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VOL. I. 

Ilifgftttfti to tjotf) 3^om(» of IParliatnntt fiy (Commanlr of Jtjrr iFHairgt};. 

L ND N : 




982 pages. Vols. I. and II. 

VOL. I. 


Pages 7, 8. COMMISSION. 

Pages i— xlii. REPORT. 

Pages xliii— li. CHAIRMAN'S LETTER. 

Pages 1—227. APPENDIX. 

Pages 1—22. ELECTRIC LIGHT. 


1 — 2. Observations on the Electric Light at South Foreland. 



Reports made to the Trinity House by Professor Faraday. 
Observations on Professor Way's Electric Light. 

5. Memoranda of a visit to the establishment of Mr. Wilkins, Manufacturer of 
lamps, reflectors, &c. 
6 — 8. Memoranda of a visit to the Trinity House Buoy Wharf. 

Including observations made by the Commission, on Lights, &c., in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland during a cruize round the coast of Great Britain ; 
and certain other observations subsequently made on some of the lights 
visited or seen alight. 
8 — 17. Lights, &c., in England from Beachy Head to the Smalls. 
17 — 19- Do. in Ireland from Coningbergs to Baily Howth. 

19—20. Do. in England from South Stack to Liverpool. The observations 

on Lights at Liverpool, are in Vol. II., p. 326, &c. 
20 — 22. Do. in Ireland, from South Rock to Instrahull. 

22 — 29. Do. in Scotland, from Oversay to Berwick-upon-Tweed. North 

29 — 33. Do. in England, from The Fern to Dover. 


33 — 36, Lights, &c., in France. — West Coast. 

36. Do. in Spain. — North do. , 

36 — 38. Do. in France. — West do. 

38. Do. do. South do. 

38—41. Do. do. North do. 


41 — 42. Lights, &c., in Ireland from The Hook to Belfast, by the West Coast. 
42—43. Do. in Scotland, Clyde. 

43 — 44. Visit to the Manufactory of the Messrs. Chance, Birmingham, 

44. First meeting with the Astronomer Royal, at Millbank Street. 

44 — 46. Observations on Lights, &c., in the Isle of Man. 

46. Visit of Col. La Touche to 7, Millbank Street. 

Including accounts of visits made to, and experiments tried at various 
Lighthouses at home and abroad, with a special view to the adjustment 
of the illuminating apparatus; 




g3 ji. Summary of Observations of the Commissioners on their visit to Whitby 

Lighthouses, &c. 

J I -Q. Investigations proposed by Dr. Gladstone for perfecting the theory of Light- 
house illumination ; and paper on the " Relative position of the flame to 
the different parts of a dioptric apparatus." 

77 — 89. Letters from the Astronomer Royal. 

90 96. Reports made by Professor Faraday to the Trinity House. 

97__1U1. Observations by Mr. James Chance.^ 

102. Ditto by the Messrs. D. and T. Stevenson, C.E. 

102. Ditto bv ^Ir. James Chance. Diagram by the Messrs. Stevenson. 

J03 120. Abstracts and summaries of the evidence given in reply to Circulars I. to VIIL 

Pages 121—207, ORAL EVIDENCE. 

121 123. P. H. Berthon, Esq., Secretary to the Trinity House. 

123. Robin Allen, Esq., Clerk to the Trinity House. 

123 126. The Right Hon. T. M. Gibson, M.P.,' President of the Board of Trade, and 

T. H. Farrer, Esq., Secretary to the ^Marine Department. 
127—130. Sir James Dombrain, and 

130 138. The Ri^ht Hon. the Earl of Meath, Members of the Corporation of the 

Ballast Board, Dublin. 
138—141. T. H. Farrer, Esq., re-examined. 
141_-153, Papers referred to in the evidence of Mr. Farrer. 

153 167. Rear-Admiral Gordon, Deputy Master of the Trinity Hou?e. 

157 173. "\V. H. Cutler, Esq., and Professor Holmes; as to the electric light. 

174 189. A. Cuningham, Esq., and David Stevenson, Esq., C.E., Secretary and 

Eno-ineer, employed by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses ; 
including a written statement by the Commissioners of Northern Light- 
houses and other papers. 

189 207. Capt. Sulivan, R.N., Professional Member of the Board of Trade. 

207. Mr. Thomas Stevenson, C.E. 
207. Capt. Sulivan re-examined. 

208 209. Contracts and tenders for the supply of illuminating apparatus to the Trinity 


210. Specifications for illuminating apparatus. 

211. Convictions for offences committed by officers of the Trinity House. 
213. Expense of keepers' dweUings at Scilly, Reliefs, &c. 

213 214. Circular XHI. Observations by Mariners on Whitby Lights. 

21. 5. Consumption of oil at Whitby. 

21.5. Report bv the Hydrographer to the Admiralty. 

220. Scheme of Buoyage proposed for general adoption by Comdr. Bedford, 

221. Circular XIV. Observations by Mariners on the fog signal at Boulogne. 

222. Measurement of the coasts of the United Kingdom and France. 

222. Suggestions for inspections, 

223. Proposed experiments on lamps. 

223. Correspondence with the Scotch Board as to the adjustment of apparatus. 

224. Observations by Dr. Gladstone on the electric light and steam fog signals at 

Northfleet . 
22.'3. Admiralty Circular to their Chart Agents. 

225. Further Remarks by the Astronomer Royal on the adoption and placing the 

Electric Light. 
22.5. Electric Light about to be used in France. 

226. Explanation of Plates. 

INDEX {^in preparation). 




These contain the questions to which the returns printed in the Appendix of Vol. II., 
arc rcpHes, and are a key to the whole. 

Opposite to the questions references are given to the pages where the replies may be 
found. Some abstracts are given, and other information is added. 

Each reply is numbered to correspond to the question to which it is an answer. 

Example 1. — It is desired to know what is the description of illuminating apparatus 
at any lighthouse — under any of the General Authorities — • 

Open out Circular III., and the Question will be found as (No. 21) XXI. 

Search in the map for the number of the Lighthouse in question ; say No. 1 Fern, in 

Search for No. I. under the heading — Circular No. III., England, and the information 
will be found, Vol. II. p. 65, opposite to the No. XXL, and the same information for 
every Lighthouse will be found opposite to the same Number, — XXI. 

Example 2. — It is desired to know the opinion of John Smith, Mariner, as to the best 
shapes and colours for buoys. 

Open out Circular VIII., IMariners' Questions, and the question which elicited the 
information will be found opposite to — No. 17- 

Search for Smith's luiniber in the alphabetical list of Mariners, page 466, and opposite 
to his name is the number 292. 

Look for 292, under the heading — Question 17, Mariners' Evidence, page 526, and the 
evidence of John Smith on this point will be found : 

" 292. The nun buoys, black or red, are best seen at night." 

Example 3. — It is desired to know what is the bearing of the evidence given on the 
same point by the whole of the witnesses. 

Look to the Abstract, page 587, and the result of the evidence of 657 witnesses will Vol. i. p. 110. 
be found opposite to Question 17, which elicited the information. 

Example 4. — Information is wanted relative to a Local Authority ; say Liverpool. 

Search for the question in the Circulars, and for the name of the Local Authority 
under letter L, and under the heading — Local Authorities, England ; and the answer to 
the question will be found under the Marginal Heading, and the number of the Circular, 
and of the Question, page 326. 

Example 5. — The opinion of a Scientific Witness is wanted on any point raised by a 
question in Circulars IX. and X. 

Search for his name, in the list on the Circular, and his evidence will be found under 
the number of the question. 

Example 6. — Information is wanted as to some foreign country. 

In Circular XI. search for the name of the country and for the question, and look to 
the return under the number of the question for the answer. 



Trinity House, 

Commissioners of 
Northern Light- 
houses, Scotland. 

Ballast Board, 

Replies to Circular. 

Abstracts iu 
Vol. I. 





1— .54 

153 — 163 

209 — 224 

I. As to Constitution of the Authority, &c. 


55— 64 


225 — 227 

II. General Lighthouse Return 


65 — 106 

173 — 188 

228 — 262 

III. Special Lighthouse Returns 




263 — 263 

II. General Floating Light Return 




264 — 266 

IV. Special Floating Light Returns 


127 — 145 

189 — 201 

267 — 274 

V. Buoj^s and Beacons Returns 



201 — 208 

275 — 278 

VI. Lloyd's Agents' Evidence - . - 





280 — 284. List of Authorities having charge of Lights, 61103-8, and Beacons in the 

United Kingdom. 
285 — 424. Replies to Circulars II., III., IV., V., VL, and observations made by the 

Commissioners relative to Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, &c. imder 

Local Authorities. These are alphabetically arranged in three groups 

under — England, — Scotland, — Ireland. 


425. Alphabetical list and index number of each witness. 
426 — 442. Evidence. All the answers printed under each question, 
443—444. Abstract. 

Page 445. MARINERS' EVIDENCE.— Circular VIII. 

446. Alphabetical list and index number of each witness. 
449 — 5/8. Evidence arranged as above. 
579—585. Appendix. 

586. Abstract. 


589 — 630. Evidence arranged under the name of each witness in the form in which it 
was given. 


631 — 637. Correspondence with Board of Trade. 

637- Circular II., General Lighthouse Return. 

638—643. Circular III. Special Lighthouse Returns. 

643 — 649. Evidence of Alexander Gordon, Esq. C.E. 

650. Circular XIL, and replies thereto. 

Replies to Circular XI. 

651. United States of America, 

655. Turkey. , 

656. Norway. 
959. Sweden. 

66 1 . Hanover. 

662. Hamburgh. 
665. Spain. 
669. France. 
676. Denmark. 

682. Russia. 

683. Holland. 

687. Belgium. 

688. Austria. 


690. A Local Return.— Northfleet. 

691. A Mariner's reply.— Peter Dodd. 



VICTORIA, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 
Queen, Defender of tlie Faith : To Our trusty and well-beloved William Alexander 
Baillie Hamilton, Esquire, Rear Admiral in Our Navy ; Alfred Phillips Ryder, 
Esquire, Captain in Our Navy; John Hall Gladstone, Esquire; Duncan Dunbar, 
Esquire, Chairman of the London Local Marine Board, and Samuel Robert Graves, 
Esquire, Chairman of the Liverpool Local Marine Board; Greeting: — 

Whereas We have deemed it expedient that a Commission should forthwith issue for 
inquiring into the condition and management of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons : Now, 
know ye, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your zeal and ability, have 
authorised and appointed, and do by these presents authorise and appoint you, the said 
WiLUAM Alexander Baillie Hamilton, Alfred Phillips Ryder, John Hall Gladstone, 
Duncan Dunbar, and Samuel Robert Graves to be Our Commissioners for the purposes 
aforesaid, and Our will and pleasure is that you, or any one or more of you, shall 
especially inquire into the number, quality, and position of the lighthouses, floating lights, 
buoys, and beacons on the coasts of the United Kingdom, both absolutely and relatively, 
as compared with the lighthouses, floating lights, buoys, and beacons on the coasts of 
any foreign countries, and into the sufficiency of the said lighthouses, floating lights, 
buoys, and beacons, for the efficient lighting and buoying of the coasts of the United 
Kingdom. And also, to inquire into the expense of constructing and maintaining the 
lighthouses, floating lights, buoys, and beacons of the United Kingdom, both absolutely 
and relatively, as compared with the expense of constructing and maintaining the light- 
houses, floating lights, buoys, and beacons of any foreign countries. And also, to inquire 
whether the present system of management and control under which the lighthouses, 
floating lights, buoys, and beacons on the coasts of the United Kingdom are constructed 
and maintained, according to the provisions of the " Merchant Shipping Act, 1854," is 
well adapted for securing the most efficient lighting and buoying of the coasts of the 
United Kingdom, with a due regard to economy, or Avhether any, and, if any, what 
change might be advantageously made in that system. And also, whether any, and, 
if any, what further supervision or control might advantageously be exercised over any 
local authority having jurisdiction in the matter of lights, buoys, or beacons in the United 
Kingdom. And also, whether the system now in force for the construction, maintenance, 
and control of certain lighthouses in Our Colonial Possessions, under the superintendence 
of Our Government, is well adapted for ensuring the most efficient conduct of that 
service with a due regard to economy, or whether any and what change might advan- 
tageously be made in that system. And, for the purpose of enabling you. Our said 
Commissioners, to make the said inquiries. We do hereby authorise and empower you, 
or any one or more of you, to call before you all such persons as you may judge most 
competent, by reason of their situation, knowledge, or experience, to affiard you correct 
information on the subject of this inquiry ; and also to require the production of all books, 
documents, papers, and accounts which may appear to you, or any one or more of you, 
calculated to assist your researches in the execution of the trust hereby reposed in you, 
and to inquire concerning the premises by all other lawful ways and means whatsoever. 


And We do command and require you, or any one or more of you, to report to Us in 
writing, under your hands and seals, or vmder the hand and seal of any one or more of 
you, as soon as the same can reasonably be, your several proceedings by virtue of this 
Ovu: Commission. 

And We -wUl and command, that this Our Commission shall continue in full force and 
virtue and that you Our said Commissioners, or any one or more of you, may, from 
time to time, proceed in the execution thereof, and of every matter and thing therein 
contained, although the same be not continued from time to time by adjournment. 

Given at Our Court of St. James's, the 8th day of December ISoS, in the 22d -Year 
of Our Reign. 

By Her Majesty's Command, 

(Signed) S. H. WALPOLE. 



We, Your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed to " Inquire into the number, quality, Commission. 
" and position of the Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the coasts 
" of the United Kingdom, both absolutely and relatively, as compared with the Light- 
" houses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the coasts of any foreign countries, and 
" into the sufficiency of the said Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, for 
" the efficient lighting and buoying of the coasts of the United Kingdom. And also to 
" inquire into the expense of constructing and maintaining the Lighthouses, Floating 
" Lights, Buoys, and Beacons of the United Kingdom, both absolutely and relatively, 
" as compared with the expense of constructing and maintaining the Lighthouses, Floating 
" Lights, Buoys, and Beacons of any foreign countries. And also, to inquire whether the 
" present system of management and control under which the Lighthouses, Floating 
" Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the coasts of the United Kingdom are constructed and 
" maintained, according to the provisions of the ' Merchant Shipping Act, 1854,' is well 
" adapted for securing the most efficient lighting and buoying of the coasts of the United 
" Kingdom, with a due regard to economy, or whether any, and if any, what change 
" might be advantageously made in that system. And also, whether any, and if any, 
" what further supervision or control might advantageously be exercised over any Local 
" Authority having jurisdiction in the matter of Lights, Buoys, or Beacons in the United 
" Kingdom. And also, whether the system now in force for the construction, main- 
" tenance, and control of certain Lighthouses in Our Colonial Possessions, vmder the 
" superintendence of Our Government, is well adapted for ensuring the most efficient 
" conduct of that service with a due regard to economy, or whether any and what 
" change might advantageously be made in that system," do most humbly report to Your 
Majesty as follows : — 


The course pursued by Your Majesty's Commissioners in conducting their inquiry has course pursned 
differed from that of the Parliamentary Committees which have inquired concerning Lights, H ^^^ ^'""* 
Buoys, and Beacons, whose members have in some instances expressed regret at their 
inability to visit the Lights, &c. and judge for themselves. Our course has also differed 
from that generally followed by Royal Commissions, who have relied for the most part on 
oral evidence. This has affected the form and arrangement of our Appendix, and we 
think it right to give the reasons which induced us to depart from the usual course, and 
to explain the arrangement which we have adopted. 

Your Commissioners held their first formal meeting on the 19th of January 1859, and 
their first step was to prepare questions for the examination of the Lighthouse 

It appeared to Your Commissioners that as there were many Authorities having charge 
of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons in the United Kingdom, it would be highly desirable to 
put the same questions to all, so that the action of the authorities might be more readily 

These Questions were accordingly prepared, printed, and circulated, and they are now cu-cuiation of 
given in Vol. II. as Circulars I., II., III., IV., V. Each question in each Circular has ^"''''°"' 
a number affixed to it, and the answers given by the Authorities are numbered so as 
to correspond with the numbers attached to the questions. The Circulars open out so that 
the questions may serve once for all in reading the Appendix. 

The Returns of the General Authorities in England, Scotland, and Ireland, are placed 
together, in the Second Volume at pages 3 to 278. 

The Returns of the Local Authorities, including the Admiralty, follow, and are 
arranged together alphabetically in the same order; namely, 1. England, 2. Scotland, and 
3. Ireland, also in Vol. II., pages 631 to 637. 

The Replies to these Circulars given by the Board of Trade relative to the Colonial 
Lights are in Vol. II., pages 631 to 637. 

Thus by opening out Circular No. I., at the beginning of Vol. II., the whole of the 
answers given in reply to that series of questions, by each Authority which has furnished 
returns, may be found, by looking at the top and margin of each page, where the uum- 

b 3 


ber of the Circular and the name of the Authority making the return to it, and the num- 
ber of the question to which the matter in the page is a reply, will be found as a running 
heeding, &c. in the Appendix. The pages where the answers will be found are marked 
on each Circular. 

Thus the reply given to Question 1, Circular I., by the first of the Lighthouse 
x\uthorities named, will be found next after the Circulars ; and the reply given to 
Question 27, Circular V., by the Local Authority in Ireland, whose initial comes last in 
the alphabet, will be found at the end of the Returns from Local Authorities, Vol. IL, 
page 424. 

Li order to form a satisfactory opinion of the efficiency of the existing lights, buoys, 
and beacons in the United Kingdom, both among themselves and in comparison with 
those of foreign countries, it seemed to Your Commissioners necessary to adopt the widest 
possible field of inquiry, b}^ inviting the opinions of such a number of witnesses at home 
and abroad as would neutralize partiality or prejudice. Aware that such a course, if 
pursued in the usual way of summoning witnesses, would involve a very serious expense, 
we adopted the plan of using the printing press and the post. In this way more 
witnesses could be examined, and at a much smaller cost ; and their evidence, when 
obtained, could be more readily compared, and more easily read and understood, when 
systematically collected and arranged. 

