Lighthouses and Lightships A Descriptive and Historical Account of Their Mode of Construction and Organization
A DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THEIR MODE OF CONSTRUCTION AND ORGANIZATION.
W. H. DAVENPORT ADAMS,
AUTHOR OF “BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA,” “QUEEN OF THE ADRIATIC,” “EARTH AND SEA,” ETC.
With Illustrations from Photographs and other sources.
CHARLES SCRIBNER AND CO.
Illustrated Library of Wonders.
Messrs. Charles Scribner & Co.,
654 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.
Each one volume 12mo. Price per volume, $1.50.
|Titles of Books.||No. of Illustrations|
|Thunder and Lightning,||39|
|Wonders of Optics,||70|
|Wonders of Heat,||90|
|Intelligence of Animals,||54|
|Egypt 3,300 Years Ago,||40|
|Wonders of Pompeii,||22|
|The Sun, by A. Guillemin,||58|
|Sublime in Nature,||50|
|Wonders of Glass-Making,||63|
|Wonders of Italian Art,||28|
|Wonders of the Human Body,||45|
|Wonders of Architecture,||58|
|Lighthouses and Lightships,||60|
|*||Bottom of the Ocean,||68|
|*||Wonders of Bodily Strength and Skill,||70|
|*||Wonderful Balloon Ascents,||30|
|*||Wonders of the Heavens,||48|
|*||The Moon, by A. Guillemin,||60|
|*||Wonders of Sculpture,||61|
|*||Wonders of Engraving,||32|
|*||Wonders of Vegetation,||45|
|*||Wonders of the Invisible World,||97|
* In Press for early Publication.
The above works sent to any address, post paid, upon receipt of the price by thepublishers.
The importance of the Lighthouse system whichprotects our seamen against the numerousdangers and difficulties of the British shoresis fully appreciated by every Englishman.But it may reasonably be doubted whether the generalpublic have any correct idea of its completeness, of the administrativeprinciples which regulate its management, orof the steps by which it has attained its present development.They know but little, moreover, of the engineeringskill which has been so successfully exercised in theconstruction of Lighthouses, or of the scientific knowledgewhich has been brought to bear upon the perfection of theirilluminating apparatus. It may safely be said, that for alarge number of readers, the alpha of their information, onthis subject, is the Eddystone, and their omega the BellRock.
If such be the case, it may be presumed that the presentvolume will be accepted as an honest attempt to supply anadmitted deficiency. It is based on the best authorities,and its pages have been revised by competent critics. Itsaim is to furnish in a popular and intelligible form adescription of the Lighthouse as it is and as it was—of therude Roman pharos or old sea-tower, with its flickeringfire of wood or coal, and the modern pharos, shapely andyet substantial, with its powerful illuminating apparatusof lamp and lenses, shining ten, or twelve, or twenty milesacross the waves. The gradual improvement of thisapparatus is concisely indicated. Sketches are furnishedof the most remarkable Lighthouses in Great Britain andFrance, and a detailed account is given of the mode of lifeof their keepers, with full particulars of the administrativesystems adopted at home and abroad. As auxiliaries inthe noble work of guarding the seaman against the perilsof rock and shoal, the Lightship, the Buoy, and the Beacon,have also found a place in our pages; and the volumecloses with a list of all the Lights existing on the coasts ofEngland, Scotland, and Ireland at the present time.
In my description of the French Lighthouses I have beenmuch indebted to M. Renard’s book, “Les Phares.” Theinformation given respecting British Lighthouses has beendrawn from a variety of sources, the more important ofwhich are duly acknowledged. I have also derived manyparticulars from personal examination; and some interestingdata and corrections have been supplied by Mr.Thomas Stevenson, the Engineer to the Board of NorthernLights, and the worthy member of a family long associatedwith lighthouse engineering.
The Illustrations are from photographs, unpublishedsketches, and other authentic originals. Those of theFrench Lighthouses are copied, by permission, from M.Renard.
