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At most stations only one keeper is employed; but where there are revolving lights or fog signals, or at important isolated stations, two, three, or four men are stationed. One of the characteristics of a good keeper is that he use as much oil as possible in the lamps in his tower, for these lamps are designed, in order to
Inspection The work of inspecting the lights and other aids is full of interest and sometimes of danger. The Inspector must examine and report not only upon the lights, lenses, towers, and fog signals, but also on the ability of the keepers, and upon the neatness and order of the stations. Generally speaking, great neatness prevails, and many of the towers and dwellings are marvels of cleanliness and order. The keepers with few exceptions are men of great reliability and regular habits, sober, steady, respectable, industrious, and devoted to their calling.
Wages of Keepers A keeper's pay ranges from about $300 to $1,000 per annum, depending upon the amount of work to be done and the importance of the light. When no government dwelling is provided, an additional sum of $40 to $60 is given the keeper yearly. Many of the older keepers are veterans of the Civil War, and great numbers have been seafaring men, boatmen, or fishermen. Not a few have had experience in the Life-Saving Service; and several women are employed, usually the widows or orphans of former keepers.
could not always be sure which light was sighted. For example, a vessel approaching the harbor of Buffalo, N. Y., will see three important lights. Buffalo main light on the pier-head, is a powerful fixed white light; the light on the north end of Buffalo breakwater is a fixed red light; and the light shown from a crib on the dangerous Horseshoe reef at the head of the Niagara river, is a fixed white light varied by a white flash every thirty seconds. By taking bearings of these lights, the master of a vessel can plot his position accurately, and tell what course to steer for the entrance to the harbor.
Again, a coasting vessel leaving Buffalo and bound west on Lake Erie, will see first at Dunkirk, N. Y., a fixed white light varied by a white flash every fortyfive seconds; and, if wishing to enter Dunkirk harbor, will see a fixed red light on Dunkirk pier-head. Proceeding westward, there is on Presqu'ile pier-head at the entrance to Erie Harbor, Pa., a fixed red light; while on Presqu'ile peninsula,
Characteristics of Lights Every light has a number, an official name, and a special characteristic. By its characteristic is meant the kind or character of the light exhibited. It would not do to have all the lights on a coast plain fixed white lights, because, in that case, navigators, on making out a light in approaching or running along shore,
DIAMOND SHOAL LIGHT-VESSEL.-FIFTH DISTRICT. Moored in about 180 feet of water, about 14% miles off Cape Hatteras Light. It has a 12-inch steam chime whistle,
which blows a 5-second blast, with silent intervals of 55 seconds.
their isolated island homes to the mainland for mail and supplies.
The Gas Buoy One of the most recently adopted aids to navigation is the Gas Buoy. This is a large, hollow, steel buoy surmounted by a pyramid-shaped cage-work enclosing a lantern. The body of the buoy is filled with compressed gas (Pintsch gas —such as is very commonly used for
three miles distant, there is a light which flashes alternately red and white every ten seconds. Continuing westward, there is a fixed white light on the end of Conneaut (Ohio) west pier; and a fixed white light, varied by a white flash every two minutes, on the end of Ashtabula (Ohio) west pier.
At many places there are range lights, 1.C., one light behind another, the rear or inner light being the higher, to serve as a guide or range for entering a harbor or passing through a narrow channel.
Not only are the characteristics of the lights varied, but the sizes, shapes, and colors of the towers differ greatly from one another, so that they serve as marks by day as well as by night. Red and green lights are made by simply using red or green chimneys instead of white ones.
Size of Stations The amount of grounds about a lighthouse varies from nothing at all up to many acres. At West Sister Island, in Lake Erie, the entire island of 110 acres belongs to the Light-House Establishment.
At many stations, boats have to be furnished the keepers to enable them to go to and from their lights, or to go from