Synopses & Reviews
American lighthouses are cherished by countless individuals who treasure our nation's history and look to lighthouses as tributes to the indomitable spirit. This unique pictorial chronicle brings to life nearly a century of American lighthouse history with hundreds of archival photographs, many of them never before published. The Golden Age of American Lighthouses tells the often dramatic story of U.S. lighthouses from approximately the middle of the nineteenth century until shortly before World War II, an era than many consider the golden age of American lighthouses.Giant brick towers, sturdy cast-iron cylinders, and open-water "spark-plug" towers that most people associate with lighthouses began to be built during this period. The majority of America's most beautiful and beloved lighthouses date from this time.This book is filled with vintage black-and-white views of classic towers such as those at Boston Harbor, Cape Hatteras, and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. It also focuses on the work life and day-to-day existence of lighthouse keepers and their families. Many images of key lighthouse personalities and old-time keepers and their home life are reproduced here.If you are a lighthouse buff, or if you enjoy revisiting our country's history, The Golden Age of American Lighthouses will be a rewarding and enlightening window to the past. (8 1/2 x 11, 176 pages, b&w photos, illustrations)
Rare archival photography and insightful commentary transport readers back in time to the most interesting and important era in the history of American light towers.
This unique pictorial chronicle brings to life nearly a century of American lighthouse history with hundreds of archival photographs, many of them never before published. It tells the often dramatic story of the U.S. Lighthouse Service from approximately 1850 until 1939, an era that could be considered the Golden Age of American lights.
In 1850 the U.S. government launched a modernization drive that eventually introduced Fresnels lenses -- now considered classic -- to nearly every light station in America. About that same time the giant brick towers and sturdy, cast-iron cylinders or open-water "spark-plug" towers that we associate with the lighthouse Golden Age began to be built. The majority of America's most beautiful and beloved lighthouses date from this period.
Readers are familiar with their favorite lighthouses as they look today but not as they appeared 50, 100, or even 150 years ago. The Golden Age of American Lighthouses is filled with vintage black-and-white views of classic towers such as those at Boston Harbor, Cape Hatteras, St. Augustine, Point Loma near San Diego, and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. It also focuses on the work life and day-to-day existence of lighthouse keepers and their families. Many portraits of old-time keepers and key lighthouse personalities are also included.
About the Author
is the publisher and editor of Lighthouses Digest
magazine and president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. He has been active in the restoration of several American and Canadian lighthouses. He lives in Wells, Maine.
Ray Jones has written or co-written numerous books about lighthouses. Previously he was founding editor of Albuquerque Living magazine, writing coach at Southern Living magazine, and founding publisher of Country Roads Press. He lives in Pebble Beach, California.
Table of Contents
(1) Introduction (2) Rogues and Heroes: Key personalities of lighthouse history (2) Stone Giants and Iron Midgets: Early views of light towers (3) Focusing the Lights: Fresnels and other lighthouse equiptment (4) Career Keepers: Images of old-time keepers (5) Life at the Lights: Candid shots of family life at light stations (6) Surviving the Worst: Stories of keepers who survived calamity (7) Death at the Door: Tales of those who did not survive