Lighthouse Day and International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend are both celebrated in August. These events promote public awareness of the role that lighthouses and lightships have played in providing safety for boats and ships at sea.
Lighthouses have been used for hundreds of years. They are becoming less and less important these days with the advances in GPS and radar systems although there are some still active.
Nevertheless, these beacons should be preserved and cherished. Like castles, they should remain present and fixed in the landscape.
Before ports were clearly defined, sailors were guided by fires atop hills.
Early lighthouses functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for reefs and headlands, unlike many modern lighthouses.
The most famous lighthouse structure from antiquity was the Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt which was destroyed by an earthquake.
The English Channel was a major ship hazard for mariners; its first lighthouse was built in 1696 and it was the first in the world to be fully exposed to the open sea (prior to this, they were built upon hilltops).
The first lighthouse to successfully use electric light was the South Foreland in Dover, U.K. in 1901.
Before electricity, the fuel used to light the lighthouse lamp was whale oil.
Whale oil was replaced by gas lamps when a Swiss engineer Gustav Dalén invented Agamassan (AGA). The gaslamp was six times brighter than traditional oil lights.
Lighthouse keepers started to become obsolete with the advent of electric light. Canada is one of few countries where they still maintain more than 50 staffed lighthouses.
The world’s oldest working lighthouse, La Coruna, stands at the northwest tip of Spain. The Romans built it early in the second century A.D. It is called the Tower of Hercules.
The first lighthouse on the west coast of the U.S. was Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, completed in 1854.
Cape Byron Lighthouse, built in 1901 is the last of the great 19th century Victorian era lighthouses. It is constructed from concrete blocks and stands on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland.
Never miss the opportunity to sing and reminisce. Ask clients if they remember the songs and what were they doing when theses songs were popular.
Candle on the Water – Sung by Helen Reddy on the Walt Disney film Pete’s Dragon. In 1977 the song was nominated for the Academy Award for ‘Best Song’ (it lost to You Light Up My Life.)
I Want to marry a Lighthouse Keeper – Sung by Erica Eigen and part of the soundtrack of the movie A Clockwork Orange in 1971.
Enjoy the attached lighthouse themed word search!