Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse

Author: Eric Jay Dolin

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 1631491539

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 1701

In a work rich in maritime lore and brimming with original historical detail, Eric Jay Dolin, the best-selling author of Leviathan, presents an epic history of American lighthouses, telling the story of America through the prism of its beloved coastal sentinels. Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system from its earliest days, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines. Beginning with "Boston Light," America’s first lighthouse, Dolin shows how the story of America, from colony to regional backwater, to fledging nation, and eventually to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses. Even in the colonial era, the question of how best to solve the collective problem of lighting our ports, reefs, and coasts through a patchwork of private interests and independent localities telegraphed the great American debate over federalism and the role of a centralized government. As the nation expanded, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so too did the coastlines in need of illumination, from New England to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast all the way to Alaska. In Dolin's hands we see how each of these beacons tell its own story of political squabbling, technological advancement, engineering marvel, and individual derring-do. In rollicking detail, Dolin treats readers to a memorable cast of characters, from the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country's efforts to adopt the revolutionary Fresnel lens, to the indomitable Katherine Walker, who presided so heroically over New York Harbor as keeper at Robbins Reef Lighthouse that she was hailed as a genuine New York City folk hero upon her death in 1931. He also animates American military history from the Revolution to the Civil War and presents tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, Civil War battles, ruthless egg collectors, and, most important, the lighthouse keepers themselves, men and women who often performed astonishing acts of heroism in carrying out their duties. In the modern world of GPS and satellite-monitored shipping lanes, Brilliant Beacons forms a poignant elegy for the bygone days of the lighthouse, a symbol of American ingenuity that served as both a warning and a sign of hope for generations of mariners; and it also shows how these sentinels have endured, retaining their vibrancy to the present day. Containing over 150 photographs and illustrations, Brilliant Beacons vividly reframes America's history.

A Short Bright Flash: Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse

Author: Theresa Levitt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393733947

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 8622

“Combin[es] matters of biography, science, engineering, technology, art, history, economics and politics seemingly effortlessly and definitely seamlessly. An excellent book and a joy to read.”—Henry Petroski, Wall Street Journal Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) shocked the scientific elite with his unique understanding of the physics of light. The lens he invented was a brilliant feat of engineering that made lighthouses blaze many times brighter, farther, and more efficiently. Battling the establishment, his own poor health, and the limited technology of the time, Fresnel was able to achieve his goal of illuminating the entire French coast. At first, the British sought to outdo the new Fresnel-equipped lighthouses as a matter of national pride. Americans, too, resisted abandoning their primitive lamps, but the superiority of the Fresnel lens could not be denied for long. Soon, from Dunkirk to Saigon, shores were brightened with it. The Fresnel legacy played an important role in geopolitical events, including the American Civil War. No sooner were Fresnel lenses finally installed along U.S. shores than they were drafted: the Union blockaded the Confederate coast; the Confederacy set about thwarting it by dismantling and hiding or destroying the powerful new lights. Levitt’s scientific and historical account, rich in anecdote and personality, brings to life the fascinating untold story of Augustin Fresnel and his powerful invention.

American Lighthouses

A Comprehensive Guide to Exploring Our National Coastal Treasures

Author: Ray Jones,Bruce Roberts,Cheryl Shelton-Roberts

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762786205

Category: Travel

Page: 368

View: 9340

A celebration of the great American lighthouses, their keepers, their histories, and their ongoing stories For more than two centuries, lighthouses have helped sailors find their way through treacherous waters, guiding them home or taking them safely through passages on their way to adventure. These historic towers and houses form a sparkling chain of lights along our coasts, a reminder of the past echoing with adventure and mystery, a lure for travelers looking for a glimpse into a romantic past. Completely revised and updated, American Lighthouses offers more than just a tour of 450 beautiful and historic navigational beacons dotting the coasts and lakes of the United States. This fully illustrated, one-of-a-kind handbook details their history and architecture and provides full information on visiting or viewing them. Included are many endangered lights, threatened by erosion or lack of funding, as well as “ghost lights,” which are no longer standing.

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Author: Eric Jay Dolin

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393066665

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 728

A Los Angeles Times Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007 A Boston Globe Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007 Amazon.com Editors pick as one of the 10 best history books of 2007 Winner of the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, given by the North American Society for Oceanic History "The best history of American whaling to come along in a generation." —Nathaniel Philbrick The epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales. "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme," Herman Melville proclaimed, and this absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. Eric Jay Dolin begins his vivid narrative with Captain John Smith's botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry—from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period to its golden age in the mid-1800s when a fleet of more than 700 ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world, to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.

