What are some interesting facts about lighthouses?


Quick Answer

One interesting lighthouse fact is that the first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria, which was built in Egypt between 300 and 280 B.C. This lighthouse was built by Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II, and it was about 450 feet tall. Earthquakes and invaders destroyed this lighthouse sometime in the 1300s. Another fact is that the United States has more lighthouses than any other country, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

The reason that lighthouses feature flashy patterns, such as diamonds, stripes and stars, is so that they are distinguishable from each other. This feature helps sailors determine where they are if it is stormy or foggy. Lighthouses are mainly constructed from wood, granite, brick, sandstone and steel.

Before the invention of electricity, lighthouse lights often consisted of a monk or hermit holding up a lantern. Lighthouses sometimes used coal fires as lights, but these produced a lot of smoke and could be difficult to see from a boat.

Lighthouse keepers make sure the light is lit and keep the lighthouse in working order. The position of lighthouse keeper was one of the earliest government jobs in the United States available to women, starting in the 19th century. The position was also available to many veterans who were hurt and could not fight.

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