I went to the National Lighthouse Museum recently, its on Staten Island, right next to the ferry. It's a very cheap museum and its located in the old location of the old Lighthouse hub, more on it later, so it's a beautiful walk. When you get there they have this centerpiece called the "Room of Lights" or something similar. It shows a little video about lighthouses which gives you enough background to feel like you know what's going on, who a lighthouse keeper is etc. The outside of the room is covered in miniature lighthouses that the people who work there find significant.

What I wanted to do here is write everything I learned about lighthouses at the museum. First, understanding the purpose of the lighthouse and how it works is important. In order to reduce deaths from shipwrecks and aide navigation around shores, the invention of a tall tower with a bright light is not a crazy idea. We've been doing this since, according to the museum, at least Ancient Egypt and Rome. The Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria are both famous, archaic lighthouses, which I hope I impressed the tour guide by knowing them (which comes from Civ ofc). The American Lighthouse came into being shortly after America did. Most of the original states have beaches that threatened the boats that much of the population relied on.

To have a functioning lighthouse, there are many important parts. Starting with the building itself, the exterior shape and iconic stripes, differ on each and every lighthouse. This is the daymark. This worked the way the lighthouse's iconic bean of light works, but with even more accurate navigation. Using a light list, a navigator can tell from the lighthouse whey they are in the world. The light is still incredibly important. American lighthouses ordered their lights from France, specifically Fresnel lamps. These lamps used prisms to create their beacons. Those who worked at light houses, the keepers, checked on the lamps every few hours to ensure they were clean, if too much soot accumulated, the beam would be less effective, increasing the likelihood of a disaster. Keepers were mostly men, they has a strict uniform and many rules. Upon their death, sometimes their wives would inherit the position. To embody the seriousness of the role, women keepers sometimes assigned themselves a uniform. Keeps also suffered from loneliness and were required to keep up the lighthouse entirely by themselves.

The United States organized their domain into regions which resulted in an unorganized system. In 1874, the regions merged and the hub of for lighthouse administration was on Staten Island, where the museum is now housed. This was where Fresnel lamps were inspected and where supplies like oil were shipped out. The lighthouse society (USLHS) worked with the life saving service (USLSS) to create efficient lighthouses. The life saving service joins with revenue cutter service to create the coast guard and in 1966 they move to Governors Island.

These lighthouses were originally fueled withe different fuels like cabbage or sperm whale oil. In the 1880s, lighthouses started experimenting with electricity. The first electric lighthouse was the Statue of Liberty!!!!! Eventually all American lighthouses were electric, except for the Sandy Hook lighthouse which remains gas lit to honor it's title as the oldest American lighthouse, at least standing today. The United States' expansions added more coasts. The west coast opened their first lighthouse on Alcatraz.