When a number of persons examine a witness, there is always a tendency to depart 
from the special Ime of examination, both in putting questions and in giving answers, 
and the evidence becomes very voluminous. One subject grows out of another. Viva 
voce examination is alwaj-s best for extracting the truth from the unwilling, but written 
questions are best for obtaining deliberate opinions from men anxious to give them. A 
professional man could not be called before a Commission without offering to pay 
him, not only for his expenses, but also for his loss of time. A great mimber of 
skilled opinions brought to bear together on a single fact, from independent sources, 
arc more nearly conclusive, if almost unanimous, than a small number given sepa- 
rately. A number of answers to the same questions can be more readily compared 
than an equal number of answers to questions variously put in varying order. 

Yovu' Majesty's Commissioners accordingl}' prepared questions at different times, 
which were designed lor various classes of the community. These were printed, and 
very widely circulated amongst those classes. Each was framed as far as was judged 
advisable so as to embody but one single idea, and point to a simple negative or 
affirmative reply. 

l"he result has proved that many who could not leave their avocations have written 
their ideas ; and men of all ranks and professions, and of all degrees of talent, have 
proved that when a set of questions were placed before them they would willingly 
devote some of their time and ability gratuitously to the public good. 

Circular VI. was sent to the Agents for Lloyd's. The answers are numbered, printed, 
and placed together with the returns of the Authorities to whose jurisdiction the 
evidence applies. Those which seem to apply more particularly to portions of the coast 
under the jurisdiction of the Trinity House, are placed at the end of the Trinity House 
rctm-n ; those which relate to portions oi the coast under the jurisdiction of the Scotch 
and Irish Geneial Authorities follow their returns ; and those which relate to the Local 
Authorities follow their returns. 

Circular VII. was sent to members of the classes most interested in the IVIercantile 
Marine, such as shipoAvners, merchants, &c. All the answers given to each question are 
printed together, under the question, at Vol. II., page 425. 

Circular VIII. was sent to the class who use the Lights, &c. ; namely. Mariners. All 
their replies are in like manner printed together under the questions, at Vol. II., 
page 445. 

Circulars IX., X. were prepared and circulated amongst those Scientific Men whom Your 
Commissioners believed to have given most attention to the branches of science Avhich 
relate to Lighthouses, Sec, and to Manufacturers of Illuminating Apparatus ; and the 
replies received from these gentlemen, and from others who wished to state their views, 
and who applied for the questions, are printed together, and follow a set of these 
questions at Vol. II., page 589- 

Circular XI. was sent through the Foreign Office to Foreign Governments ; the replies 
received arc arranged at Vol. II., pages 651 to 658. 

Circular XII. was sent to certain Steam Companies whose vessels pass colonial lights, 
and is given, with the replies, at Vol. II., page 650. 


By followinc,- this course Your Commissioners have been enabled to procure returns from 
114 Authorities having the management, cSrc. of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons in the United 
Kingdom, the evidence of 1,184 witnesses, and returns from 13 foreign countries, 
all of which we have been enabled to arrange, so that any particular bit of evidence 
given in reply to any single question by any witness can be readily found (by looking for 
the name of the witness in the alphabetical lists, and for his evidence under his index 
number below each question), or the bearing of the whole on any one of the points raised 
may be considered at once, by looking to the Abstracts, which are given together in 
Vol. I., and follow the evidence in Vol. II. 

The cost of examining each witness may be set down at the price of the printed circular, 
and the postage of two letters ; and the testimony obtained was in such a ibrm as to make 
its arrangement easy. 

By summoning witnesses Your Commissioners could hardly have accomplished their 
object, at all events within the time, and only at a largely increased cost. 

Abstracts and Summaries of the replies to these various circulars have been prepared as 
far as practicable, and are appended, with the questions, in Vol. I. pp. 103-120, in order that 
the substance of this mass of testimony may be seen at a glance, and in connection with 
the conclusions and recommendations which have been in a great measure founded upon it. 

As, however, certain points remained on which information could be better elicited 
orally, representatives of the principal Lighthouse Authorities were examined in the 
usual way, and their evidence is given in Vol. I. 

Your Commissioners have also circumnavigated Great Britain ; and have visited the rersoTiai m- 
Channel Islands, and most of the coasts of Ireland, of France, and a part of the northern ^P'=<^*'™- 
coast of Spain. We have personally inspected more than 200 Lighthouses, several have 
been visited more than once; and full minutes of our proceedings are printed in Vol. I. 
Our observations which relate to Local Authorities are generally placed together with 
the returns furnished by them. 

The Report and Appendices are thus arranged : — Contents of 

Vols. I. and U. 

f Report. 

I Chairman's letter. 

j Personal Observations made by Your Commissioners at home and 

I abroad. 

Vol. I. I Papers drawn up by members of Your Commission, and Reports 
Report and <( made by other gentlemen. 

Appendix I. j Abstracts and Svimmary of Evidence in Vol. 11. 

j Oral Evidence. 

I Miscellaneous Returns and Correspondence. 

I Maps and Plates. 

1^ Index. 

Returns by the three General Lighthouse Authorities, with 

evidence from Lloyd's Agents, subjoined. 
Similar Returns from Local Authorities, with Lloyd's Evidence, 
and the observations made by Your Conmiissioners at the ports 
Vol. II. J named, alphabetically arranged. 

Appendix II. ] Evidence from the Mercantile Marine. 
I Evidence of Mariners. 
I Scientific Evidence. 
! Returns as to Colonial Lights. 
1^ Returns from Foreign Countries. 

Although, from their great bulk, it has not been considered expedient to print the 
whole of the Returns and Correspondence, together with the Charts, Diagrams, and 
Drawings amassed during our inquiry, yet their great value renders it advisable that 
they should be preserved for the use of the Lighthouse Authorities. 




The inquiry which Your Majesty's Commissioners were directed to undertake has 
reference to :— 

1st. Lights, Buoys, and Beacons in the United Kingdom. 

2nd. Certain Colonial Lights under the management of Your Majesty's 

1st. As to the United Kingdom, the inquiry conducted by Your Commissioners 
necessarily arranged itself under the following heads, and the report is framed on the 
same principle: — 

Points of Inquiry named in the Commission. 

- . , , Floating 

L.ghthonses. ^ishtsr 

Numbor . . - . 

Position - - . - 

Quality ----- 

Sufficiency as regards cllicieucy 

Kxpcnsc of construction 

Expense of maintenance - 

System of management for securing 
efficiency and economy 

System of control for do. 

Comparison with foreign countries ~1 
in all the above particulars - J 

Further Sujiervision over Local Au- 
thorities - - . 

Change of system under Merchant 
Sliipping Act - - 




26, 31,33 
22, 31 

0, 12, 15, 

16, 28 








26. 31, 33 

22, 31,34 

19, 28 








26, 31, 33 
22, 31, 34 

20, 21, 




26, 31, 33 
22, 31, 34 

21, 28 


As to the Colonial Lights under the management of Her Majesty's Government, the 
inquiry resolves itself into the following points : — 

System for construction with regard to efficiency and economy 
„ „ maintenance „ „ „ 

„ ,, control „ „ „ 

Change of system - - - - - - 




The Ibllowing Table shows the number and the nature of (he Lights in the United 
Kinodom : — 

Lights on Shore. 





Floating Lights. , ^Total. 


Ireland ... 











1 78 




3J7 i 47 


1 404 



Of all the Lights under the General Authorities, and about half of those under the 
Local Authorities, Your Commissioners have obtained full returns, Avhich will be found 
at length in the 2nd Volume. The Lights on shore, for which returns have been 
received, are classified in the following Table : — 




or Catadi- 


Apparatus \ 
not stated. 

Order of Dioptric Apparatus. 

A'i'li»«'y- houses. 







England — Trinity House 

„ Local - - - 

Scotland — Commissioners of Northern 

Lights - - - 

„ Local 
Ireland — Ballast Board 

„ Local - - - 





1 ~ 


















The Index Map at the end of Vol. I. shows the position of the Lighthouses in the Position. 
United Kingdom, and on a portion of the French, Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian coasts. 
Very few complaints are made as to the position of Lighthouses by mariners, or the 
agents of Lloyd's, and those which are made are generally confined to three or four sites. 

It will be seen, by looking at the Map, that the number is sometimes insufficient, be- Sufficiency. 
cause vessels might be within a very short distance of some parts of the coast, and 
beyond the estimated range of any lighthouse, even in clear weather ; for instance, at 
Great Orme's Head on the approach to Liverpool. 

The circles of light on the Index Map are taken from the Map published by the Board 
of Trade, and represent the column in the Admiralty List of Lights headed " Miles seen 
in clear weather ;" but from the evidence before us, and from our own observations, 
the lights are not uncommonly seen at much greater distances. Any attempt to 
make lights so brilliant or so numerous as that one at least should be visible 
in fogs which are dense enough to obscure the sun, would necessarily fail ; but any 
increase in the brilliancy of the lights will increase their range in hazy weather, and 
make them more efficient; and their number ought to be such as to ensure that one or 
more may always be within sight of a ship approaching a danger in ordinary weather. 

The west coasts of Scotland and Ireland are still insufficiently illuminated ; and the 
Channel Islands lying near the track of ships bound up Channel, and surrounded by 
rapid tides, have been left in a state of blameable darkness, although a light is now being- 
erected on the Hanois Rocks on the West coast of Guernsey. A reference to the Index 
Map will best show the positions where the number of lights is sufficient or insufficient. 

It will be observed, as respects number and position of lights, that the British Number and 
coasts are not so well guarded as the French, for the lights are purposely so placed on the ^°'^' ion.c5""- 
coasts of France as to " cross their fire." 

This may also be tested by comparing the proportion between the number of lights 
and the amount of coast line in England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the proportion 
between the number of lights and the coast line in France. The measiu-ement of the 
coast line and of the islands in the respective countries is given in a table in Vol. I. p. 222; 
the number of Lighthouses is taken as before from the Admiralty List. From these data 
the following table is constructed : — 

pared "with 
I'freigQ coun- 

Number of 


on shore. 

Coast Line. 


Nautical miles. 




1 for 14.0 MUes. 

Scotland . . - 



1 „ 39.5 „ 

Ireland - - 



1 „ 34.5 „ 

France . . - 



1 „ 12.3 „ 

Hence it appears that the lighthouses in France are more than three times as numerous, 
compared with the amount of coast, as in Scotland ; but a considerable allowance must 
be made for the very large amount of mileage atlbrded by the Scottish islands and the 
bays on the Irish coast, which do not require a commensurate amount of lighting, as a 
light on an island or on one side of a channel will often obviate the necessity of a iight 
on the main ', or on the other side. The lights in France appear to be nearly three 


times as numerous, comparatively speaking, as those in Ireland ; but if to the 73 Irish 
Lighthouses be added the 5 floating lights, the discrepancy is somewhat reduced. 
In England too there seems at first sight to be a somewhat smaller provision made for 
illuminating the coasts than in France, yet if the 41 English Floating Lights be added to 
the 171 Lighthouses, as indeed justice requires. England will be found to provide a light 
for every 1 1 "37 nautical miles of coast, while France furnishes one for only every 12.3 miles. 

As to the position of lights in France and in England, there is this notable difference : 
The English lights have been steadily and gradually increasing in Jiumber during the 
last two centuries and a half, additional lights having been placed, from time to time, 
wherever the interests of commerce demanded, and a sufficient pressure was exerted; while, 
on the contrary, the French lights were very few till 1825, when a grand comprehen- 
sive plan was undertaken of erecting a large /mwifier of additional lights, on what were 
considered the best positions, and of remodelling the whole system. 

The coasts of the United Kingdom are better guarded than those of Holland, 
Norway, or perhaps any other country, excepting France. 

Quality of Lights. 


The quality of a light depends mainly on the following points : — 
1st. The character of the source of light. 
2nd. The character of the apparatus, by which the light is directed to ichere it is 

3rd. The adaptation of the source of light and the optical apparatus to one another, 

with a view to the requirements nftlie locality. 
4th. The distinction of one light from another. 
Source of light. jgt. The character of the source of light. It is the invariable practice of the three 
General Liuhthouse Authorities in England, Scotland, and Ireland, to derive it from 
the combustion of colza oil. Where metallic reflectors alone are used, the lamp is on 
the Argand principle ; but where lenses are employed, a large central lamp is resorted to. 
The Ar"-and burners vary in number from 1 to ;J0, and the central lamps differ in the 
number of concentric wicks. The Trinity House and Ballast Board, at the time of the 
commencement of our inquiry, used fountain lamps, and never employed more 
than three of the four concentric wicks (see Vol. I. p. 63), while the Scotch Commissioners 
faluT'rf retained a fourth in 1st order lights. The lamps in Scotland being mechanical lamps, 
IwkI" were found also to cause a considerably greater consumption of oil (as 5 to 3), and there- 

fore the production of a higher and more powerful flame than was produced in England or 

The Local Authorities also generally employ oil lamps, but the oil burnt is not always 
colza. Liverpool, for instance, prefers olive oil; and the Admiralty and Newhaven still 
retain the more expensive sperm, the use of which was abandoned for various 
reasons by the General Authorities some years since. Gas is also burnt in many 
Harbour lights, and in the Beacon light at Northfleet, under the management of the 
Thames Conservancv ; and in that as in many other cases, and in the United States, 
with a very satisfactory result. 

To the subject of the height of the flame Your Commissioners have given much considera- 
tion. It Avill again be alluded to in this Report ; but they are glad to be able to put on 
record here that the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House have lately admitted the 
propriety of returning to the use of the fourth wick, and are now making experiments 
with a view to ascertain the best possible description of mechanical lamp. 

Your Majesty's Commissioners, however, are of opinion that the science of Lighthouse 
illumination is in a transition state, and capable of further development. We have con- 
versed with a man who was actualh' employed in his youth in burning coal fires at Harwich 
for directing ships at sea; in fact the last coal light, that at St. Bees, was only extin- 
o-uishedin 1822 ; the use of oil docs not seem to date back beyond 1730; and we now find 
inventions under trial which promise to transcend far the powers of even the four-wicked 
A greater use mechauical lamp in producing light. Gas might probably be advantageously employed 
oOjas approved ^^ other than Harbour lights, where it is now frequently used. 

An electric light, which is produced between carbon points by the revolution of 
magnets fixed on wheels worked by a steam engine, has been tried with great promise of 
success by Prof. Holmes at the South Foreland, and is to be further tried at Dunge- 
uess, or at the Start. 

Another electric light, produced by galvanic action in a stream of mercury, has been 
exhibited by Professor Way, and proposed for adoption in lighthouses. 

Several modifications of the Lime light, produced by an o.\yhydrogen flame playing on 
a surface of prepared lime, have been exhibited, and are commonly used in lecture- 


rooms and elsewhere ; and these are now proposed for use in lighthouses. And the least 
powerful of these surpasses the best oil lamp in brilliancy, as the oil lamp surpasses 
the open coal fire. 

When any of these are so perfected as to make their action certain, the optical appa- 
ratus now used, and made to suit large flames, will be out of date as much as the large 
tinned reflector which was first erected behind a large coal fire on the Tour de Cordouan, 
and which was then considered a great advance in science. Optical apparatus, to suit a 
very small and exceedingly brilliant source of light, ^th of an inch long, may be of 
small size, and finished and adjusted with all the accuracy of a telescope. Thick lantern 
bars, and the comparatively clumsy and costly brass fittings, which now interfere with 
light, may perhaps be done away with, and then the cost of apparatus may possibly be 
as much diminished as the quality of the light is improved. 

2nd. Tlie character of the apparatus hy which the light is directed to ivhere it is needed. 

It mav be well to state shortly what is aimed at in constructing Optical apparatus for Character of 
Lighthouses before proceeding to show how far the object has been attained. apparatus. 

From any given source of artificial light, such as a point in the flame of a lamp, ra^'s 
proceed in every possible direction until obstructed. The fact may be familiarl^^ proved by 
observing that the light of a table lamp falls on every part of the spherical ground glass 
shade, except where the metal of the burner interferes. 

The object of Lighthouse illuminating apparatus, whether constructed of glass or of 
metal, is to bend the rays which would naturally proceed in straight lines and illuminate 
a hollow sphere, so that those which \vould otherwise be wasted may be used and fall on 
points where they may be seen at sea. 

Taking the spherical lamp shade as an illustration, those rays from the lamp which 
illuminate the upper portions should be so bent downwards as to double the illumi- 
nation of the lower half, if the light is intended to be a fixed light, seen all round, and 
from the horizon to the base of the light tower ; and all the ra^'s should be further bent 
laterally, if it is desired to illuminate a narrow stri[5 of sea, extending from the horizon to 
the base of the lighthouse ; or the rays may all be collected and thrown on one or more 
spots of larger or less size wherever the light is wanted. 

These last objects are sought to be attained in fixed lights placed at the end of narrow 
passages, and in revolving lights ; and these last are made visible all round by causing 
the lenses, reflectors, &c., to revolve about the source of light, or with it about 
a centre. 

The better the machinery and apparatus is contrived and executed, and adapted to the 
situation, the more the light produced from a given source is rendered available by 
directing it properly ; and the less it is wasted by absorption, dispersion, or improper 
direction, the better is the qualify of the apparatus, and the greater the economy 
of the fuel consumed in producing the light. It must be borne in mind that the 
economy in the fuel consumed is in exact proportion to the light used, and the waste to 
the light wasted ; that light which is thrown on the sky is equivalent to oil thrown away. 

There are two principal means by which it is sought to throw the light in the desired 
direction. The one is by silvered parabolic reflectors, and is called the " Catoptric " 
system ; the other is by lenses of peculiar construction, and is called the " Dioptric " 
system. Sometimes the two systems are combined together, as in the ordinary 
" Catadioptric," and in Mr. Stevenson's " Holophotal" arrangement. 

These silvered reflectors even are comparatively modei7i inventions, dating, in fact, 
from the close of the last century, and it is not 40 years since the first dioptric apparatus 
was constructed by Fresnel, in France, and lenses have only graduall}^ replaced the 
reflectors in our country. The lenticular system, as now developed, varies greatly 
from that first proposed ; and modifications are continually suggested. Manufacturers 
both at home and abroad have invested large sums in machinery and in improving the 
quality of glass ; and where so much thought is bestowed, it is reasonable to anticipate 
further improvement. 

