Mise Tales Twelve

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Do You Want to Buy a Foghorn?

Aberdeen’s Torry Coo on the market for £5,000
Buyers lining up for foghorn

Published: 28/09/2012 Evening Express

A famous foghorn in Aberdeen has sparked a bidding war between prospective buyers desperate to own a piece of Scottish history.

And property agents revealed several offers made for the much-loved Torry Coo in Aberdeen were “well in excess” of the asking price.

The Northern Lighthouse Board put the 110-year-old horn and store building on the market in July with a price tag of £5,000, but several mystery bidders want to get their hands on the Category A listed structure. Continue reading

Incidents at Sisters & Ballenas Islands c. 1920s

– Elizabeth Kate (Stannard) Smithman (Wife of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929). Story donated by her grandson Allen Smithman. 

Sisters Island c. 1927 - photo Allen Smithman

A Near Miss at Sisters Island c. 1928 

One evening while I was taking the night watch till 2:30 a.m. I was sitting writing a letter and all at once I heard a lot of noise like a big engine and lots of music playing. I jumped up and went outside and I was struck nearly speechless for there was a big Alaska liner so close to the lighthouse, just over the highest reef in the rocks that was there. 

The music and singing sounded so close. I stood there waiting every second to hear it crash. I thought of the Titanic instantly and I was afraid to even move. My first thought was of course was that the light had gone out but just then I saw a flash go over the liner and I knew the light was OK. It gave me such a scare, I was shaking all over and I went and called Bert to look at the big liner that had just gone right over the top of the reef. He said “My God”! If those people had only known just how close they had come to disaster they wouldn’t be singing like that – of course they would have sung “Nearer My God to Thee” like the people on the Titanic did. (Strange he should think of that disaster too). It was really a pretty sight. (The liner itself I mean) for it was all lit up and it looked like a big long tall Christmas tree.  Continue reading

Manual – 1970 Rules and Instructions for Lighthouse-Keepers

Published in 1970, this book laid down the rules and regulations for Lighthouse-Keepers. It was the LAW!

Unfortunately I do not have the cover for it. If anyone out there has a cover photo of the book please send it to me. It was a white 8-1/2 x 11 plastic covered book with a black graphic of a lighthouse on it, with some red colouration.

 

Download the complete book here in PDF format (4.25 MBs – right click the link for more options)

If you wish to print the book, the published size was 8.5″ x 11″ (21.5 x 28 cms.) 

Foghorns and the Changing Coastal Soundscape

 Foghorns and the Changing Coastal Soundscape

Technology and politics are changing the tune of the maritime chorus

April 20, 2012 | 3:46 PM | By  and with thanks to Climate Watch

Read the full text version of this story at KQED’s QUEST site. (more photos – retlkpr)

East Brother Island, with the 19th-century lighthouse on the left and fog signal building on the right. - Craig Miller

East Brother Island, with the 19th-century lighthouse on the left and fog signal building on the right. Continue reading

‘F’ Type Diaphone Foghorn c. 1969

– John Coldwell (assistant Keeper to Walt Tansky on Pulteney Point 1969 – 1972)

Lennard Island diaphone - photo Chris Mills

The diaphone is a unique organ pipe. The theory was based on a design for the Wurlitzer pipe organ invented by Robert Hope-Jones dating from 1895.

A special tone generator in the organ involved a piston vibrating inside a cylinder, which had slots through which air was discharged. The air passing through the slots caused a vibration which when amplified through a long cone (like a megaphone) created a powerful harmonic sound.

Robert Hope-Jones also applied this principle successfully to foghorns, and this then became the most common type of navigational aid in the world. Continue reading

Book – 1855 Lights for Lighthouses

This book first published in 1855 is a copy of the original produced by the Chance Brothers factory. From the handwritten prices and information, it appears to be a salesman’s copy which would have been given to the prospective buyer. As each light was specifically made for one location only, then this would have been a one-of-a-kind catalogue. 

Download the complete book here in PDF format 22.5 MBs (60+ pages) – right click the link for more options)

If you wish to print the book, this scanned version size was 8.5″ x 11″ (21.5 x 28 cms.) 

Manual – 1953 Rules and Instructions for Lighthouse-Keepers

Published in 1953, this book laid down the rules and regulations for Lighthouse-Keepers. It was the LAW!

Download the complete book here in PDF format (14.5 MBs – right click the link for more options)

If you wish to print the book, the published size was 6.5″ x 9.25″ (16.5 x 23.25 cms.) 

Manual – 1912 Rules and Instructions for Lighthouse-Keepers

Published in 1912, this book laid down the rules and regulations for Lighthouse-Keepers. It was the LAW!

 

Download the complete book here in PDF format (4.25 MBs – right click the link for more options)

If you wish to print the book, the published size was 6.5″ x 9.25″ (16.5 x 23.25 cms.) 

Manual – 1875 Rules and Instructions for Lighthouse-Keepers

Published in 1875, this book laid down the rules and regulations for Lighthouse-Keepers. It was the LAW!

Download the complete book here in PDF format (13.3 MBs – right click the link for more options)

If you wish to print the book, the published size was 6.5″ x 9.25″ (16.5 x 23.25 cms.) 

Fairbanks Morse Type “N” Gasoline Engine c. 1900s

– With thanks to Harry F. Mathews and his Harry’s Old Engine website for permission to reprint this old information on how to fire-up the old Fairbanks Morse gasoline engines of the 1900s. 

Photo Harry Mathews & Railroading Online website


The following text is borrowed with permission from Harry’s Old Engine website. I never had the chance to work with these monstrous engines and found this information very interesting and wanted to pass it on here. Remember, he is referring to a farm engine, but I imagine the lighthouse engines were also close to 32 Hp.  Continue reading