The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses

History, Legend, Lore, Design, Technology, Romance

Author: Samuel Willard Crompton,Michael J. Rhein

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781592231027

Category: Architecture

Page: 352

View: 7852

The sheer beauty of the elegant, lonely lighthouses along our shores — and their unspoiled, scenic natural settings — has captivated our collective imagination. More than simply picturesque, the lighthouse has become an enduring symbol of salvation, fortitude, and heroic folklore. The Ultimate Lighthouse Book is a panoramic, lavishly illustrated history of these legendary buildings and celebrates the rich heritage of our ancestors’ courageous efforts to guide mariners through treacherous seas and storms. Over 200 color photographs are featured in this fully revised, expanded and updated edition.

Lighthouses of America

Author: Tom Beard

Publisher: Rizzoli Publications

ISBN: 1599621401

Category: Lighthouses

Page: 176

View: 4985

A spectacular collection of America's most iconic and stunning lighthouses. Through gorgeous photography, this book celebrates these unique and magnificent beacons and their history. The construction of lighthouses began as this new nation's first public-works project in 1789 and established the United States as a maritime world power by making ports safe for navigation. These structures--many still active and serving their original purpose even in the era of global positioning systems--are living museums, yet they often prove difficult to access for visitors due to their necessary remoteness. From Maine's West Quoddy Head on the easternmost headlands to the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the West Coast lighthouses from New Point Loma to New Dungeness and Michigan's Grand Haven Pier Lighthouse, the images here will delight both the armchair traveler and those who have taken the back roads or trekked across sandy beaches to visit these special and often artful buildings. This is a great gift for lovers of lighthouses, boaters, and those who live or dream of living on the seashore.

Sentinels of the Sea

A Miscellany of Lighthouses Past

Author: R. G. Grant

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 9780500519769

Category:

Page: 160

View: 6490

Lighthouses have always unsettled and attracted in equal measure, highlighting the triumphs and failures in humanity's battle with the forces of nature. Taking as its heroes the lighthouses themselves, Sentinels of the Sea describes the engineering genius that allowed their construction on even the smallest of rock outcrops and the innovations that made the lights so powerful and reliable. Intricate, elegant architectural plans and elevations, and evocative period drawings and photographs showcase the innovative designs and technologies behind fifty historic lighthouses built around the world from the 17th to the 20th century. R.G. Grant's engaging and authoritative text chronicles the incredible feats of engineering and endurance that brought these iconic, isolated towers into being, the advances in lens technology that made the lights so effective, and the everyday routines of the lighthouse keepers and the heroic rescues that some performed. Packed with extraordinary stories of human endeavour, desperate shipwrecks, builders defying the elements and heroic sea rescues, the book also reveals the isolation and vulnerability of the dedicated lighthouse keepers.

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

Author: Eric Jay Dolin

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0871404338

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 394

View: 8210

Traces the history of the relationship between America and China back to its earliest days, when the United States traded with China for furs, opium and rare sea cucumbers, but left an ecological and human rights disaster that still reverberates today.

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

Author: Eric Jay Dolin

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393079244

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 344

A Seattle Times selection for one of Best Non-Fiction Books of 2010 Winner of the New England Historial Association's 2010 James P. Hanlan Award Winner of the Outdoor Writers Association of America 2011 Excellence in Craft Award, Book Division, First Place "A compelling and well-annotated tale of greed, slaughter and geopolitics." —Los Angeles Times As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deer skins and "good furs" was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing. The news of Hudson's 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent, teeming with untapped natural resources. The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. In Fur, Fortune, and Empire, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was "get the furs while they last." Beavers, sea otters, and buffalos were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read Fur, Fortune, and Empire then is to understand how North America was explored, exploited, and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade. As Dolin demonstrates, fur, both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction, became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West. This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians; British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America's China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America's first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy still resonates today. Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, Fur, Fortune, and Empire is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today.

Lighthouse

An Illuminating History of the World's Coastal Sentinels

Author: R. G. Grant

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal

ISBN: 9780316414470

Category: Architecture

Page: 176

View: 9985

The world's most innovative and beautiful lighthouses built during seafaring's golden age, from 1700-1900. LIGHTHOUSE captures the romance in words and contemporary images of these isolated, life-saving towers, along with the incredible feats of engineering and inventiveness it took to create them. Beginning in the 18th century and ending in the mid-19th century, this extraordinary chronicle examines these iconic building from every angle, including the evolution of lighthouse design; the tremendous obstacles overcome during construction and upkeep; the thrilled tales of heroism and desperate shipwrecks; as well as the daily lives of the dedicated and often long-suffering keepers. With more than 350 illustrations, this seasonless gift book provides the history and original architectural plans for beloved lighthouses found throughout the world, including Eddystone, Sandy Hook, Montauk Point, Stannard Rock, Borkum Grosser, Green Point, La Jumet, Tillamook Rock, Minot's Ledge, Shell Keys, Cape Hatteras, Makapuu Point, Cape Canaveral, and Erie Harbor.

