Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas #7: Postbellum Evolution Of The Standard Brick Lighthouse Plan

The Civil War was an important event in the history of lighthouse design. Many Southern lighthouses that would otherwise have been in service for a long time, probably even standing today, were destroyed during the conflict. The need to rebuild created new opportunities to innovate and improve. The lighthouse engineers of the 1850s had nearly… Continue reading Bright Ideas #7: Postbellum Evolution Of The Standard Brick Lighthouse Plan

Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas #6: The Standard Brick Lighthouse Plan Enters Widespread Use

As discussed in my preceding column, by 1857 the Lighthouse Board introduced the Antebellum Standard Brick Tower Plan. Daniel Woodbury designed and built the first in this lighthouse class at Loggerhead Key. At least four other engineers followed in Woodbury’s footsteps: Danville Leadbetter, George Horatio Derby, William Henry Chase Whiting, and Lorenzo Sitgreaves. Between them… Continue reading Bright Ideas #6: The Standard Brick Lighthouse Plan Enters Widespread Use

Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas #5: Daniel Woodbury and Standard Lighthouse Design

There was not much standardization of early American lighthouses. Masonry towers were generally octagonal, but rarely did the same contractor design or build multiple towers. As engineering techniques improved, conical brick towers became feasible. The first real step toward a standardized design came from Winslow Lewis. Around 1820, he developed a simple design for a… Continue reading Bright Ideas #5: Daniel Woodbury and Standard Lighthouse Design

Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas #1: The Men Who Ran The Lighthouse Service

My name is Josh Liller. Since 2014, I have been the Historian and Collections Manager for the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, operated by the non-profit Loxahatchee River Historical Society. A decade ago I had never visited a lighthouse in my entire life, but I’ve rapidly learned to love lighthouses and their history. You may… Continue reading Bright Ideas #1: The Men Who Ran The Lighthouse Service