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300,000 candlepower of great American History.
on April 2, 2000
America's Lighthouses is not a coffee table book with romanticized, full-color photos of the Portland Head Light at sunset. Holland has written a history, & a very good one.
He begins with a summary of the lighthouse in western world history, including the Pharos of Alexandria & the excellent designs created by the British & French.
The reader will come away from this book with an understanding of various systems used to create & magnify light. We learn that the late adoption of the Fresnel lense in America was due to a short-sighted federal government bureaucrat.
The American lighthouse system shaped up with the creation of the Lighthouse Board in 1854.
Holland gives up a clear picture of the keeper's difficult life & the specific duties & routines he or she had to follow.
Following an informative chapter on lightships, Holland takes us on a chronological & regional tour of America's lighthouses, covering dates of operations & architectural types, renovations, & including anecdotal highlights of a station's history.
America's Lighthouses has 100 black & white photos & illustrations - many of them quite extraordinary; 16 architectural line drawings & 8 maps. This is a wonderful book, educational yet filled with the drama of real life at the edge of our oceans & inland seas. Bargain-priced from Dover, too.