The table already given (page 5), shows the proportion between the catoptric and 
dioptric lights at present existing in the three kingdoms. It will be seen that the 
principle of refraction is generally adopted in Scotland, while that of reflection still holds 
the numerical preponderance in England and Ireland, but it should be borne in mind 
that the lighting of the Scotch coasts is of a later date than that of the English. 

It has been generally assumed that the dioptric is preferable to the catoptric system ; 
but while Your Commissioners do not controvert this opinion, they have conclusive 

c 2 


evidence that man}- of the catoptric lights in England are not only excellent in 
themselves, but exceed in efficienc}' the dioptric lights on its shores. The first part 
of Question 7, of Circular VIII., addressed to IVIariners, runs thus : — " What British 
" lin-ht have you usually seen farthest off?" and out of the 579 witnesses who have 
answered this question, the greatest disf(i?}ces; arc mentioned with reference to the lights at 
Lundy Island, the Calf of ]\Ian, Tuskar, Flamborough Head, Bcachy Head, and Cromer, 
and the ijreatest numbers of witnesses mention Flamborough Head, the Lizard, Lundy, 
Beacliy Head, the Start, and the South Stack, all of which (with the exception of the 
Lizard, which is catoptric fixed, and the Lundy and Start, which are dioptric revolving *) 
are catoptric revolving lights. We are, however, of opinion that this preference of 
the larjie reflecting lights arises not from any inherent superiority of the catoptric 
system, but from the fact that the dioptric principle, owing to errors of adjustment, has 
never yet been allowed a full and fair chance in the United Kingdom, and a saving of 
oil has also been unfortunately attempted in various ways, chiefly by the use of the 
inefficient fountain lamps, in all the dioptric lights with the exception of those in Scotland, 
which has not been considered in the great revolving catoptric lights with 30 Argand 
burners. This subject will be reverted to in the following section. 

3rd. Tlie adaptation of the source of Ughf, and flie optical apparatus to one another, 
with a view to the ref/uiremenfs of the locality. 

This ought to be considered with reference to the object Avhich it is proposed to eifect, 
namely, in most cases, to send a bright light to the sea-horizon, and at the same time to 
illuminate sufnciently the nearer portions of the sea. (See Plates 1 and 2 at the end of 
Vol. I., and Vol. I. p. 67-) 

The source of light never is one luminous point, but a figure having length, 
breadth, and depth, and is composed of a vast number of luminous points, some 
of which are placed at considerable distances from others. The vertical and lateral 
divcrgfuce of lighthouse beams depends in a great measure on the size and shape, 
as well as on the position of the source of light placed in the apparatus ; and though 
works on Lighthouse Illumination often mention the flame as if all its parts seat 
some portion of light to all places from which the light can be seen, such is not the 
fact. Lighthouse apparatus, like any other lenses or reflectors, form within the 
apparatus "an image of the landscape outside with greater or less accuracj- ; and 
when the flame is so placed inside as to coincide with the image formed by the apparatus, 
ravs will proceed from points in the image to corresponding points in the landscape, along 
the same paths which were followed by the rays which, starting from without, formed 
the image within : and different parts of the flame do in fact illimiinate different parts 
of the sea and sky. 

A photographic camera gives a good illustration of this fact. The lens can be so 
placed as to project an inverted image of a landscape on a glass screen. If a lamp is 
placed instead of the ground glass, its light will be seen through the lens from those places 
whose image corresponds with the position of the lamp, and from no other places. And, 
in like manner, the best and most brilliant light may be so placed within a lighthouse as 
to be invisible at sea, when the apparatus itself is well constructed. 

A mariner, when he looks from a given position, through a dioptric apparatus of the 
first order, at a lighthouse lamp with four concentric wicks, is not looking at a single 
radiant point placed in the common focus of the instrument. His eye is affected by rays 
proceeding from a vast number of radiant points, variously situated, in different parts of 
eight different sources of light, of various forms and dimensions, and placed at different 
distances from the apparatus, some within and others beyond the focus for parallel raj's. 
Each of these sources of light is viewed in many different directions through as many 
different pieces of glass ; and every piece of glass, taken separately, is in itself a compli- 
cated optical instrument, with curves, angles, and a focus of its own, contrived by its 
inventor for a particular purpose, and to form part of a definite whole. 

As a lighthouse flame is composed of many irregular figures, there are probably no 
two spots equally illuminated by a lighthouse beam. 

When such is the complicated nature of the instrument, and when all its parts have 
been contrived and made for a particular purpose, any new adjustment or arrangement of 

* See the tablo in Vol. 1. The South Foreland light is omitted, as at the time of the inquiry the electric 
lieht was being burnt there. 


these different parts, after they have been so made and put together, must be skilfully 
and scicntificall}' done, if it is to be efficient. 

It seems to follow, therefore, that the altitude as well as position of every new light- 
house, and the size and shape of the light to be placed in it, ought to be known and 
fully considered before the apparatus is made and put together. 

A beam of a given divergence, with its axis in the plane of the geometrical horizon, or 
at right angles to a vertical line, must become invisible from the sea if the light is raised 
to a sufficient height above the earth whose surface is curved ; and the more nearly it 
approaches that height the less serviceable will it be, because the greater will be the 
amount of light thrown on the sky. 

It is found in practice that the fact agrees with the theory, and that much light is 
now wasted, especially in high lighthouses with low flames. 

The experiments tried by our Secretary at the Point of Ayre (see Vol. I. p. 44), and at Present catop- 
Bidston(see Vol. I.p. 6l, and our observations made on the Gunfleet Light, Vol. I. p. 3.3) '™ V* 
will show that catoptric lights, as at present constructed, do not iulfil perfectly the ^' 
conditions required ; that is to say, they throw only a portion of the light produced, on 
the sea, where it is wanted. On the contrary, a very large portion is thrown on the sky ; 
and as the light at the Point of Ayre is revolving, and shows all round, it illuminates 
the highest hills in the Isle of Man, and great part of the light produced is M'asted. 

Again, as regards dioptric lights, as at present used in England and Ireland, it has been Present diop- 
found that great improvements are possible. A large portion of the light produced even ^"^^%*'* 
in those which are best made is novr wasted. In some cases a part of the light is thrown 
too high, in others it shines on the land. In some the fault appears to arise from a want 
of consideration of the requirements of the locality, in others from want of adjustment 
in apparatus ordered with insufficient specification by the Authority giving the order, — 
originally constructed by a manufacturer without reference to elevation,- — and finally 
placed by the Authorities, without considering the construction, at an elevation for 
which it was not fitted. (See the Whitby Paper, Vol. I. p. 63 ; also p. 210, &c.) There 
are also cases of faulty manufacture, involving bad glass and inaccurate grinding. 

These defects were early noticed by Your Commissioners, and we found them to exist in 
lighthouses abroad as well as at home, and one of our first acts on arriving at these 
conclusions was to frame the questions of Circulars IX. and X., and address them to such 
Scientific men as might be supposed capable of giving a valuable opinion, and to 
Manufacturers of Lighthouse apparatus. 

But Your Majesty's Commissioners thought it highly desirable that the opinions which Astronomer 
they had themselves formed, and those which they might elicit, should, if possible, be ^°^^'' 
confirmed by the highest available authority. 

W'e accordingly applied to the Astronomer Royal for his valuable aid ; and we 
wish here to express our high sense of the kindness with which Professor Airy 
acceded to our wishes, and of the advantage which we have derived from his 
assistance. Our wish v.'as that the Astronomer Ro3'al, a high authority on mathematics 
and optics, should have the best opportunity of forming an opinion as to the adjustment of 
dioptric apparatus, and with that viev,- he was informed of what had been observed by 
us ; the specifications prepared by the Lighthouse Boards in ordering dioptric apparatus 
were also laid before him ; and he was requested to accompany your Commissioners, 
and to inspect dioptric lighthouses at home and abroad. 

Professor Airy readily complied with these requests ; he gave his time and attention 
gratuitously ; and the result of his personal observations, as stated by himself in his 
reports and letters to the Chairman, will be found in Vol. I. p. 77- 

The first light visited by Your Majesty's Commissioners in company with the start Light- 
Astronomer Royal was the Start. An account of the proceedings will be found in ^°'^^' ^"^ 
Vol. I. p. 46, and our subsequent proceedings with reference to the adjustment of Illumin- 
ating apparatus are described on the pages which follow. These include special visits 
to the Forelands, St. Catherine's Head, the Needles, Ramsgate, and Shoreham, the French 
lights of Calais, Grisnez, and Ailly; meetings with Lighthouse Authorities, and other 
scientific men, at the North Foreland and Whitby ; a visit by the Astronomer Royal to 
Girdleness, in Scotland, and another by Your Commissioners to Minehead and Dungarvon, 
in Ireland, and experiments at the works of Messrs. Chance, at Birmingham. 

The result of all these proceedings may be summed up in a few words : 

1 . The dip of the sea-horizon below the geometrical horizon has never, in the United Summary of 
Kingdom, been properly taken into account in dioptric lights, although where the light *^^^^'^'^- 


of oil insiijfi- 
cient; wicks 
too few; lamps 

Distinction of 

IS high above the surface of the sea, as for instance, 240 feet at "Whitby, this makes the 
important difference of • 16 inch in the proper position of the flame.* 

2. The various pieces of which a dioptric iUuminating apparatus is composed, have 
not even been adjusted to the flame and the geometrical horizon with sufficient accuracy. 
The result of this has usually been to send a most unnecessarily large amount of the 
ravs upward to the sky, as may be easily determined for each individual piece of glass by 
the plan of internal observation devised b}- Mr. Campbell, the Secretary of the Com- 
mission.! Professor Holmes has stated that out of 96 prisms at the South Foreland 
li'Tht, which he examined from outside, he found 94 faulty in this respect. 

3. The flame in English and Irish lights is kept far too low, owing to the use of 
only three wicks and of the fountain lamp, which burns on an average only 474 gallons 
of oil annually in England, and 442 in Ireland. This has the double disadvantage of 
diminishing the upper part of the flame, which is of the greatest service in illuminating 
the sea, and of lowering the section of greatest luminosity in the flame below the focus 
of the lens, thus causing the brightest portion of the light to be in that portion of the 
same which always of necessity sends its rays above the horizon. (See Plates 1, 2,3, 
at the end of Vol'. I., and pp. 225, '226.) 

This fault was not found to exist in the lights under the Northern Conunissioners, who 
make use of a mechanical pump lamp, which burns on an average 794 gallons of oil annu- 
allv, and produces good flames of about double the height of those in England or Ireland. 

'other remarks on the want of reflectors on the land side of the apparatus, on the 
injurious effect of the shoulder of the lamp-glass, on the erroneous position of astragals, 
on the want of filters, medicine chests, clocks, signals for day, night, during fogs, <S:c., 
will be frequently found among the personal observations of your Commissioners, and in 
the special report on the Whitby Lights in "N^ol. 1. p. 63. 

The Elder Brethren of the Trinity House are now alive to the importance of these 
subjects, as far as relates to their works, and the scientific adviser to whom they apply in 
such cases. Professor Faraday, has now directed his attention to them ; and Your Commis- 
sioners anticipate that the defects which have been pointed out will soon be remedied, now 
that attention has been called to them, and after their existence has been demonstrated by 
so many experiments and observations. 

4th. The distinction of one light from another. 

Various means are resorted to to effect this important object. Some lights are fixed, 
other* are revolving ; some are white, others are coloured. The following tables, 
drawn up from the Admiralty lists of lights, will indicate the extent to whicli this dis- 
tinauishins; of lights is carried in the three countries : — 





No. of. 

No. of 

Interval between maxima of brilliancT. 

4 4 '\ 4 '\ 4 4 






g 3 





CO m 

S 1 J^ 





1 - 


■* I ^ 




England — Tiinitv IIouso 
















Scotland — Northern Commissionei s 










,, Local ... 




Ireland — Ballast Board 





























Many of these distinctions again are susceptible of sub-division ; for instance, some 
lights, designated " fixed and flashing," give a constant light, besides the waxing and 
waning light, with intervals of darkness, while others alternate between brilliancy and 
total darkness. Again, the relative duration of light and darkness may be different, 
although the intervals between the maxima of brilliancy may be the same. 

* The flamc's maintained in the Scotch 1st order lightliouse.s appear to have their sections of maximum 
luminosity so high as in some cases to compensate for this neglect, so lar as tiie lenses are concerned. 

|- It has since been ascertained that this plan was adopted by M. Fresnel in adjusting the mirior.s abovn 
the lenses of his apparatus. See Vol. II. j)age 625, for a descrijjtion of the method referred to above. 





and Red. 


r,,„„„ Red and 
^'"'°- 1 Green. 

White, and 



England— Trinity House 




,, Local - - - 








Scotland — Northern Commissioners - 





„ Local - - 






Ireland — Ballast Board 





„ Local 




Total - - - - 









Of the coloured lights all are fixed, with the exception of 14 revolving lights, which 
show red and white alternately, and three simple red lights which revolve. 

The use of coloured lights has this disadvantage, that the colour is only obtained by 
absorbing a large portion of the rays emitted from the lamp, namely those of other colours ; 
and, therefore, the required intensity is only obtained by consuming a larger amount of 
oil. Again, green and blue hghts are highly objectionable for lighthouses, except for very 
short ranges, on account of the readiness with which rays of those colours are absorbed by 
the atmosphere if it is at all misty. Red rays, on the contrary, penetrate peculiarly well ; 
and, as Your Commissioners have witnessed, furnish an admirable and most useful means 
of distinction, one, which in their opinion is not enough resorted to, — a deficiency which 
will be at once apparent on a glance at the above table, especially in reference to the 
Trinity House, or at the Index Map projected by our Secretary ; but at the same time 
we consider that it is highly desirable wherever practicable to make red lights revolve, 
in order that the greater quantity of light thus brought into one direction may counteract 
the absorption of rays due to the coloured glass. Indeed, Your Commissioners would 
willingly see, as far as practicable, all lights in prominent situations revolving, since 
a greater range in dull weather is thus obtained, and there is less chance of mistaking 
them for ships' lights, which are now often of great brilliancy, or of mistaking ships' 
lights for them. At the same time it should be borne in mind that, at the rate at which 
ships are now propelled, it is desirable (in order to enable the mariner to secure a bearing) 
that some light beside the revolving light, particularly if it is a quick revolving light, 
should be visible throughout the whole revolution at as great a distance as possible. 

Sometimes two lights, even on separate towers, are exhibited, in order to form a dis- 
tinction irom a neighbouring light. By this means the expense is very nearly doubled ; 
and where distinction is the only object gained, it appears to show more prodigality 
than ingenuity. ( See Vol. II. pp. 6", 252 ; and Vol. I. p. 70.) 

It is also desirable that a lighthouse should be a very visible object from the sea by 
day. Your Commissioners during their visits had frequent occasion to remark how little 
tliis had been considered, especially in Scotland, where the handsome stone towers 
unpainted could often be scarcely distinguished at a distance from the grey background. 
We recommend that the lighthouses should always be coloured so as to present the 
greatest contrast with the background, and that the buildings and walls attached to 
the towers should be kept carefully whitewashed where the ground is dark. 

The distinction of lighthouses by day is susceptible of much development by the more 
extended use of coloured stripes or bands. 

There is another important point connected with the quaUty of lighthouses, to 
which Your Commissioners have given attention, namely, the means of indicating the 
locality during fogs which the light cannot penetrate. This is sought to be effected by 
bells, and in one or two instances bv guns ; but it is rarely attempted at stationary light- 
houses, except at those built on rocks in the sea, or on piles. We recommend the more 
frequent adoption of whatever means may be found most ethcient. (See Vol. I. p. 225.) 

Your Commissioners consider it desirable that Admiral FitzRoy's plan of notifying 
at the principal ports the approach and course of storms should be extended to certain 
of the lighthouses in prominent positions, for the purpose of such information being 
signalized thence to passing ships ; and if the Astronomer Royal's proposition for exhi- 
biting a» time-ball at the Start should be carried out, such signals might be advantageously 
established at that point. Admiral FitzRoy has supplied various lighthouses in the 
United Kingdom with the necessary meteorological instruments. In several of the 
answers to Your Commissioners' scientific inquiries the same suggestion is touched upon. 
Had such a system existed when the Royal Charter was lost, that fearful wreck might 
possibly have been avoided. 

c 4 

More red lights 

Bed and pro- 
minent wliite 
lights recom- 
mended to be 
made revolving. 

Two separate 
towers objected 

The colouring 
of lighthouses 
with reference 
to background 

Further use oj 



The signalizing 
of storms from 
lighthouses re- 


Quality compared with Foreign Lights. 

^ With reference to the qualitii of the lights of tlie United Kingdoin as compared with 

pared with foreign lights, the answers to Questions 4 and 5 of Circular VIII. show that the majority 
other countries. *p£ the mariners who use them consider British lights generally to be at least equal to all 
others in the world, and that those of France rank next. Out of 586 who have replied to 
Question 4, " Do you think that the coasts of the United Kingdom arc as well lighted 
"as any of the foreign coasts which you have already mamed ?" — 514 consider the coasts 
of the United Kingdom as well lighted as any others with which they are acquainted, 
while in repl}' to Question 5, " If you think that the coasts of the United Kingdom are 
" not so well lighted as those of any other country or countries, name those countries in 
'' the order in which you prefer their lights," — out of 311, 200 express their preference of 
the British lights, and only 33 prefer those of any other country. Nor is this due to 
any patriotic prejudice in favour of England, for of the 34 masters of foreign vessels 
who have answered Question 4, 24 think England as well lighted as any other country they 
know ; one is doubtl'ul ; but not one foreigner prefers the lighting of any foreign shore. 