Boston Light

Author: Sally R. Snowman,James G. Thomson

Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

ISBN: 1439657157

Category: Travel

Page: 128

View: 2608

On September 14, 1716, Boston Light became the first lighthouse established in Colonial America. With many ships floundering in the treacherous waters of the Massachusetts harbor, there was a great need for navigational aid. At night and during storms, it was difficult to discern the entrance to the main shipping channel of Nantasket Roads, situated between the Brewster islands and the town of Hull. The ledges had become a graveyard for ships, resulting in great loss to human life and cargo—a deterrent to European colonization efforts. Ship captains and merchants petitioned the colonial government for a lighthouse to be erected on Little Brewster Island as a way of safe passage to the inner harbor. Three hundred years later, Boston Light continues to serve its purpose. Today, the lighthouse is protected by an ever-present Coast Guard civilian keeper and a cadre of specially trained Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer assistant keepers.

The Lightkeepers' Menagerie

Stories of Animals at Lighthouses

Author: Elinor De Wire

Publisher: Pineapple Press Inc

ISBN: 1561643912

Category: Pets

Page: 328

View: 1752

"The Lightkeepers' Menagerie gathers together animal stories from lighthouses all around the world, tales of happiness and sadness, courage and cowardice, tragedy and comedy, even absurdity."--Page [4] cover.

Beacons of Light

Author: Gail Gibbons

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780688073794

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 40

View: 8387

A survey of lighthouses and how they work in simple text and pictures.

A Natural History of Lighthouses

Author: John A. Love

Publisher: Whittles

ISBN: 9781849951548

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 8240

A history of lighthouses and the Stevenson dynasty of engineers. The natural history contribution of lighthouse keepers in the lighthouse story provides a survey of bird sightings and migration by keepers at the end of the 19th century."

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

Author: Eric Jay Dolin

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 163149211X

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 1656

With surprising tales of vicious mutineers, imperial riches, and high-seas intrigue, Black Flags, Blue Waters vividly reanimates the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Americas. Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Also brilliantly detailed are the pirates’ manifold enemies, including colonial governor John Winthrop, evangelist Cotton Mather, and young Benjamin Franklin. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Dolin provides this wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.

The Duck Stamp Story

Art - Conservation - History

Author: Eric Jay Dolin,Bob Dumaine

Publisher: Krause Publications Incorporated

ISBN: 9780873418157

Category: Antiques & Collectibles

Page: 208

View: 5144

With everything from production figures and collector values to little-known facts that have remained buried for decades, this book seeks to show that the Duck Stamp program is not only one of the best conservation programs, it is also the richest art contest.

Beacons of the Light

100 Holy People Who Have Shaped the History of Humanity

Author: Marcus Braybrooke

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 1846941857

Category: Religion

Page: 681

View: 9102

Beacons of Light is a priceless and inspiring gift from the good and open heart of one of the global interfaith movement's wisest and most respected leaders, Marcus Braybrooke. It is impossible to read without being spiritually enriched. Your heart and mind will be opened by this treasure of a book that shines with the brightness of 100 of humanity's greatest lights.

Marblehead Light

The Story of a New England Icon

Author: Bill Conly

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780998987903

Category:

Page: 76

View: 4720

The enthralling 200 year history of Marblehead Massachusetts' two lights - the original lighthouse and the present light tower - as well as its Lighthouse Keepers, the Wickies.

Guardians of the Lights

Stories of U.S. Lighthouse Keepers

Author: Elinor De Wire

Publisher: Pineapple PressInc

ISBN: 9781561641192

Category: History

Page: 324

View: 3614

-- Stories of the heroism and fortitude of the men and women of the U.S. Lighthouse Service, who kept vital shipping lanes safe from 1716 until early in the 20th century -- Vivid tales about the daily work; coping with fog, storms, and other catastrophes; legends and ghosts; women's and families' roles; lighthouse children and pets; the natural world around lighthouses; and the diverse characters of those who held the job -- Fans of Elinor De Wire's charming style will want this book

American Barns

Author: Jan Corey Arnett

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0747814260

Category: History

Page: 72

View: 7945

The heart of every working farm and ranch, the barn is an icon of rural America. This book chronicles – and celebrates – all the main types, and looks at how these treasures of early American architecture developed. It explains how a wealth of immigrant construction methods and range of environments and climates resulted in a fascinating variety of barn styles in the United States, from the earliest rare Dutch examples to simpler English types and others in more surprising shapes (round or even polygonal) crafted by the Shakers in the 1800s. It highlights the most notable, famous and historic barns that the reader can visit, and features the efforts of conservation groups to preserve America's barns and find innovative ways to repurpose these glorious old structures as homes and studios – and as living monuments of rural heritage.