The American Lighthouse System
lighthouse in the British colonies was built in 1716 on Little
Brewster Island in Boston Harbor and lasted until British troops
destroyed it in 1776. Elsewhere
in the colonies, local municipalities were reluctant to fund
lighthouse projects because only merchants profited.
Federal funding and control began in 1789, when a
mediocre system was initiated.
lighting was revolutionized around the world in 1822 when
Augustine Fresnel, (fray-nell), created a lens
which concentrated and amplified candlepower.
The United States would not implement this expensive
lighting system until 1852 when Congress created the United
States Lighthouse Service, (USLHS).
In a very short time the USLHS modernized existing
lighthouses and created many more navigational aids throughout
the United States.
lighthouse organization was created in 1910 that took control of
the existing system. This
bureau, which had no military influence, lasted until 1939 when
the Re-organization Act gave the Coast Guard jurisdiction over
this period of 200 years, lighthouses and aids to navigation saw
technology transform their manufacturing materials from wood to
brick to iron, while new technologies in lighting rendered the
Fresnel lens obsolete. Although
Satellites and GPS systems help sea travelers today avoid the
many hazards of the American coast, lighthouses and other aids
to navigation are still vital for a safe journey.
OF NAVIGATIONAL AIDS
Vessels and Equipment
American Lighthouse System
Key and Jacob Housman
People in the Industry