These comparisons by the 200 mariners who pi'efer British lights and the 33 who prefer 
those of some other country have, however, been more closely analysed ; and it appears that 
out of the 200, only 42 profess to be well acquainted with the coasts of France, while it 
must be remembered there are 2.5 who express a preference for the French lighting. This 
weight of evidence, therefore, in favour of the United Kingdom as compared with France 
is not great. Many circumstances also must interfere with the accuracy of such compa- 
risons ; for instance, on the one hand an advantage is given to foreign countries by the 
greater clearness of the atmosphere, and, on the other hand, an advantage is given to 
Great Britain by its shores being the usual landfall of those mariners who have replied 
to the questions. 

The testimony of the replies given to Question 7 of the same Circular, " What British 
" and what foreign light have you usually seen furthest off, and which of the two has been 
" usually visible at the greatest distance ?" — is to a similar effect ; but it refers only to the 
brightest lights ; and an anal3-sis of these replies gives several additional points of interest. 
Such an anal3^sis is made in the tables in Vol. I. pp. 114-119, and the following arc 
the principal results : — 

579 witnesses have mentioned the 25 Lighthouses named in the table as the British 
lights M-hich they have usually seen furthest off. 

These have made 184 direct comparisons with the foreign lights which they have 
usually seen furthest off. 

And, in reply to the question which of the two has been usually seen at the greatest 
distance — , 

112 witnesses are in favour of British lights. 
72 ,, „ Foreign lights. 

Giving a majority in favour of British lights of 40 on 184 comparisons. 15 of the 25 
British lights mentioned are preferred to the Foreign lights compared with them ; 1 is 
equal; 9 arc inferior ; giving a majority of 6 in favour of British lights. Of the 15 
British lights preferred, 9 are catoptric revolving or flashing, 2 catoptric fixed ; 2 dioptric 
fixed, 2 dioptric revolving. 

Nine British lights are said to be inferior to those Foreign lights compared with them. 
Of these British lights 3 are dioptric fixed, 2 dioptric revolving or flashing ; 2 catoptric 
fixed, 2 catoptric revolving. 

This large preponderance of evidence in favour of the catoptric revolving over the 
dioptric revolving, as hitherto exhibited in England and Ireland, and which is further 
confirmed by the table in Vol. I. p. 117, fully confirms the remarks made, and the reason 
of it and the remedy are there given. 

Dioptric revolving lights ought to be very powerful. Of the two which are con- 
sidered inferior to the Foreign lights compared with them, the Start is one, and the 
condition of that light, which is described by us in Vol. I. p. 46, will show the value of 
these comparisons made from observation at sea by the men most interested in the 
lights. The other inferior dioptric revolving light is Ballycottin. It appears from the 
reply to Question 38, Circular III., that the annual consumption of oil is 354 gallons, 
as against the Start 498, the South Foreland 511, Skerry Vore ''d\, Kinnaii'd Head 
800, while at Grisnez it is stated to be 785, all of which are dioptric, 1st class. And this 
again shows the correctness of the comparisons, lor the oil burned is a measure of the 
light produced. 

Again, of all the Foreign lights mentioned and compared, Grisnez (probably from its 
prominent position) is most frequently named. It is mentioned as seen at great distances 


by 108 witnesses ; but of the 12 British lights compared with it 7 are said to be better, 5 
worse ; and of 48 comparisons between it and British lights 30 are in favour of the latter. 
The above evidence then goes to show that the quality of British lights (speaking gene- 
rally) is cqualto the quality of lights in any part of the world; and the testimony is especially 
valuable because the men who give it are mariners, those best able to judge of the appearance 
of the light ; and, as appears from their evidence elsewhere, generally knowing nothing 
about the manner in which the light is produced. As one witness remarks " They don't 
know the ropes," C. and D., (catoptric and dioptric,) but most of them think that first-class 
British lights, speaking generally, are as good as most first-class lights which they have 
seen abroad, and better than many. 

Your Majest3''s Commissioners have no reason to differ from this general opinion ; but 
in subscribing to it, we think it necessary to revert again to the various defects that we 
have ascertained to exist in the present dioptric lights, especially of England and Ireland, 
and to the experiments, observations, and reports that have been made by us or at our 
instance on the matter. T'here are, indeed, many particulars in which the quality of 
British lights might be greatly improved. (See Vol. I. p. 63.) 

There was a time when the shores of this kingdom were unquestionably much better 
lit than those of other countries. At that time silvered parabolic reflectors with Argand 
lamps Avere considered to be the best of optical apparatus for lighthouses, and they were 
largely used and are still retained in very many situations by the General Lighthouse 
Authorities. Amongst Local Authorities, smoky lamps, candles, and tin reflectors, some 
even painted in front, may even now be found. (See Dover, Vol. II. page 305.) 

There are indeed many situations in which reflectors properly kept are supposed by 
the Lighthouse Authorities to be as useful as lenses ; and the great labour, care, and 
skill bestowed by the keepers on the cleaning of the reflectors assist in making some 
British catoptric revolving lights compare favourably with the best lens lights in France. 
In catoptric revolving lights, the number of lamps and reflectors on one foce can be 
multiplied so as to increase the power. Beachy Head, for example, is a catoptric re- 
volving light, showing ten reflectors on one fuce, and is favourably compared with 
Grisncz, which is a dioptric flashing light, though Grisnez is some feet higher than 
Beachy Head. There is but one lamp at Grisnez, burning, according to regulation, 785 
gallons ; at Beachy Head there are thirty lamps, burning about 1,000 gallons of oil in a year. 

The fixed catoptric lights of the British Isles are never mentioned by any mariner as Quality com- 
having been seen at a great distance, and, indeed, with the exception of the" Lizard, their other c'^u''- 
names scarcely occur among the answers to Question 7- There can be no doubt that tries. 
they will not bear comparison with revolving lights on the same principle, or with the 
dioptric lights of France or Scotland. As to the fixed catoptric lights abroad (there are 
scarcely any in France) not one of them seems to be named, except that on Heligoland, 
which belongs to the Trinity House. 

On comparing the qualifij of British lights with those of foreign countries in the four Particulars 
particulars mentioned above, it may be remarked : — of comparison. 

1st. With reference to the source of light, the observations of the Commissioners 
have placed it beyond doubt that the French have the advantage over the English and 
Irish in the height and brilliancy of their flames, owing mainly to their use of the mechanical 
lamp. (See Plate 1 at the end of Vol. 1.) 

2nd. As to the optical apparatus, the dioptric system, invented and first employed in 
France, has been gradually adopted in our own country, and in Scotland some im- 
provements have been made in it. There is, however, this important difference : in France 
the new apparatus was adopted throughout the whole Lighthouse service ; and in 
the United States, and in Spain, it has been lately exclusively adopted in the great refor- 
mation of their Lighthouse system just effected by the Governments of those countries ; 
but in the United Kingdom the old reflectors have only been replaced from time to time 
by the refi acting apparatus; and the Board of Trade now lay down the principle, 
that the expense should only be incurred when the reflectors are worn out. It still 
remains an open question in some minds whether the change should at once be completed 
along the whole shores of Britain, and in other minds whether the purely catoptric principle 
is not better than the purely dioptric under certain circumstances ; but few will doubt 
that a combination of the two would often be the most efHcient, and such combinations 
exist in all countries, but especially in Scotland. Your Commissioners, indeed, are pre- Substitution of 
pared to recommend a more rapid substitution of these catadioptric arrangements for the catadioptnc for 
simple metallic reflectors now in use at so many situations, and we deem this especially mtusTecom^''' 
requisite when the light is a fixed one. If the electric light come into general use, it may mended. 
necessitate some important modifications of the existing apparatus. 
I. d 


3rd. As the dioptric apparatus used in Ensrland has been obtained from France till 
very recently, or consti-ucted on French models, it can be no matter of astonishment that 
Your Commissioners found in that country the same errors of adjustment between the 
optical ])ieces and the lamp, which they had first remarked at home ; but these errors 
were greatly aggravated in England and Ireland, where the flame was low. The excel- 
lence of the light at Grisnez was found to be due partly to the height of the flame of 
the mechanical Limp, but partly also to the fact that the old-fashioned mirrors had been 
well adjusted to the sea-horizon after erection, — a point that cannot be so easily secured 
in apparatus of more modern construction (such as is used at Calais), where the totally 
reflecting prisms arc secured in their places before the apparatus leaves the manufac- 
tory, and without reference to the altitude of the proposed situation. There was, how- 
ever, but very slight faidt to be found with the adjustment of the Illuminating apparatus 
at Ailly. (See Vol. I. p. 59. and the Astronomer Royal's Report, p. 85.) 

4th. In regard to the 'distinction of one light from another by varying its character 
the French, according to the Admiralty list-, do not avail themselves so much as the 
English of the various means, and the Americans seem to be inferior; but in Spain and 
Brazil the proportion of revolving to fixed lights is much greater, and red flashes are 
more frequently emplo^•ed than in the United Kingdom. 

The United States Authorities pay more attention to the distinction of lighthouses by 
day, by means of colour, than the /Authorities in this country. 

The French use silk webs in the wicks ; and filter the oil that has flowed through the 
burners before returning it to the lamp for another night's consuu:iption. 

An account of a bell with a reflector, on Boulogne pier, used in foggy weather, with 
evidence as to the extent to which it answers its purpose, will be found in Vol. I. p. 221. 

Expense of Construction and Maintenance. 

The expense of constructing a lighthouse depends so nmch on the requisite height 
of the tower, the accessibilit}- of the site, the facility of procuring material or workmen, 
and many other circumstances varying with the locality or the character of the work, that 
it is difficult to form a comparison between the practice of different boards in this respect ; 
yet there are some points which appear worthy of remark. 

The triumphs of Lighthouse engineering are those towers which rise in the midst of an 
open sea on small isolated rocks or reefs that are washed over by the v.aves. The 
Eddystone was the first of this class, but it has been exceeded in magnitude, and in the 
difficulties overcome in the construction, by three more recent erections, the heights and 
total cost of each of which are given below : — 

Bell Rock, Scotland, East Coast; height, 117 feet; cost, 61,331/. 9-^. '2d. 
Skerrv Vore, „ West Coast ; „ 158 „ „ 8.3,126/. 12s. \d. 

Bishop Rock, England, Scilly Isles ; „ 145 „ „ 36,559/. 1 85. 9f/. 

The two last are, to a certain extent, comparable works, both being erected on 
rocks almost covered by the sea at high water, both far from land, and exposed to the 
force of the Atlantic, and both more or less on the model of the Eddystone ; yet the 
Bishop which is nearly as tall as the Skerry Vore, cost in construction less than half 
what was expended on that magnificent work. It must be remembered, however, that 
at Skerry Vore the workmen, the materials, and all the requisite stores, had to be 
conveyed a distance five times as great as at Scilly which in that stormy region 
rendered the chances of landing much more precarious, and that a quarry and a 
harbour had to be formed; circumstances which involved a large expense that cannot be 
estimated with any precision. 

Again, in Scotland, there are a number of modern Lighthouses on the mainland, as at 
Girdleness, Buchaimess, Covesea Skerries, and Ardnamurchan, handsome towers from 115 
to 120 feet in height, with substantial edifices for keepers around their base, and these have 
cost 10,000/. or 1 1,000/. for the building alone. The only Lighthouse on the mainland in 
England equalling them in height, and fairly comparable is that at St. Catharine's Head, 
in the Isle of Wight, which cost 7,6/3/. 17a'. 2f/. It also is of stone. The Irish Light- 
house at Kinsale, 100 feet high, is somewhat comparable with these Scotch erections, 
and cost about 9,000/. 

The usual Lighthouses on the mainland of England, or on rocky islands, built by the 
Trinity House, arc nuich smaller erections, often costing no more than from 3,0U0/. to 
5,000/., and rarely exceeding 7,500/. ■ 

The average cost of a Lighthouse on the mainhmd, or on rocky islands, in Scotland, is 
about 8,1 '00/. 


In general the Irish Lighthouses, even on the mainland, have been erected at an expense 
of 10,000/., but this includes the Illuminating apparatus, and in some instances the 
formation of a road. 

The only complaints which the Commissioners have heard respecting the cost of erection 
of Lighthouses have been with reference to the Scotch, and luive proceeded from the Board 
of Trade. (See Oral Evidence, answer 928.) The structures erected during this 
century in that country are doubtless most substantially built, generally of granite, and of 
great height ; there seems to be very little outlay on mere ornament, and they present a 
noble appearance as public works ; but when the great difference in cost between them 
and English Lighthouses designed to serve a similar purpose is considered, there can be 
little doubt either that the Scotch and Irish Authorities have not paid due regard to 
economy, or that the English Authorities, keeping economy too closely in view, have not 
erected edifices worthy of themselves and of the nation ; unless, indeed, there be some cir- 
cumstances which render similar erections necessarily more costly in Scotland and Ireland. 

If it is difficult to compare justly the cost of construction between the different por- ^ 
tions of the United Kingdom, it is still more difficult to draw a comparison with the coastruction 
expense incurred in countries where labour is very differently remunerated, and where the for"fTc!)un''' 
Management of Lighthouses is centralized in the National Government. Yet some tries, 
interesting data for such a comparison have been obtained. 

On turning to France we arrive at some startling results, — The Pharede Brehat, on the 
north-west coast of France, stands on a rock at sea like the Skerry Vore or the Bishop 
Rock, but more under high water than they are ; it is built of granite, and equals the 
SkciT}' Vore tower in height, at least -within afoot or two, yet the total expense, including 
that of the 1st order dioptric apparatus, is stated to have been only i'3,120/. The pay- 
ments to the Government engineers, the transport of material by Government vessels, and 
some other matters, are probably not included ; and other circumstances, including expo- 
sure to storms, were more favourable, thus rendering the comparison of little value, yet 
the smallness of the sum is striking. 

Again, the French have built at Calais a tower of brick and calcareous stone, hand- 
somely fitted up within, as is the case generally with 1st order French lights, 167 feet 
high, and therefore taller than any lighthouse tov/er in the British Isles, and half as tall 
again as the Scotch towers in analogous situations, which cost 10,000/. or 11,000/., but 
the Calais Lighthouse was completed for 7,-i79f- The Harbour Lights in France, 
though differing greatly from one another, as might be expected, are said to cost on 
an average 320/. for their erection. In the British Isles Harbour Lights are generally 
under Local Authorities, and they differ more widely still, in fact from a common "-as 
lamp post to lighthouses of large pretensions as the 1st order catadioptric light at 
Hartlepool ; yet there are some in each division of the United Kingdom which have 
cost about the same as the French average ; for instance, at Penzance in Enoland, at 
Peterhead in Scotland, and at Cork in Ireland. Some buildings have cost less, but the 
majority have had a larger sum expended on their erection than the French. 

The average expense of construction of four Spanish Lighthouses of the first order, 
height not stated, is only 5,450/., including everything, and not one of those buildings, 
particulars of which have been kindly furnished by Senor Lucio del Valle, cost more 
than 7,611/. Their Lighthouses for Harbours appear to be more expensive than the 

The American first-class light, described in the lleturn from the United States, cost 

The Dutch have constructed a stone lighthouse on the coast at West Schouwen of 
the great height of 166 feet, only one foot less than that at Calais, with brick houses for 
the keepers, which, including the 1st order revolving apparatus, cost only 6,400/. 

The Danish Government, on the other hand, has paid 10,673/. for a burnt brick and 
granite lighthouse, including the illuminating apparatus, at Skagen. 

The lighthouse at the " Hohe Weg," Bremen, built of freestone, brick, and clinkers, 
cost, including the illuminating apparatus, 10,996/. 

The Norwegian Government built the lighthouse at Little Foerder for 7,500/., and the 
iron one at Rundo, which is 110 feet high, for 10,800/. 

In comparing these sums with those mentioned previously as expended in Great 
Britain, it must be borne in mind where a 1st order dioptric apparatus is included, that 
it costs from 1,500/. to 2,000/. 

On the whole, therefore, the outlay of Foreign Governments in the construction of 
Lighthouses, making every allowance for the advantages which a more centralized system 
gives in such a comparison, appears to be rather greater than the outlay incurred by the 
English Board. 

d 2 


Expense of 

Expense of Maintenance. 

The expense of maintenance of a light depends to a great extent on its class. It 
■would be futile to attempt a comparison by taking the whole amount expended on 
liahting the coasts by each General Authority, or by each different country, and 
dividing that by the number of lights, unless it were ascertained that the different classes 
were in the same proportion, and that all expenses of lightships or buoys were excluded. 
The returns asked for by Your Commissioners tell the annual cost of each Lighthouse 
in 1858, under several distinct heads, and from these returns has been drawn up the 
following table of averages, which refers only to 1st order dioptric lights, or catoptric 
lights of the largest description: — 

Expense of 
compared with 
foreign coun- 




s. Keepers'.Salarics. 

Repairs of 





(as returned). 






dJ £ s. d. 

f s. d. 

£ K 





£ s. d. 

England — Dioptric 





2 126 10 9 

2 suits of 

clothes, coals. 


29 6 2 

13 2 





265 o 1 

„ Catoptric 






5 141 8 4 
1 2 suits of 
1 clothes, coals. 

! &c. 

30 8 






340 .5 

Scotland — Dioptric 






116 15 7 
and land. 

1 8 8 

8 13 


380 9 6 

„ Catoptric 





6 109 13 1 

and land. 

2 13 3 

8 6 





385 12 7 

Ireland — Dioptric - 

1 ■> 




119 17 .5 

3 6 U 

7 19 





405 9 5 

,. Catoptric - 





9 110 1.5 4 

9 11 2 

23 5 





485 11 3 

From this it is evident at a glance that as the Scotch dioptric lights burn a larger 
amount of oil than the English or Irish, they are more expensive in that item ; but in 
this particular, expense becomes a measure of efficiency. The Scotch effect a saving 
in oil, amounting to about 1,300/. per annum, by lighting and extinguishing their lamps 
not at sunset and sunrise, but at the going away and reappearance of dayliglit, periods 
calculated separately and tabulated according to the latitude of each station. The amount 
burnt in the large catoptric lights of each country is about the same, oil being Id. or 2cl. per 
gallon cheaper in England than in Scotland or Ireland. Kepairs of building is a larger item 
in the English than in the other Lighthouses, as they are usually older constructions, and 
of a less substantial character, "^rhe Scotch towers are generally not painted. As to 
the total expenditure, there is evidently a discrepancy in the manner in which it has 
been returned bv the different Authorities, the Northern Commissioners and the Ballast 
Board having included items not included by the Trinity House, thus showing a greater 
discrepancv than exactness would warrant. 

