knight, keeper of Hillsboro Inlet Light Station, Fla., brought to the light station and kept over- night the crew of the disabled schooner Alice Holbrook.

On April 15, the tender Hibiscus pulled the schooner Harold C. Beecher off a ledge, where she was pounding heavily and towed the vessel to Rockland, ME.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2015 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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