W. H. Davenport Adams.
ANCIENT HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSES.
|I.||The Fire-towers of the Mediterranean,||9|
|II.||The Pharos of Alexandria,||17|
|III.||The “Tour d’Ordre” of Boulogne,||30|
|IV.||The Tower at Dover,||38|
|V.||The Colossus of Rhodes,||43|
THE SCIENCE OF LIGHTHOUSES.
|I.||How they are Administered,||49|
|II.||Geographical Distribution of Lighthouses,||62|
|III.||The Illuminating Apparatus of Lighthouses,||68|
|IV.||The Interior of a Lighthouse,||95|
LIGHTHOUSES OF GREAT BRITAIN.
|I.||The Story of the Eddystone: A. D. 1696, 1706, 1759,||108|
|II.||The Smalls Lighthouse,||133|
|III.||The Bell Rock, A. D. 1807–1811,||139|
|IV.||The Skerryvore Lighthouse,||171|
|V.||North Unst, 1854.—Sunderland, 1841,||181|
|VI.||Lighthouses on the English Coast,||180|
LIGHTHOUSES IN FRANCE.
|I.||The Tour de Cordouan,||212|
|II.||The Lighthouses of Cape La Hève,||224|
|III.||The Lighthouse of the Héaux of Bréhat,||233|
|IV.||The Grand Barge d’Olonne, A. D. 1861,||245|
|V.||The Lighthouses of Walde, the Enfant Perdu, and New Caledonia,A. D. 1859—1863—1865,||249|
THE AUXILIARIES OF LIGHTHOUSES.
|I.||Floating Lights: Lightships,||253|
|II.||Landmarks, Beacons, and Buoys,||264|
LIFE IN THE LIGHTHOUSE.
|I.||A List of Lights on the British and Irish Coasts,||289|
|II.||A Night in a Lightship,||312|
ANCIENT HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSES.
We are apt to look upon the lighthouse ascompletely a modern invention, but a littlereflection would convince us that the earlynavigators, in their arduous struggle againstthe ocean, could not have failed to establish some sureindications by which to guide their adventurous course.Undoubtedly, the first rude signal would be no morethan a huge fire blazing on the wave-washed promontory,or on the summit of hoary hill or grassy mound nearestto the more dangerous parts of the shore. But it caneasily be conceived that the difficulty of keeping thesefires kindled on stormy nights would soon suggest toman’s ingenuity the idea of erecting a suitable structurefor their shelter.
The value of this kind of coast defences was so apparent,that the ancients felt unable to ascribe them to simplehuman invention. And thus the Greeks attributed theirorigin to the demigod Hercules. But there seems somereason to believe that, long before Greece became a maritimenation, light-towers had been built by the Lybiansand the Cuthites along the coast-line of Lower Egypt.These towers, we are told, served as landmarks duringthe day, as beacons during the night. Their purpose wasa holy one, and accordingly they were also used as temples,and each was dedicated to a divinity. The mariner, whonaturally held them in great veneration, enriched themwith his votive offerings. It has been conjectured bysome authorities that their walls at first were painted withcharts of the Mediterranean coast and of the navigation ofthe Nile; these charts being afterwards transferred topapyrus. The priests of these singular but valuable institutionstaught the sciences of hydrography and pilotage,and the art of steering a vessel’s course by the aid of theconstellations. On the summit of each tower a fire wascontinually burning; the fire being placed in a machineof iron or bronze, composed of three or four branches,each representing a dolphin or some other marine animal,and all bound together by skilful decorative work. Themachine was attached to the extremity of a stout pole,and so placed that its radiance was directed seaward.
According to the Baron de Zach, in his “CorrespondanceAstronomique,” the Lybian appellation for thesetowers was tar, or tor. As is signifies “fire,” we thusobtain the compound Tor-is, or “fire-tower;” whence theGreeks derived their τύῤῥις, and the Latins their turris.In like manner, the Latin columna comes, it is said, fromCol-On, the “pillar of the sun.”
Some authorities boldly carry this etymological diversiona little further. When the fire-towers were situatedupon eminences outside the boundaries of cities, and constructedof a circular form, they were called Tith. Themythological Tithonus, so celebrated for his longevity,seems, they assert, to have been one of these edifices dedicatedto the sun; and Thetis, the ancient ocean-goddess,simply a fire-tower near the sea, called Thit-is. Nor haveingenious theorists been wanting to maintain that themassacre of the Cyclops, who, according to the old legend,were stricken by Apollo’s arrows, was nothing but apoetical version of the manner in which the fires of theCyclopean towers, planted on the eastern coasts of Sicily,were extinguished by the rays of the rising sun.