Besides the expenditure incurred in the individual Lighthouses, theie are the general 
expenses of the Authority having charge of them. I'his is an important subject of 
inquiry, but will be better treitcd of under the head of " System of Slanagement." 

The following table will afford the means of comparing the expense of maintenance 
of a first order dioptric light in foreign countries with that incurred in England, Scotland, 
and Ireland : — 




IJrehat (Rock) 
Mainland lights 

average of four 

Total Ex 



s. d. 




274 17 11 

The French Government pays the keepers much less than is paid by any of the General 
Authorities in the United Kingdom, but its outlay in oil is very properly greater than 
in England or Ireland. The United States, on the contrary, pay as mueh as 27CL 
in keepers' salaries for a fir.-;t-order Lighthouse, whilst the Trinity House, as shown in the 
preceding table, ])ays on an average \'26/. lOs. Qd. 



The number of Floating Lights in position in the United Kingdom is 47- 
They are thus distributed — 


England — Trinity House 

Local Authoritie.s 
Scotlanil — Northern Commi.ssioners 

„ Local Autlioritie.s 
Ireland — Ballast Board 

Local Aiithoritie.s 


Floating Lights in 

Floating Lights 
in reserve. 




Of the Floating Lights under the Local Authorities, Liverpool has three and Hull 
two ; there is one in the Solway, and another in the Tees ; one in the Clyde, and the 
remaining one in Lough Foyle. 

The Index Map shows the positions of these vessels. They appear to have been Position, 
chosen with good judgment, for very few complaints are made in the evidence of the 

It can hardly be said that the Floating Lights even of England were sufficient when sufficiency 
the Commission commenced its sittings, but the Trinity House is extending its mode of 
action in this respect, having placed two new vessels during the past year, the one in 
Cardigan Bay, the other on the Varne Shoal in the Channel. Additional Floating 
Light^ are still suggested in the Mariners' Evidence, especially one to mark the Inner or 
Outer Dowsing, and we learn that the Trinity House have just obtained permission to 
place one there. 

The question of their sufficiency depends also in some measure on the solution of a 
problem, which Mr. Herbert of the Trinity House proposes to make the subject of ex- 
periments on a large scale. 

It has been proposed by him to extend the principle of lighting by establishing 
Floating Lights in the Fairway — the hulls to be constructed on the principle of his buoys, 
and the light the best known. ',{¥ov description and drawing, see Vol. II. p. 618.) 

The evidence which the Commissioners have obtained from the Masters of Light-vessels 
goes to prove that the most exposed situations are not necessarily the most dangerous or 
disagreeable. The Masters of the Seven Stones and Coningbcg Lightvessels agreed in 
saying, that the long sea, and great length of chain required to anchor in deep water, made 
their stations, which are the most exposed in the kingdom, easier to ride in than stations 
where the sea is shorter, the water shallower, and the current stronger ; such as at Arklow, 
the Owers, and Cockle ; and the Master of the Lightvessel in the Humber, who had 
crossed the Atlantic 60 times, said that he had never met with so " nasty" a sea as in the 
River Humber. 

This, which at first sight appears strange, is explained by the fact, that when thewind 
is strong and its direci:ion across a strong tide, a vessel often rides broadside to the sea. 
In the open sea the tides are not so strong, and the waves are longer. 

The Lightvessel at the Goodwin was seen by the Commissioners so riding, to wind- 
ward of her moorings, broadside to the sea, and rolling heavily. 

The efficiency of a Floating Light depends on the attention paid to the four points dwelt Quality. 
on in reference to the quality of Lights on shore (seepage 6), with one very important 
addition, namely, that it should remain on its station in all weathers. 

The best proof that the lights are efficient in the last particular is to be found in the 
statements of the Lighthouse Authorities, which are full}^ confirmed by the evidence of 
mariners. The Lightvessels very seldom go adrift, and there is no instance on record in 
which the crew have voluntarily run from their stations in bad weather. When they 
have been driven from their moorings, the vessels have always been replaced in a very 
short time, and none have ever been wrecked. The Mariners' Evidence on this point is 
valuable, because the rare instances in which Lightvessels have been off their stations are 
repeatedly mentioned by independent witnesses as remarkable events. It does not appear 
that the lights have ever been accidently extinguished. 

Much has to be learned about the best form for resisting the force of winds and Form of light 
waves when the vessel is always at anchor. The shape of the hull now varies con- '"'^"''• 
siderably. Some are longer than others. The part of the vessel to which the moorings 
are attached, and the points where the chains enter, are different. The Irish vessels are 



i?er/ revolving 
liyhts rcfom- 

Improverl fuy 
tuynals recom- 

Expense of 

generally longer and sharper than those in England, and set an after-sail when its use 
enables them to ride more easily. We have endeavoured to obtain evidence on these points, 
and have received man}' valuable opinions in reply to our questions on flotation. The 
testimony of the men on board has been in favour of considerable length, fine entrance, 
and a low point for attaching the moorings ; but wc would recommend this branch of 
scientific inquiry to the attentive consideration of those who have to decide the question 
practically, as these questions materially aflfect the steadiness of the light, security of 
ship, and safety and comfort of the men. 

The source of light in lightships is invariably the combustion of oil. Mechanical 
or large lamps arc not employed. 

The apparatus by which the light is directed to where it is needed, consist of silvered 
reflectors and Argand lamps. In three instances only has the dioptric system been 
adopted in lightships, one of them being the local floating light of Stockton-on-Tees. 

I'he reflectors are also smaller afloat ; and with one or two exceptions only one reflector 
is shown on each face, and can be seen at once. The silver is much more liable to injury, 
and the reflectors were generally found to be in a less brilliant condition than any that' 
were seen on shore ; though in some of the vessels the reflectors were quite as well 
polished as any seen. Reflectors also wear out much sooner at sea. 

it is a question for consideration, whether the dioptric principle might not be more 
generally introduced into floating lights ; and whether some of the improved methods of 
producing light might not l)e adopted afloat. The science of illumination, as regards 
floating lights, requires development, especially as ships' lights are now made so 

The existing distinctions in Floating Lights are given in the subjoined table, as far as 
our returns indicate. 



Number of Lights. 



1 Light. 

■2 Lights. 

3 Lights. 



Fixed and 



Red and 

England— T. H. - 
„ Local - 

Scotland - 

„ Local - 

Ireland— B. B. - 
,, Local - 







11 2 

1 — 

2 I 














45 j 28 


14 ' 3 


30 ' 13 


40 1 3 


In regard to the distinction of the light of one lightship from another, or from shore 
lights, or from the lights of moving vessels. Your Commissioners cannot help thinking 
that red might be more frequently used, provided the revolving dioptric apparatus is 
adopted, and that a larger proportion might advantageously be made to revolve, provided 
the rapidity of revolution be sufficient to prevent the long extinction of the light. 

Another point is the colour and distinguishing mark of floating lights by day ; for it 
is important to every mariner to be enabled to recognize a particular lightvcssel at a 

The Trinity House Lightvessels are painted red. In Ireland they are black with a 
white streak. At Liverpool, two are red and one black ; and they are all distinguished by 
balls hoisted at the mastheads, and by other signals, and some have their names painted 
on their sides. Black and red seem to be the colours which contrast best with the colour 
of the sea, and they are in fact best seen. 

Gongs are used as fog-signals in the lightvessels of the Trinity House and Ballast 
Board ; but Your Commissioners are satisfied that they are not sufficiently powerful, and 
recommend the provision of a more efficient warning in fog as a subject of investigation 
and experiment. 

Expense of Construction and Maintenance. 

The average cost of a lightvessel when fully equipped, exclusive of stores, is as 
follows : — 

England — Trinity House 
„ Liverpool 
„ Hull (small) 

Ireland — Ballast Board 


The Return from Liverpool does not include the cost of the Crosby Channel Floating 
Light. One of the two vessels belonging to Hull, viz., the Hebbles, is very small. 


The Floating Lights in Ireland are of a larger size and better character than the average 
of those in England. 

1 he average annual expense of maintaining a Floating Light in the United Kingdom Expense of 
is as follows : — 




Eepairs and 







in 1858 
(as returned). 

£ A. d. 

£ s. 


£ s. d. 

£ ;?. d. 

£ i. d. 

England — Trinity House 

70 8 5 

59 7 


430 19 2 

11 suits of 


301 2 6 

1,103 18 1 

„ Liverpool 


103 13 


480 13 4 

408 12 

1,464 11 3 

„ Hull 

40 6 2 

38 14 


284 5 

219 8 9 

Ireland — Ballast Board 

586 4 9 

90 6 


423 18 

256 12 9 

1,320 15 11 

The Floating Lights of the Trinit}^ House are brought into harbour to be repaired 
from time to time, and this is not reckoned among the ordinary repairs and painting, 
hence the smallness of the sum in the first column of the above table. In the total ex- 
penditure this seems to be included. 

There is little room for comparison between the Floating Lights in England and those Comparison 
of any other country. France has onl^' two, and Spain has not established any. The Jountdel'^" 
United States are better provided, having 48, but they were confessedly in a very 
inefficient condition till recently, when those of England were copied, possibly- with some 
improvements. Their vessels are painted in stripes and bands, and of various colours, so 
as to be recognized at once. 

It is stated in America that the vessels used frequently to leave their stations and run 
into harbour in heavy weather ; indeed, that is admitted in the return forv/arded b^^ the 
United States Government. 

The following table gives the cost of a Lightvessel when complete for service, and the 
annual expense of maintenance in several foreign countries :^ 


Name of Vessel. 

Cost of Vessel. 

Cost of Maintenance. 

United States 

", New South Shoals " 

" Fingrundet " - 

Average of Three 

" Bremen " - - 

" Kobbergrunden " - - 

" Paarde Markt " - - 

"Noord Hinder" 

£ .«. 
About 4,375 
5,606 4 
2,968 10 




£ 5. d. 



Further details are to be found in the Returns. 

It is evident that whether at home or abroad it is far more costly to maintain a Light 
afloat than on shore, and where the Light itself cannot be made perfectly stationary, 
a refined adjustment of the illuminating apparatus to the horizon would be injurious. 
Where practicable, therefore, stationary buildings should be erected, such as the Screw- 
pile Lighthouses at the mouth of the I'hames, and elsewhere. 


The number of Huoys in the United Kingdom, as far as can be ascertained from the Numbc 
Returns,_ is as follows; but as there are many Local Authorities which have given no 
information, the number must be defective in this respect. Wreck Buoys and Warping 
Buoys are excluded from the Returns. 


Buoys in 

England — Trinity House - 
„ Admiralty 

„ Local Authorities 

Scotland — Northern Commissioners 
„ Local Authorities 

Ireland — Ballast Board 
„ Local Autliorities 







Buoys in 







compared with 
foreign coun- 


Uniform .«y.9. 
tnn of hw„,,i, i 
ivith dark, 

Quality com- 
pared with 
foreign coun- 

The position of these buoys is marked in the charts, which have been furnished by the 
several Authorities, but it was not thought necessary to pubhsh these. The position of 
the buoys are marked on the Admiralty Charts. 

Vervfew alterations are suggested in the positions of existing buoys by those who 
have answered the Circulars addressed to Mariners and to Lloyd's Agents ; and, on the 
whole, there does not seem to be ground for dissatisfaction in respect to position. 

The number of buoys in some districts appears to be amply sufficient. In other districts 
there are hardlv any, and in others more are wanted. The Replies of ^klarincrs to 
Question 23 show in detail where the witnesses desire that buoys should be placed, and 
similar evidence is given by Lloyd's Agents, who frequently speak of the waut of buoys 
in certain localities, especially in Scotland and Ireland. 

Some instances of uealect have come to the knowledge of the Commissioners; as at 
Limerick, where the buoys have gradually disappeared, and never been replaced, though 
there were ample funds expressly for the purpose. 

That the coasts of the United Kingdom are better supplied with buoys thau any 
forei"-n coasts is borne out by the almost unanimous opinions expressed by the 488 
persoiis who follow the sea, who have answered Question 14 of Circular VIII. 

The prime requisites in a buoy are that it should be conspicuous, distinctive, and 

It appears from the Returns, however, that buoys are liable to various accidents, 
especially that of being fouled or run down by ships. Of the 356 Trinity House buoys in 
position," only 14 broke adrift in 1858; none of the egg-bottomed or flat-bottomed buoys 
were so' displaced in that year. Of the 92 buoys belonging to the Northern Commis- 
sioners, 2 only broke adrift in 1858 ; and of the 53 buoys under the Ballast Board, only 
the same number ; while of the 608 buoys under local authorities a somewhat larger 
proportion, namely 35, broke adrift, tho'ugh these latter generally ride in nuich less 
exposed situations. 

Some buoys, for instance those under the Admiralty in the fairway leading into 
Portsmouth Harbour, disappear under water as soon as the tide becomes strong, and only 
reappear at slack water (see Vol. I.). Generally speaking, the buoys in use are not 
constructed on scientific principles ; but there are others, either used or designed, which 
show more thought. Herbert's buoys have been tried on a large scale at Liverpool, 
in Ireland, and in England, and appear, when properly constructed, to be excellent. 
Lenox's, Poulter's, and Peacock's buoys, and many other forms, appear also to ride 
successfully; and in the Clyde there are large iron buoys of peculiar construction, 
wliich are commended. 

The best form for a conspicuous floating body, to be permanentl3- anchored at a 
particular spot, and the best method of securing it, have yet to be decided. 

We have also asked and obtained the evidence of scientific men on this point, and 
would specially recommend the subject to the Authorities who have to deal practically 

with it. ' , . 

Another and a very important inquiry as to the efficiency of buoyage is the system on 
which channels and harbours are buoyed, and whether, indeed, any system is adopted. 
Till lately there was no attempt at uniformity in an^- part of the British Isles, but the 
Northern" Commissioners adopted u system, the main feature of which is placing red 
buovs on the starboard hand in entering the harbour, and black on the port hand. The 
Irish Board have frequently adopted a system too, but it is exactly the reverse of the 
Scotch ; and only last year" the Trinity House have decided to buoy channels uniformly, 
but on a totallv "different plan ; namely, red or black buoys to starboard, and chequered 
to port, but they do not contemplate applying it to channels already buoyed. The 
Board of Trade has required that Lough Swilly in Ireland should be buoyed on this 
system. In the meantime some of the Local Authorities, as those at Liverpool and the 
Clvde, have adopted systems of their own, which may or may not be the same as that 
of "the 'General Authority in the same country ; the Admiralty have no uniform system. 

Your Majesty's Commissioners recommend that some national system he introduced into 
the United Kingdom, and that the colours adopted in it should be dark. In support of this 
we would again call attention to the Mariners' Evidence. Of 268 mariners who have 
replied to Question 28, 148 are in favour of a tmiform system, and a very large majority 
of those who have replied to Question 17, prefer black and red for colours, and angular 
forms, as being the most visible on the sea. The disadvantage of white under such 
circumstances "has been frequently illustrated. (See Vols. I. and II.) Attention is 
directed to var-nus proposed systems of buoyage, which will be found in Vol. I. 

The buoys in foreign countries do not appear to etjual those of the British Isles either 
in size or general efficiency ; but the adoption of a national system of buoyage, as in 
France, is "evidently an advantage. The French contemplate improving their buoyage, 
and we saw a vcrylargc Herbert's Bell buoy in construction. 


The original cost of a buoy varies greatly with its character and size. The Trinity Expense of 
House generally employ Can buoys costing from 2//. to 36/., but it has many of a better construction. 
kind costing 58/., 130/., and even 197/-, when complete. The Ballast Board makes most 
use of a buoy costing 26/., but those costing 42/. lOs. or 62/. are not infrequent, and their 
largest Herbert's buoy cost 99/- 4a-. The Northern Commissioners, on the other hand, do 
not employ any other than the old Nun and Can buoys, costing from 16/. I6.y, to 
31/. lOs. 

The repairs required by a buoy arise mainly from accidents. Painting, however, is a Expense of 
regular expense, costing annua% from 21. lOs. to 5/. 5^. each in Ireland ; 7s. 6d. in ™'"°'*°^'=«- 
Scotland ; and the mere expense of the paint in England, as it is done by the crews of 
Floating Lights when off" duty. 

The United States Government commonly use Nun and Can buoys, costing from Cost compared 
40/. to 100/. The Spanish obtains its buoys from England. ^Itnltf^" 


It is impossible to determine the number of Beacons in the British Isles, for the word ^'""ber. 
itself is somewhat indefinite, particularly in the Local Returns, where they cannot be rigidly 
distinguished from other small leading marks. The following numbers all refer to struc- 
tures of some magnitude : — 

England — Trinity House - -67 

„ Admiralty - - 7 

„ Channel Islands - - 19 

Scotland — 'Northern Commissioners 33 

Clyde - - - 82 

Ireland— Ballast Board - - 53 

The positions of these and other beacons are given in the Admiralty Charts. 

They appear to be fully sufficient in some places, but deficient in others. The ^''5'''°°- 
positions where more beacons are wanted are mentioned in the Replies to Question 23 Sufficiency. 
of Mariners' Evidence, and in the Evidence collected through Lloyd's Agents. 

In rivers and estuaries in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, beacons are commonly 
sticks, or beams of wood planted in the mud, or fixed to rocks. Sometimes a beacon is Q"=i'ity- 
a pile of stones, but there are also beacons of solid masonry, and structures of iron 
solidly fixed in places where such marks have been thought sufficient, and a light was 
not thought necessary. There is a beacon on a rock near Stornaway, which reflects light 
directed upon it from a lighthouse on shore. Hollow pile beacons have been erected on 
some shoals, as on the Goodwin Sands, and might advantageously be substituted in other -f* beacons 
places for buoys, just as permanent pile lighthouses are being in some places substituted ''™""™*''- 
for floating lights. 

