BT Arise II - шаблон joomla Продвижение

Lighthouses

The first navigational lights in the New World were probably lanterns hung at harbor entrances. The first lighthouse was put up by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1716 on Little Brewster Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor. Paid for and maintained by "light dues" levied on ships, the original beacon was blown up in 1776. By then there were only a dozen or so true lighthouses in the colonies. Little over a century later, there were 700 lighthouses.

The first light erected on the West Coast in the 1850's featured the same basic New England design: a Cape Cod dwelling with the tower rising from the center or standing close by. In New England and elsewhere, though, lighthouses reflected a variety of architectural styles. Since most stations in the Northeast were built on rocky eminences, enormous towers were not the rule. Some were made of stone and brick, others of wood or metal. Some stood on pilings or stilts; some were fastened to rock with iron rods. Farther south, from Maryland through the Florida Keys, the coast was low and sandy. It was often necessary to build tall towers there - massive structures like the majestic Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, lighthouse, which was lit in 1870. At 190 feet, it is the tallest brick lighthouse in the country.

Notwithstanding differences in appearance and construction, most American lighthouses shared several features: a light, living quarters and sometimes a bell (or later, a foghorn).They also had something else in common: a keeper and, usually, the keeper's family. The keeper's essential task was trimming the lantern wick in order to maintain a steady, bright flame. The earliest keepers came from every walk of life - they were seamen, farmers, mechanics, and rough mill hands - and appointments were often handed out by local customs commissioners as political plums. After the administration of lighthouses was taken over in 1852 by the United States Lighthouse Board, an agency of the Treasury Department, the keeper corps gradually became highly professional.