The beaconage of the United Kingdom, like the buoyage, is on no uniform system of 
colour, or form, or construction ; and generally nothing but local knowledge enables a 
mariner to tell his position by the beacons alone. The navigation of the Clyde is much 
facilitated by beacons solidly built at short distances from one another, and marked 
both by colour and by other indications, so as to show on which side of them is the 
channel. What is there eff'ected might be attempted with advantage in other places Uniform .«</«- 
under other iurisdictions. tem of colouring 

-' 1- 11 11 PI TT'iT- 1 beacons com- 

Speakmg generally, the beaconage ot the United kingdom admits of great improve- '«««*<^- 
ment. The number might be increased, and the quality improved, and the efficiency of 
the service advanced. 

The expense of erecting a beacon depends of course wholly on the nature of the con- 
struction and of the site. The cost varies from that of the beacon on the Wolf Rock oflf Expense of 
the Land's End, amounting to 11,298/., to that of "Jack-in-the-Basket," at the entrance of andma'nte" 
Lymington Creek, a mere pole painted white, with a basket at its top. The Pabba Beacon °''"<^'^- 
in the Sound of Skye, the latest erected in Scotland, is of malleable iron, 40 feet in 
height, and cost 502/. 5*. 2d. The expense of maintenance is in many cases nil, and 
never should be much, unless in situations where the nature of the position is such 
that damage is frequently being caused by the almost irresistible force of the sea. 

The beacons \\hich your Commissioners have seen abroad, and those described in the Comparison 
Returns from foreign countries, do not seem to be better than those of the United Tountries.'*^" 
Kingdom, except in so far as there is a national s^'stem. 

In France the beacons and buoys are coloured on the same plan, and even patches of 
rocks on different sides of channels are (according to the Returns) painted black and red. 
I. e 


lu SMeden, the trees which are planted in the water, on one side of a channel, have a 
bunch of branches at the top, and those on the other side are left bare, and the principle 
of indicating compass bearings of shoals is acted on. 


The system of management and control under which Lights, Buoys, and Beacons are 
constructed and maintained in this kingdom as laid down by the Merchant Shipping Act 
\7 & 18 Vict., c. 104., is as follows: 

The several Authorities mentioned in the Act are, 1st, the Queen in Council ; 2nd, the 
Committee of the Privy Council for Trade ; 3rd, the Trinity House ; 4th, the two other 
General Lighthouse Authorities, namely, the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses for 
Scotland and the Port of Dublin Corporation, or Ballast Board for Ireland ; 5th, Local 
Authorities, of which there are about IJO. 

System of Control. 

1st. Tlie Queen in Counri/ maj- transfer to a General Lighthouse Authority the 
powers of a Local Authority within its jurisdiction making default in erecting, maintain- 
ing, or placing any local lighthouse, buoy, or beacon. (Sec. 395-) 

The same power may consent to the following acts by the General Lighthouse 
Authorities : — Exemption from dues ; alteration of mode of collection ; substitution of 
dues (Sec. 398) ; and may fix dues for new lights, or alter their amount (Sec. 410). 

So i'ar as Your Commissioners are informed, the powers of Local Authorities have very 
rarelv been transferred from the Local Authorities who exercise them. One case was 
the Light at Douglas, Isle of Man, lately transferred from the Local Authority to the 
Scotch Board. Provision has to be made for dues in such a case. Sees. 395 and 413 
seem to give the necessary powers. Under Sec. 397 the Queen in Council may alter dues. 

2nd. T/ie Board of Trade may, on complaint of ineflficiency, authorize persons to 
inspect all Lighthouses, Buoys, and Beacons under the General Lighthouse Authorities, 
and may at all times demand from them returns, explanations, ^c. (Sec. 393). 

From the evidence before Your Commissioners it appears that the first of these powers 
has been very httle exercised, and that the latter has to a very great extent. Sec Corre- 
spondence, Abstracts, &c. 

The Board of Trade may sanction interference with Local Authorities hy General 
Authorities ( Sec. 394 \ but Your Commissioners are not informed that they have ever 
been asked to do so. This section gives large powers to the General Authorities, but they 
have been exercised only to a very small extent, if at all. 

On the contrary, it appears from a letter dated 9th February 1859 (see Vol. II. p. 631 ), 
that as regards the Harbour Lights marked in the Admiralty lists, the Board of Trade 
had " no information to enable them to state by whom they were then managed " ; and it 
further appears, from the Return of the Scotch Board, that the Commissioners for 
Northern Lighthouses could only furnish a list of these Local Authorities, so far as 
known, and it does not appear from the Returns or from the personal observations of Your 
Commissioners or from the oral evidence, that local lights are inspected or interfered with 
to anv extent b\- any of the General Authorities. 

Your Commissioners have reason to believe that very little control of any kind has 
been exercised over the Local Authorities, and we generally found the lights to be less 
efficient than those managed by the General Lighthouse Authorities, and to be managed 
on no regular system of any kind. 

The Board of Trade may direct the General Authorities to account for and pay 
over to the Paymaster-General the dues collected by them (Sec. 402), and this they have 
accordingly done. There was on February 6, I860 a very large surplus. 361,645/. 1«. 2d., 
invested in Excliequer bills and cash in the hands of the Paymaster-General. ( See Return 
Light Dues, February 6, I860. Parliamentary Paper.) 

The Board of Trade may decide questions in dispute between the Trinity House and 
the other two General Lighthouse Authorities b}- granting or withholding their sanction, 
either wholly or partially, and cither with or without modification in relation to the 
matters submitted to them (Sec. 406). The directions given by the Board of Trade in 
relation to the matters aforesaid shall fortliwith be communicated by the Trinity House 
to the General Authority in question, and that Authority is bound to act in conformity 
therewith (Sec. 407). Under Sec. 408 the Board of Trade may sanction directions of 
the Trinity House to the other two Lighthouse Authorities, but we do not find that the 
Board of Trade are empowered by the Act to direct the Trinity House as to their 
managentenf ; and we arc informed that the Board of Trade, whatever may be the nature 
and extent of the power which they actually exert, only c/aim " the control of the purse." 


( See Mr. Milnev Gibson's Evidence, Q. 82.) But the power given to the Board of 
Trade by Sec. 405, which seems intended only to meet cases in which the Trinity 
House do not signify their approval of the works which the other General Authorities 
submit to them for their sanction, appears to have been taken to embrace other cases, 
and to include a power of control over the Trinity House ; and such a power of control 
has been exercised in man}^ instances in England, Ireland, and Scotland. 

Under Sees. 408, 409, the Board of Trade have power to sanction directions 
originating with the Trinity House, and addressed to the other General Authorities, and 
they act as a Court of Appeal ; but no case has been brought to the knowledge of your 
Commissioners in which this power has been exercised. 

As illustrations of the manner in which the control of the Board of Trade is exercised iiiustrations of 
the following may be cited. In the case of Godrevy the Trinity House, anticipating control."^ 
the non-concurrence of the Board of Trade on the score of economy, selected a site, but 
not the site they would have preferred, and it was fin illy adopted ; but not until after 
several other sites had been suggested by the Board of Trade, and after a correspond- 
ence extending from the 13th July 1855 to 18th November 1857- (See Vol. I. p. 13, 
and Oral Evidence Qs. 69-74, 429-432, 926; and Vol. II. p. 63.) 

In the case of the lighthouse at North Unst, the Commissioners of Northern 
Lighthouses were over-ruled through the Trinity House, and a temporary light- 
house was built on a situation, of which the engineer of the Scotch Board disapproved. 
The men considered themselves to be in great danger when the bad weather came on, 
and they are now, as appears from the correspondence, cut oif, (in the permanent light- 
house) from communication with the shore whenever the weather is foggy, because their 
Lordships would not sanction the laying of an electric telegraph which the Commissioners 
wished to construct ; and the making of a path from the houses to the shore, to facilitate 
a walk of some miles over rough ground, was refused. The keeper on shore is now 
compelled to walk over hills in all weathers, and often in vain, for the signal hung out 
is frequently in^'isible from fog, when the observer arrives at the point from Avhich the 
lighthouse can be seen in clear weather ; and one keeper nearly lost his life in the per- 
formance of this duty. The great importance of this signal being made out evert/ day is 
dwelt on by Mr. Cuningham in his evidence. (See Vol I. Oral Evid., Qs. 478-481, 714- 
7J6, 760-767, 777-780, 941, 942 ; and Vol. IL pp. 165, 171 ; and MS. Correspondence.) 

Again, the light at Holborn Head was made the subject of a voluminous correspond- 
ence lasting from 24th December 1856 to 9th Februar}^ I860. The cost of the site was 
200/. The main questions in dispute — the breadth of a road, and whether the proprietor of 
the land should be entitled to use it — and the result is thus described in a letter from the 
proprietor : " The terms * * * are the same proposed by the Commissioners 
" and agreed to by me more than two years ago." (See Vol. I. Oral Evid., Qs. 482, 724, 
72,5, 735, 938, and p. 188; and Vol. IL p. 164; and MSS. Correspondence.) 

The Ballast Board of Dublin, in 1854, were deprived of a steamer which the}^ 
purchased in 1851, in consequence of the Board of Trade not considering it sufficiently 
used. The vessel was transferred to the Trinity House, and sold by order of the 
Board of Trade ; the original cost was 18,500/., and the price realized about half that 
sum ; and the Ballast Board forward stores to lighthouses in sailing vessels, make 
their inspections in steamers borrowed from the Trinity House, and shift buoys of large 
size by means of a small steamer called the " Midge," which Your Commissioners saw, 
and considered to be wholly unfit for the seas of the Western Ocean. In consequence, 
as it is stated, stores are delayed, so as to endanger in some instances the extinction of 
lights in distant situations. The members of the Ballast Board are delayed and 
impeded on their inspections, and their movements being known long before-hand, 
their visits are expected and are less useful. The Buoy service is made one of 
considerable danger, and it is unquestionable that the money saved is quite insufficient 
to counterbalance the risk incurred, and other disadvantages. In this case the Board 
of Trade, as appears from the correspondence, not only deprived the Ballast Board of the 
steamboat contrary to the wishes of the Ballast Board, but entered into negotiations 
with Steamboat Companies for shifting hghtvessels. (See Vol. I. Oral Evid., Qs. 144-153, 
188-195, 201-214, 41.5-418, 8.56-864, and p. 19; and MS. Correspondence.) 

The Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses were overruled in the selection of 
the Illuminating apparatus to be used at the Butt of Lewis, (see Vol. I. Oral Evid., 
Qs. 483, 941,) and again at the Lighthouse of Ilhu Vaal, at the entrance of the Sound of 
Islay, as to the height, — as to the arc to be illuminated, — the colour exhibited, — and the 
purpose of the light. The decision was opposed to the opinion of the Surveying Officer 
on the district, and to that of the seamen and others acquainted with the locality; and 
it does not appear that it was wholly approved by the Trinity House. (See Vol. I. Oral 
Evid. Qs. 434-436, 84.5-850, 920-925, and p. 23; and MS. Correspondence.) 


The Lighthouse on the Iron Rock (Sound of Jura) remains unbuilt in consequence 
of a difference of opinion as to an estimate (9,360/.) for plans which had been approved 
by the Board of Trade, but which, as they maintained, must be executed, if at all, for a 
considerably less sum (6,000/.) than that which the engineer employed by the Commis- 
sioners of Northern Lighthouses considered necessary ; a voluminous correspondence took 
place, which has ended in the complete suspension of all proceedings, to the detriment 
of the service. The Board of Trade, although fully admitting the remarkable accuracy 
of the estimates of the jSIessrs. Stevenson, as tested in numerous works by the ultimate 
expense incurred on them, refused to allow tenders to be invited for this Lighthouse, 
seemg apparently some connection which Your Commissioners have been at a loss to dis- 
cover between the amount of an engineer's estimate, known only to the Authorities, and 
that of the tenders which follow it, (See Vol. L Oral Evid., Qs. 467, 700 et seq., 926 et 
seq. and MS. Correspondence. 

When a gun was asked for as a fog signal on board the Kish lightvessel, the Board 
of Trade objected to the expense on the ground that it was for the benefit of vessels 
trading to the port of Dublin, and to the fact of a gun being fired, as it might possibl}^ 
be mistaken for that at Holyhead by vessels that were not crossing the Irish Channel. 
Yet at length they consented to a large bell of peculiar construction, and afterwards 
allowed the gun instead, provided it was not purchased or maintained at the expense of 
the Mercantile Marine Fund, and if fired always twice in succession. (See Vol. I. Oral 
Evid., Qs. 224-232, 888-905.) 

And so the power of the purse appears to be construed into the right to control the 
action of the Authorities in all matters, however minute, which involve the slightest 

The Board of Trade claims to exercise their power of control to this extent under 
Clauses 422 and 406 of the Merchant Shipping Act. It becomes a subject for consider- 
ation, how far the control so exercised is beneficial or necessar}-, and whether the saving 
in cost (if any) secured, is worth the time lost, and the danger run by sliips during these 
lengthened discussions between the Authorities. 

It appears to Your Majesty's Commissioners that the better and simpler course would 
be to make the Lighthouse Authority which ought to be responsible for the position, 
character, and everything connected with the work, responsible also for its cost. 

As matters are at present, the Scotch Board and the Irish Board cannot be held 
responsible, for they have two masters over them ; and as the Trinity House were prac- 
tically overruled in the case of Godrevy, the real governing body has come to be the 
Board of Trade. 

It is therefore important to consider whether the Board of Trade, when acting in strict 
accordance with the provisions of the Act, is the department of Government best consti- 
tuted to form an opinion on subjects connected with coast illumination, and better able 
to judge of the necessity of establishing new works than the Authorities who propose 
them. For example, — Captain Bedford, the surveying officer on the west coast of 
Scotland, proposed the placing of certain buoys which he considered to be of importance 
for the interests of general navigation ; the Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses 
approved of most of these suggestions, adopted some of them, and, on the 8th of March 
I860, wrote for the statutory sanction of the Trinity House to the placing of these 
buoys. On the 21st of March, the Elder Brethren "did not feel that they would be 
" justified in recommending to the Board of Trade, that they (the buoys) should be placed 
" at the expense of the Mercantile Marine fund." And, on the 9th of April, the Scotch 
Commissioners appealed to the Board of Trade, on the ground that the reasons given by 
the Elder Brethren were insufficient. Thc}^ pointed out that some of the buoys were 
intended for the use of vessels navigating the Caledonian Canal, and others for those 
navigating the Sound of Jura, where it has been thought advisable to erect two large 
lighthouses for general purposes, and that other buoys M'cre for other localities where 
beacons and lighthouses are in course of erection as part of the general scheme. 

On the 20th of April, the Board of Trade sanctioned the placing of one of the proposed 
buoys, but it was stated that " as regards the other buoys, my Lords, without entering 
" into the question whether the}' would be useful for the local, rather than the general 
" trade, are not disposed to think them necessary, and must, therefore, decline to sanction 
" the expense." (See MS. Correspondence.) 

Assuming that this decision is strictly within the provisions of the Act, and setting 
aside the rights of the question. Your Commissioners deem it to be a matter for grave 
consideration whether the constitution of the Board of Trade is such as to make that 
department of the Government best able to judge of such questions. The surveying officer 
on the station, who has the best opportunity of judging of the facts, and the Commissioners, 
who are responsible for the work, are agreed. The Trinity House differ from both on a 
financial question ; and the Board of Trade diil'er iroui all, and decide ou a question of 


expediency. They sanction the placing of one buoy, admitting the principle for which Controlling 
the Scotch Board contend, and so overrule the Trinity House ; they refuse to sanction coSered. 
the rest, and so overrule the Scotch Board ; and they give as their reason, that they do 
not consider those buoys necessary. 

In this recent case then the principle of Government is clearly laid down, and brought 
into action. The refusal is on the ground of expediency ; the question in dispute is 
not settled, but the umpire decides the matter from his own point of view, and so far 
as regards the Scotch and Irish Boards (if not the Trinity House itself) the principle of 
this case seems to be the ruling principle of the control as at present exercised by the 
Board of Trade over the Lighthouse Authorities. 

If this is the principle authorized by the Merchant Shipping Act, the independent 
action of the Lighthouse Authorities has ceased to exist. (See Oral Evid., Qs. 915-917.) 
The governing authority has, in fact, become vested in the Board of Trade, though no 
provision is made by the Act to enable that department to judge more accurately of 
such matters than the Lighthouse Authorities who are controlled, and the Admiralty 
surveying officers, whose local knowledge has been disregarded. If the governing power 
is really vested in the Board of Trade, and if that department is so constituted as to be 
competent to conduct the service, the other Authorities are superfluous. On the other 
hand, if the General Authorities are necessary, and conduct their business satisfactorily, 
and are to be continued, their powers should not be thus limited or thus controlled. 

As matters now stand, the whole management of the lighthouse service appears to be Present system 
impeded by the opposing action of three separate governing bodies ; and it does not objectionable. 
clearly appear what advantage is gained to counterbalance the delay which results from 
this complicated system. 

3rd. Trinifii House. The next in order of the Authorities having charge of Lights, controlling 
&c., is the Trinity House. " P?y^^^^ °f^^^^ 

By Section 39^ of the Merchant Shipping Act, that body may enter and hispecf, all 
Lighthouses under the management and control of the two General Authorities next in 
order ; namely, the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, and the Ballast Board, 

By Section 405, it may control these two bodies, by refusing its sanction to new 
works, or to proposed alterations in existing works, but this power is subject to an 
appeal to the Board of Trade. 

By Section 408, it may direct the other two to execute new works, or to modify or 
remove works in existence, &c. ; but this power requires the sanction of the Board of 
Trade, and seems never to have been exercised. 

As to the power of inspection over the other two bodies under Section 392. The 
Elder Brethren, in reply to Question 8, Circular I., Vol. II. pp. 13-19, have furnished 
a return showing the special services and inspections in which they were engaged in 1857 
and 1858, from which it appears — 

That from May 6th to 26th, 1857, " a committee (accompanied by Captain Sulivan, of 
the Board of Trade,) visited the west of Ireland" and " round Scotland," and that they were 
accompanied by officers of the Scotch and Irish Boards. The names of the places visited 
are given in detail, and include places on which Lighthouses have been erected, or on 
which it has been proposed to erect such works ; places which have been the subject of 
much correspondence, in which the views of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses 
differed from those of the Trinity House, and the Board of Trade ; for example, the Iron 
Rock in the Sound of Jura; Macarthur's Head, the Black Rocks, and Rhu Vaal, in 
the Sound of Islay. The lights visited were few, and the time short, and it was partly 
occupied in inspecting localities in England, in coaling, &c. 

On the 17th of May 1858, a Committee of the Elder Brethren visited St. Abb's 
Head, accompanied by Captain Sulivan, three of the Northern Commissioners, and 
Mr. Stevenson. 

This power of inspecting works not in England was, therefore, not exercised to a great 
extent in these two years by the Trinity House, either in Scotland or Ireland. 

As to the power of control under Sections 405 and 408. 

The cases in which the Scotch and Irish General Authorities have been controlled by 
the Trinity House will be found in the Scotch and Irish replies to Question 17, General 
Lighthouse Return ; Question 19, General Floating Light Return and General 
Remarks, Circular II.; and Question 18, Buoys and Beacons, Circular V. ; and in the 
evidence of Messrs. Cuningham and Stevenson, Sir James Dorabrain, and the Earl of 

As respects Scotland the correspondence is voluminous. Abstracts are given of some 
portions of it in the Appendix ; seme of the cases are alluded to above ; and the replies 



powers of Tri- 
nity House. 

System of 


Trinity House. 

of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses give further abstracts, and these will 
be found in Vol. II. 

The action of the Trinity House throughout, as appears from that correspondence, has 
b( en subordinate to the action of the Board of Trade, and views apparently originating 
with the Board of Trade have been carried out, in cases where a difference of opinion 
had arisen between the Lighthouse Authorities on other points. 

It seems, therefore, from these Returns, that the power of inspection conferred on the 
Trinity House has been sparingly exercised, and that the power of rontrnl and direction 
has generally served to transfer the decision from the Commissioners of Northern Light- 
houses and the Ballast Board through the Trinity House to the Board of Trade. 

System of Management. 

The management of the Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the 
coasts of the United Kingdom has been entrusted to what are termed the three General 
Authorities. They are the following : — 

1st. The Trinlfii House, by the Mercantile Shipping Act, under Section 389, bas the 
sxiperintetidence and management of all Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and 
Beacons in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, and jBleligoland, except 
those which are under Local Authorities. 

2nd. The Commissioners of Northern Liglitliouses, subject in some matters to the 
control of the Trinity House and the ultbnaie co7itrol of the Board of Trade, have in 
Scotland, and in the Isle of Man, the management of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 
except those which are under Local Authorities. 

3rd. The Ballast Board of Dublin have similar authority, subject to similar control 
and exceptions, in Ireland, 

Under Section 396 of the above Act, these General Authorities may levy the same dues 
as formerly. 

Under 398, they may, with consent of the Queen in Council, exempt from dues, alter 
the mode of collection, or substitute dues for other dues. 

Under 401, they may, by their collectors, distrain for dues. 

Under 402, they account, as is directed by the Board of Trade, and pay over the 
money to the Paymaster-General. 

Under 404, they may build, remove, or alter Lighthouses, and place, erect, remove, 
or alter Buoys and Beacons, but the Scotch and Irish Boards must have the sanction of 
; he Trinity House, and, in case of dispute, of the Board of Trade. 

Under 415, they may prevent false Lights, under a penalty of 100/. 

Under 394, with sanction of the Board of Trade they may compel Local Authorities 
within their several jurisdictions to lay down new Buoys, remove or discontinue Light- 
houses and Beacons, and vary the character of Lighthouses and Lights. 

And they maj' prevent the construction of new Lights by these Authorities. 

Under 395 they may apply to the Queen in Council for the punishment of a defaulting 
Local Authority. 

The powers then of these three General Authorities are twofold : — 1st, the power under 
which they manage their own service ; 2nd, their control over Local Authorities. 

Before considering the action of these General Authorities, it may be useful to give 
a short account of the origin and history of each. 

General Authorities. 

1st. Tlie Trinitij House. As appears from the Report of the Select Committee on the 
Foreign Trade of the Country, 1822, the germ of the Corporation existed as early as 
the reign of Henry the Seventh, as an Association for Piloting Ships. 

In the reign of King Henry the Eighth the Society was incorporated by Royal 
Charter (May 20th, 1514), and this Charter was confirmed and altered by Edward the 
Sixth, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, and James the First. 

The Charter of James the First settled this constitution of the Corporation, and such 
it continues. 

The Charter was dissolved in 1647, but was renewed by Charles the Second on the 
Restoration, and the disposal of the funds was settled partly for charitable purposes. 

The Charter was surrendered to Charles the Second, and renewed by his successor in 
1685 ; and the charitable uses of the funds of the Corporation were again settled. These 
funds were derived from various charges, such as Pilotage, Lastage, Loadmanage, 
Ballastage, &c. 

The Light dues, the principal source of the revenues of the Corporation in 1822, 
and the source from whicli Lights are now supported, were chiefly collected under 
Patents granted by the Crown, upon the petition of persons offering to pay certain sums 


for the erection of Lights ; which dues the Crown authorized the Corporation to receive Amhorlties 
as a compensation for the erection and maintenance of the Lights required. Trinity House. 

The Corporation had also the power of erecting and maintaining Beacons and Marks 
of the Sea. 

The first Light under the management of the Trinity House was erected in 1680, 
subsequent to the erection of several Lighthouses by private individuals ; and these 
private persons, and their successors, and others, subsequently erected lights, obtained 
patents, and under them levied dues on passing ships ; which, as trade increased, grew to 
be large incomes. 

The following was the state of affairs when the Parliamentary Committee was appointed Parliamentary 
in 1S22: — ^The Trinity House and private individuals were maintaining Lights and Committees, 
levying dues on passing ships, British and Foreign ; the former applying their funds 
amongst other purposes to support charitable institutions, and the latter applying the 
surplus of the dues levied to their own uses as their own private property. 

With this disposal of the funds, the Committee of 1822 found no fault, but they 
recommended the substitution of a tonnage rate for passing tolls, and the purchase 
of the interests of individuais in private and leased Lights, and that all these should 
be brought under one control. 

In 1834, another Parliamentary Committee was appointed, which reported on the i834. 
then state of affiiirs. 

They dwelt strongly on the importance of the service, the impropriety of levying 
dues on shipping for the benefit of individuals, and on the different constitution of' the 
Boards of ]VIanagement in the United Kingdom ; and they recommended — 

That all public general Lights should be placed under one Board, resident in 
London, and conducted under one system of management. 

That the Trinity House should have the management of all general public Li'^hts 
in the kingdom ; and that their rules should be altered and extended so as to admit 
Officers of the Roj'al Navj' and other scientific persons. 

The Committee considered that the admission of the Hydrographer of the Admiralty, 
and of other scientific persons, would give a strong impulse towards the execution of tlie 
duties assigned to the Elder Brethren ; and they mentioned, though they did not recom- 
mend, the Board suggested by Captain Drummoud, — namely, a Board "to consist of four 

1, A Seaman (the Hydrographer to the Admiralty) ; 2, a scientific chemist; 3, a 
member of the Royal Society (an optician); and 4, the President or Vice-President of 
the Board of Trade, together witii secretary and proper officers. 

They recommended that the Central Board, when appointed, should examine every 
local Light on the coast. The}^ considered the relative advantages of the Dioptric and 
Catoptric systems, and of the oxyhydrogen light, which was suggested as applicable to 
Lighthouses. They held that every necessary expense should be incurred for the 
maintenance of the best Lighthouses and Floating Light establishments which the state of 
science could afford ; and that the Light dues should in every case be reduced to the 
smallest sums requisite to maintain existing, and to construct new establishments. 

The reports of these two Committees are valuable, and contain much information ; but 
it seems superfluous now to dwell on such of the evils as have been remedied ; to refer 
further to private Lighthouses, which no longer exist, and to the levy of light dues for, 
amongst other purposes, the support of " poor mariners," a charity which is gradually being 
abolished. But as the portion of the Merchant Shipping Act, which relates to Light- 
houses, appears to be the result of the 3rd Pariiamentary Committee appointed in 1845 
to consider the Lighthouse question, it is necessary to notice that report also. 

It refers to that state of the law which existed in 1836, but which was subsequently 1545. 
altered in 1854 by the Merchant Shipping Act. 

To the financial affairs of the Trinity House, and to their vested rights, wliich are 
also provided for in the same Act. 

It states that the Lights in the United Kingdom were then in an efl5cient state. 

That complaints were made of the amount of dues, not of the efficiency of the 
lights. -^ 

It recommends that there should be one central authority, namely, the Trinity House, 
of which body one third should be nominated by the Crown. 

That Lighthouses should be maintained at public expense. 

That the Trinity House should be repaid the sums spent by them in the purchase of 
private Lights, and failing the adoption of that recommendation the Committee point to 
the substitution of a Tonnage rate for passinsj tolls. 

e 4 


Trinity Ilousr. 

Northern Com- 

Ballast Board. 

Existing Light- 
house govern- 


The Tr'inihi House is therefore a very ancient Corporation which has gro^vn up and 
has to a certain extent altered with the times, but which is in the main the same corpo- 
rate body which existed in the time of James the First, if not in the reign of Henry tlie 

Its present constitution is explained in detail in the replies to Circular I. It consists 
of the IMaster, Deputy-Master, Elder and Younger Brethren. The Elder Brethren are 
divided into honorary members and acting members. The master and the honorary 
members receive no remuneration. The acting members are retired Masters of the 
^Merchant Service, except three, who are naval officers. They are recruited from the 
Younger Brethren, the majority of whom are masters and mates in the Merchant Sea 
Service, a few are naval officers, and the Corporation is a self-electing body. 

His Royal Highness the Prince Consort is the present Master. 

2nd. The Commissioners for NortJiern Lighthouses were incorporated by the 38th 
Geo, 3. c. 58., and their present constitution is given in their replies to Circular I. 

They consist of two law officers of the Crown, the sheriffs of certain maritime counties, 
the provosts of certain Iloyal burghs, and the provost of Greenock, and were specially 
established in 17S6, by Act of Parliament, for the management exclusively of lights, &c. 
in that country. 

The Commissioners arc unpaid, and hold their position ex-officio. 

The Committees which recommended the constitution of a single Central Lighthouse 
Board necessarily implied the abolition of this separate jurisdiction, but no complaint 
was made as to its efficiency. 

3rd. The present constitution of The Ballast Board of Dub/in is given in detail in their 
replies to Circular I. 

It consists of members of the Port of Dublin Corporation, who at present are mainly 
connected with the commerce of the Irish capital; but includes a retired naval officer, who 
previously commanded the Coast Guard in Ireland. 

The Corporation acts under the 23rd Geo. 3. c. 19.; and the Lights were formerly 
under the superintendence of various other bodies, such as the Barrack Board and the 
Commissioners of Customs. 

The Government of public general Lights in the United Kingdom is therefore 
entrusted to four bodies differently constituted. 

1st. The Board of Trade, a department of the Government, whose president changes 
with the Government, whose members are not selected for their knowledge of the science 
of Lighthouse Illumination, and who have not necessarily an}' officers specially instructed 
in that subject. 

2nd. The Trinity House, an ancient corporation, with a variety of duties, many 
of which are not connected with lights, &c., whose acting members are retired commanders 
in the IMerchant Service, and naval officers ; who have a paid engineer, but who 
have no paid officer attached to their body specially instructed in science, though they 
are allowed to consult with scientific men, and do consult Professor Faraday from 
time to time. 

3rd. The Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, a body consisting chiefly of 
gentlemen of the legal profession, who have no paid officer for the scientific department. 

4th. The Ballast Board, a body whose acting members are m.erchants, bank directors 
and governors, magistrates, railway directors, &:€., including a retired naval officer. 

In short, the government of Lighthouses in the United Kingdom, their management 
and construction, are all confided to bodies of gentlemen of various employments, none 
of which necessarily afford them an opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of those 
branches of science which bear upon Lighthouse Illumination. 

It is both interesting and instructive to compare the constitution of these Authorities 
with that of the Lighthouse Boards in other countries. (See Circular XL, Q. 1., in Vol. II.) 

In France, the Lighthouse Service is under the iVIinistry of Public Works, and 
a special Commission called " Commission des Phares,"' which body consists of 
naval officers, marine engineers, hydrographers, members of scientific bodies, and 
other gentlemen, distinguished for their scientific attainments, in various professions, 
all of which have to do with branches of science connected with coast illumination. 
The genera! conduct of the service is under an officer called Directeur General des 
Phares, who is an engineer, and has other engineers under him ; and in every district 
on the coast there are resident engineers employed about government works, and, 
amongst others, in the superintendence and construction and management of Lighthouses. 
The Commission have special workshops in Paris for testing and setting up illuminating 
apparatus, and they give (hrections to the manufacturers for every part of the Lighthouse 
apparatus, including the calculation of angles for prisms and curves for lenses, and 


similar important matters, for which no provision is made in the English system of France. 

In the United States of America the lights are mider one Central Board, constituted America. 
in 1852, and composed of a member of the Government, engineer officers, and officers 
of the army and navy, and civilians of high scientific attainments. 

In Sweden the Lights are under the Admiralty, and managed by a director and officers Sweden. 
who have military rank, and engineers ; and the coasts are divided into districts and 
sub-districts allotted to these officers. 

In Norway, the service is under the Royal Marine Department, with a director and Norway. 

In Turkey, it is under the Admiralty ; but the department was at a loss to furnish Turkey. 

In Hanover, the service is under the Director General of Waterworks. The Buoys Hanover. 
are placed by pilots ; and the Lights and Buoys are inspected by Inspectors of Water- 

In Hamburg, they are under the Connnittee for Harbours and Navigation, under the Hamburg. 
direction of the Commander and Inspector of Pilots. 

In Spain, the system of administration is the same as in France. The Lio-hts, &c., are Spain. 
under the Department of Public Works, and under a permanent Commissioifcomposed of 
cngmeers of superior rank of the Corps of Roads, &c., and naval officers ; and the captains 
of ports are instructed to suggest improvements and report on the Lights. 

In Denmark, the service is under the Ministrv of Marine, entrusted to one Lio-ht Denmark, 
engineer and two Buoy inspectors, furnished with instructions relative to their respective 
official duties. 

In Russia the superintendence is dependent from the Hydrographical Department. Kussia. 

In Holland the management of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons rests with the Minister Holland, 
for the Marine, under whom are an Inspector General and seven Inspectors. 

In Belgium the construction of lighthouses is under the Minister of Public Works, but Belgium. 
when built they are handed over to the general direction of the Navy, which is under 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs. They, with the floating lights and buoys, are under 
the superintendence of the Inspectors of Pilotage. 

In Austria the superintendence of all the Lighthouses, Buoys, and Beacons belono-s Austria. 
to the Imperial Koyal Admiralty. The Deputies of the Exchange at Triest attend to 
Lighthouses,— their erection, management, collection of dues, &c. The inferiors of the 
Admiralty attend to the superintendence of Buoys and Beacons. 

The principle then in all foreign countries seems to be, that Lighthouse illumination. Principle of 
being highly important, and requiring special knowledge of certain subjects should be £0^''™"^°* 
entrusted to persons acquainted with those subjects, and that the government should "''™'^' 
be centralized. 

Whilst the practice in Great Britain seems to have been to entrust Lighthouse illumi- Practice in 
nation to persons whose pursuits did not indicate any previous knowledge of the subject Great Britain 
and the fact that for 404 Lighthouses, and numerous Buoys and Beacons, there are at least 
1/4 different Authorities under as many Acts of Parliament, shows that the principle of 
local and mdependent self-government has at all events not been lost sight of. (Vol, II. 
p. 280.) The Elder Brethren of the l^rinity House, however, having been mariners, may be 
supposed to have had much experience of the practical wants of sailors, and to be 
peculiarly well versed m all that relates to lightships; while the Commissioners of 
Northern Lights, being gentlemen of the legal profession, whose position is a guarantee for 
their intelligence, may be supposed able to form a good opinion of the character and 
quahhcations of candidates for the posts of secretary and engineer, and to exercise a wise 
discretion in selecting them, and to collect and form a correct judgment on evidence 
and matters of opinion relative to matters under their charge ; and the Ballast Board, 
being constituted of gentlemen engaged in laroe commercial transactions, may be 
supposed to be well acquainted with general business, and fairly competent to form a 
correct opinion on such questions as the purchase of sites, and the tenders for the erection 
of newworks, or the materials required for the maintenance of the service. (Vol. 11. Circ. I.) 
The Lighthouse Boards of foreign countries generally include engineers, hydroo-raphers 
and professionally scientific men. -j o r 

The General Authorities in the United Kingdom have employed engineers, and that 
these have been able men is testified by the works which they have erected. The Eno-ineer 
of the Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses used to attend the Board meetings" until 
January 1855, when, by the requirement of the Board of Trade, he ceased to do so, to 
the great regret of the Scotch Commissioners, who were thereby, as they stated, deprived 
of the presence of the only scientific member of their Board. (See Vol. I. p. 186, and Oral 
Evid. Qs., 675 et seq., 958, 959.) 


The Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty has frequently lent its services to the 
General Lighthouse Authorities, but they, of course, have had no claim upon that 

The Trinity House has consulted Professor Faraday as its scientific adviser since 1836, 
but it appears that he only gives his opinion or advice on such subjects as are submitted 
to him. The Northern Commissioners have had the great advantage of having associated 
with them the family of the Stevcnsons, who have given much attention to those depart- 
ments of science which relate to Lighthouse illumination. 

That the scientific element was very^ deficient in the system of Lighthouse management 
in 1834 was evident to the Parliamentary Committee which sat in that year. 

That the scientific element continues to be deficient has been evident to your Commis- 
sioners from an early period of their inquiry. Many of the preceding observations have 
indicated this ; but in addition they would draw attention to the following facts : — 

1st. The present arrangements often betray an evident want of scientific thought. No 
greater proof of this can be given than what is contained in the paper on the \'\'hitbj 
Lights, ])rintcd in Vol. L p. 63, together with the admirable reports of the Astronomer 
Roval, Professor Farada}^ i\Ir. J. Chance, and Messrs. Stevenson, in Vol. L pp. 77-102. 

'id. The Trinity House, by having secured the services of ]\Ir. Faraday, are fortunately 
prevented from ever finally committing themselves to the adoption of any impracticable 
scheme ; but by their not having constantly present at their Board any scientific person, 
the carrving out of any iu\'ontion may be seriousl}' embarrassed, and some invaluable 
inventions may not be appreciated and thereby lost. ( See the evidence of Mr. Cutler and 
Mr. Holmes, in regard to the Electric light, Vol. L p. 167-) 

3d. There are a great number of questions of a scientific character, having reference to 
lighting or buoying the coasts, which are as yet unsolved, and only require the attentive 
consideration of men of science accustomed to experimental investigation, to educe such 
results as will doubtless increase the etficiency of the systems now in use, and may 
lead to some extensive improvements. To some of these questions we have incidentally 
paid attention ; and one of our number has drawn out a list of seventy-six separate 
investigations, which might be undertaken with a likelihood of profitable results. It is 
printed in Vol. L p. 71- 

4th. Tliere is a large amount of scientific talent in the country which might easily be 
turned in the direction of the suggested inquiries. In corroboration of this opinion Your 
Commissioners would draw attention to the great mass of valuable information aud 
suggestion which has been elicited from those scientific men — some of them of the 
greatest eminence — who have replied to Circular IX. These replies (Vol. II. pp. .589- 
630) are commended to the most careful consideration of whatever autliority may in 
future have the charge of the lighting and buoyage of our coasts. 

5th. As a test of the degree of scientific knowledge exhibited by the different Light- 
house Authorities, Your Commissioners asked for copies of the plans, specifications, Ike, 
actually submitted to the manufacturers in ordering the last two sets of lenticular 
apparatus of large size or peculiar form The resulting correspondence is given in Vol. I. 
p. 210, with an account of the different practice of the four principal Lighthouse Authorities, 
viz., the Board of Trade, the English, Scotch, and Irish Boards. From this it appears 
that in Ireland forms of tender are issued, " setting ibrth the arc intended to be illumi- 
" nated, the number of panels and zones required, and that the apparatus shall be of the 
" best quality, and fitted together correctly ;" in England, printed forms and lithographed 
drawings of small size are furnished to the contractors ; while in Scotland, large 
Avorking drawings and minute directions are given by the engineers employed by the 
governing authority, for the execution of apparatus specially designed by them for special 

In the case of the English and Irish Boards, the governing body does not originate the 
design. In Scotland, a design is furnished by the governing body, and the manufacturer 
has only to execute the oi'der given. 

The latter arrangement seems calculated to produce an advance in science ; the former 
is simply an order for a well-known instrument, accompanied, in England, b^- drawings, 
which closely resemble those published by the manufacturers in their trade lists, and which 
arc almost, if not quite, identical with the drawings in the trade lists of Mr. Wilkins, a 
gentleman who does not himself manufacture the glass of dioptric apparatus. 

Here, then, seems to be a defect in the system of management. None of the Light- 
house Authorities have by their constitution any special knowledge of these branches 
of science which relate to the construction of the Lighthouse apparatus which thty 
require. \MKn they employ men who have made these particular branches of 
knowledge their study, the result is good. The Commissioners of Northern Light- 
houses have iu this respect shown themselves considerably ia advance of the Elder 



Brethren of the Trinity House, by employing an engineer who has studied Lighthouse Scientife 
illumination, and claims to have invented or introduced man}' improvements into optical 
apparatus, to prepare specifications for scientific work. The result of the opposite course 
adopted by the Trinity House is shown in the defects observed at Godrevy, the Start, 
the North and South Foreland, Whitby, &c. 

Efficiency and Economy of Government. 
The inquiry, " Whether the present system of management and control under which System of 
" the Lighthouses, Floating Lio-hts, Buovs, and Beacons on the coasts of the United •"^n^sement 

^ ' 1 1 • '• 1 T 1 ■ • ■^^^ cuntrol m 

" Kingdom are constructed and mamtamed, accordmg to the provisions of the reiardto 
" ' Merchant Shipping Act, 1854,' is well adapted for securing the most efficient lighting <''fi"<=°<^y- 
" and buoying of the coasts," has been to a certain extent practically answered in 
preceding sections of this Report. The different Authorities, whether general or local, 
differ widely in their plans of proceeding; and there is no power given in the Act over 
the internal arrangements of these separate bodies, much less is there any means of 
insuring uniformity of system. Thus each authority carries on its work in its own way, 
with a greater or smaller regard to uniformity of action, throughout its own jurisdiction, 
but with little, if any, regard to the system adopted in other parts of the United 

In France, the whole is arranged systematically. Lights are placed on a system, — that 
their lights should cross. They are inspected on system, — the size of the flame ; the 
quantity of oil to be consumed in an hour, to produce a good light ; the minutest 
detail is provided for and calculated to a nicety, and the whole sj-stem hangs together, 
and is under one man. It is a system eminently calculated to produce uniformity and 
a good result, and it has produced excellent results in a comparatively short time. 

It is the Scotch Board that most nearly resembles the French Commission des Phares 
in its way of managing Lights, Buoys, and Beacons. There is this in common, — 

They have, in the localities where the lights are situated, men of repute and of 
capacity ; in France the Ingenicurs des Ponts et Chaussees alwaj^s resident, and in 
Scotland the SheriflPs of the maritime counties occasionally present ; and the members of 
the two Commissions are cx-officio intelligent men, and the actual working of the 
service is carried on by a small staff, and by men Avhose business it is, and has long 
been, to deal with Lighthouses, and all concerning them, and whose ideas, when carried 
out, are carried out to the full extent, and in all Lighthouses alike. 

Generally, to inspect the minor arrangements of one Lighthouse in Scotland is equiva- Uniformity 
lent to having seen them all, for the only variet}^ seems to be in the Illuminating appa- **"''^'^- 
ratus, which in very many instances is specially designed for the locality, and has to be 
separitely examined before it can be full}' understood ; while in England the uniformity 
is rather to be found in the Illuminating apparatus than the minor details of the service, 
which vary in different Lighthouses. In Ireland not only is there a great want of 
uniformity as to the minor details, but they seem to be very much overlooked and 
neglected, while the apparatus is about equal to that of the Trinity House. (See Cruize 
of"" Vivid," &c., Vol. I. 

There are some interesting points of comparison between the plans adopted by the 
different Boards which have not hitherto been adverted to, and which bear upon the 
efficienci/ of the service. 

The Lighthouses under the management of the Trinity House, almost without excep- 
tion, were found to be remarkable for their order and cleanliness. The Scotch Lighthouses 
arc fully equal to the English in these particulars. The Irish were found to be inferior. 
Their keepers do not wear uniforms.* In their houses, in the light rooms, and in other 
places where discipline, order, and cleanliness should prevail, the Irish Lights do not 
rank so high, though many of them were as well kept in all respects as any visited by 
Your Commissioners. 

In all the English and Scotch Lighthouses the men are comfortably lodged. They are Details of 
provided with books, which is a vast boon to men who pass so much of their time in compareU™' 
solitude ; and in Scotland this is felt to be so important that certain amusing periodicals 
are taken in by the Board for the use of the men. In Ireland the supply of books is 
small, and they are rarely changed. In France there are none. Periodical religious 
services are strictl}- enjoined in the English and Scotch Lighthouses and Floating Lights. 
In Ireland, owing chiefly to the differences in religious creed commonly existing in that 
country, this important point is not so easil}' arranged, and there are no services. 

In England and Scotland medicine chests are provided in every Lighthouse and Light- 
ship. In Ireland, as in France, there are none. 

* This has very lately been allowed, 
f 2' 


. In English and Scotch rock stations, much attention seems to have been paid to securing 
a proper supply of good water. In some of the Irish rock stations it was found to be 
otherwise, and filters are sometimes greatly wanted. 

The Scotch Lighthouses are supplied with clocks and sun dials in good working order. 
The English Lighthouses are also supplied with clocks, but only occasionally with sun 
dials. The Irish Lighthouses are occasionally supplied with dials, sometimes with clocks. 
In many instances the clocks were not going; in one, the keeper was dependent for his 
time on the punctuality of a railway train, which in clear weather was seen to pass on 
the neighbouring coast. 

The English and Scotch lyighthouscs have meteorological instruments, but the Irish 
are ill supplied with such instruments, and generally have none at all. 

All the English Lighthouses have external lightning conductors. There are 1 1 of 
the Scotch which are not so provided. The Irish, with the exception of 6, arc protected 
by the iron hand-rail from lantern to base, which forms a conductor. 

In Scotland, as in France, a drawing of the flame as it ought to be when at its best is 
framed and glazed, and hangs in every light-room ; this is not to be found in England or 

In Scotland alone, a table of the time for lighting and extinguishing is hung up in the 
li_ght-rooin. Tlicse times differ for every latitude, and are carefully calculated for each 
Lighthouse in Scotland, and the result is, as before stated, a considerable economy. 

In Scotland whistles arc placed in every lantern, which communicate with the rooms 
below by tubes, in order to summon assistance, if required, and to avoid the necessity of 
the keeper in charge leaving his post until relieved. There are no communicating whistles 
in England or Ireland or in France. 

The Scotch Lights are inspected at least once a year by the Secretary or by the Super- 
intendent of Lightkecpers, or by the foreman of Lighthouse repairs, officers that do not 
exist in the Trinity House or Ballast Board (See Oral Evid., Qs. 790-800) ; the English 
Lights are frequently inspected by a deputation of the Elder Brethren ; but man}' of the 
Irish Lights on isolated rocks are left unvisitcd for two or three years on account of the 
difficulty of reaching them in bad weather in the " Argus," an inferior vessel belonging to the 
Trinity House, which is lent at considerable inconvenience for the occasion. The " Midge," 
the onl}' vessel belonging to the Irish Board, is quite unsuitcd for the purpose of inspection. 

In Scotland the keepers go through a regular course of instruction and tr.iining as 
extra keepers at Lighthouse stations where dioptric and catoptric apparatus exist, and 
have to pass an examination before they are entrusted Avith the care of a light. In 
England a preliminary course of instruction is gone through at the Trinity Board's 
establishment at Blackwall ; and in Ireland there is no such system of instruction, certain 
questions only being put to the candidate on his presenting himself. (See Vol. II. pp. 3.5, 
1.59, 224.) in Spain a Practical School for lightkecpers is referred to in the Spanish 
Report of 1858; and the school includes instructions in all that concerns the Lighthouse 
service, practically and theoreticallv in all the duties that lightkecpers may be called upon 
to perform. In France the keepers informed Your Commissioners that they had been 
carefully instructed in all that pertains to the machinery of the lamp, and that they had 
been required to take it to pieces, and set it up again, before they were entrusted with 
the care of a light. They showed their manner of levelling the burner and adjusting the 
lamp in the apparatus. 

All these points influence the efficiency of the Lights, and there can be no doubt that 
of all the British Ivighthouscs visited by Your Connnissioners the Scotch are in the best 
state of general efficiency, the English next, and the Irish third; and the Local Autho- 
rities, with certain exceptions, range far below the General Authorities. 

As regards Floating Lights the Irish excel in some particulars, such as size and form 
of vessel ; the Trinity House Lightvessels are, in these I'cspects, inferior to them. From 
the nature of the English coasts they are more numerous, and they, as well as the 
Irish Light\-esscls, are models of order, of cleanliness, and of well found ships. l"he 
Northern Commissioners have no Floating Light. 

As regards the number of buoys there is no comparison. The Trinity House, as in 
the case of Floating Lights, have by far the greatest number to meet the requirements 
of the coast, viz., 3.56 in position, whilst the Northern Connnissioners have 92, and the 
Ballast Board only 53. The buoys under the Trinity House are generally efficient 
and well maintained, and in many instances excellent, but hitherto they have been 
ari'anged on no general system. Those under the Ballast Board are also good in quality, 
and generally well managed, and they are arranged according to a system, and the colours 
used are black and red. Those under the Northern CoHunissioners are red and black, 


and also arranged on a system, [which is the same as that in France ; but they are 
inferior to the English and Irish in size and quality. 

Were there a central Lighthouse Board for the whole kingdom, with resident represen- 
tatives for Scotland and Ireland, it would naturally be its duty to carry out along the 
whole of the British coasts those plans of any of the existing Authorities, which had 
proved most elBcient. 

The inquiry whether " the present sj^stem of management and control under which the System of 
Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys and Beacons of the United Kingdom are constructed "nd"contror' 
and maintained according to the provision of the 'Merchant Shipping Act, 1854,' is with regard to 
well adapted for securing" its end, " with a due regard to economy," divides itself into «'=°°°""y- 
two parts. There is the expense of management incurred by the ditfercnt Authorities, 
and there are the expenses arising from the complicated system of control. 

1st. It is very difficult to compare ihe expense of vianagement by the three General Expense of 
Lighthouse Authorities, partly on account of the different manner in which the respective "'"^''8'^""° • 
Boards conduct their business, and partly on account of the different character of their 
respective works. In the subjoined table* the amount spent on management is simply 
compared with the amount spent on constructing or maintaining the whole works under 
their charg-e : — 

General Authority. 

Trinity House 


Total E,xpenditure 
of each Board, in- 
cluding the Ex- , 
penses shown in the 
following Columns. 
Also the Expense 
of maintaining 
Lighthouses. Float- 
ing Lights, Buoys, 
Beacons. &c.. and 
Allowances to 
retired Officers. 

Salaries of the 
Home Establish- 
ment, Office 
Expenses, I^aw 
Charges, Travel- 
ling Expenses, 
Salaries and Wages 
at the District 
&c. &c. &c. 

£ S. d. 

172,285 6 

to the 

Salaries and other 
Expenses con- 
nected with the 
three (Central 

to the 

£ s. d. 
32,073 13 

Commissioners of "| i 

Northern Light- \\ 59,746 15 3 4,476 13 1 
houses - - J I 



Expense of 

maintaining Steam 

and Sailing 


Ballast Board 

46,658 2 3 

3,945 4 10 


















to the 

£ s. d. I Per 


18,825 10 5 lO-Q 



6,596 18 
754 17 9 

If the items included in Col. II. be assumed as the cost of management, the Trinit}^ 
House appears by Col. III. to be more than twice as costly relatively in this respect as 
the Ballast Board, which itself is somewhat more costly than the Northern Commissioners. 
If the Central Office alone is considered, as in Col. IV., the Scotch and Irish Boards 
maintain about the same relative position, vrhile the English, though still much higher 
than cither, does not present so great a contrast. But the expense of maintaining 
steamers and sailing vessels is not included in either of the preceding columns : it is 
placed alone in Col. VI. ; and fi'om that it appears that whereas the Scotch and English 
Authorities spent about 1 1 per cent, of their total expenditure on these vessels, the Irish 
spend only 1-6 per cent. It must, however, be borne in mind that the " Argus " steamer 
has been lent to the Irish by the English Board ; and if the whole expense of this vessel 
were transferred to the Irish account (Col. VI.), it would reduce the English ratio to 
9*6 per cent, and raise the Irish to 6*5 per cent , leaving the Scotch decidedly the most 
expensive authority in this respect, though in other items it is the most economical. 

* In drawing up this table Your Majesty's Commissioners consulted a gentleman who is engaged by various 
departments of the Government in preparing financial statements. As in our instructions no reference is 
made to the source of the funds whence lights, buoys, and beacons are sustained, we have not alluded above, 
either to the total income from the lights under each General Authority, or to the income received by dues for 
eacii individual light. Information, however, on these subjects has been jjrepared for Your Commissioners 
with great labour and at considerable expense, and the results will be found iu the yummary in Vol.1, p. 120, 
and Plate 4. 



In the following table an attempt is made to compare the amount expended in 
management, and in the general maintenance of steam and sailing acsscIs (cols. n. and vi. 
of preceding table), with the work done : — 

Expense of 
system of con- 

Supervision or 
control of 
T^cal Au- 

Examples of 




Cost of 

Cost of 

General Aiilhoritv. 



JIaintcnance and 



Oil burnt. 


and Vessels. 

f s. d. 

£ s. d. 

Trinity House 




70.686 10 3 

50,899 3 5 

Commissioners of Xortliern Light- 




17.618 4 2 

11,073 11 1 


Ballast Board 




31,591 5 2 

4,700 2 7 

It will be seen that the sites illuminated by the Commissioners of Northern Light- 
houses, and the Ballast Board, amount together to 119, thus just exceeding those illu- 
minated by the Trinity House, and that the amount of oil consumed (a measure of the 
light produced) is considerably more ; but that, on the other hand, the spots buoved 
in Scotland and Ireland together amount to only 14-5, which is 211 short of the number 
buoyed by the Trinity House. The cost of maintenance and repair of the whole is 
considerably more by the English than by the other two Boards together, but when it is 
remembered that the Trinity House maintains so many floating lights this will not appear 
surprising. This fact, however, and the additional 211 buoys seem not competent to 
explain the 35,125/. ^s. 9d-, which the Trinity House spends in management over and 
above what is spent by the other two Boards together. 

A very large portion of the expense incurred by the Trinity House is for district 
tenders and superintendents. It amounted in 1858 to 19,U12/. 4s. ScL This sum might 
be mostly, if not entirely, saved by the employment of the staff of the Coast Guard, and 
the steam gunboats and saiHng tenders of that force — a force which is likely to become a 
permanent institution of the countiy. 

2nd. The present complicated s\stem of government, and reference to superior Boards, 
involves, of course, a certain expenditure in clerical assistance, &:c., but this Avould not be 
Avorth considering if the present s^ystem really conduces to true economy in the admini- 
stration of the service. The Board of Trade has steadily kept economy rather than 
progress in view, but the saving they have thus effected has been represented as 
sometimes a false economy, and it has unquestionably led to much unsatisfactory cor- 
respondence, and in some instances to prejudicial delay. Neither has the control of the 
superior over the inferior Boards been always attended with a saving. Thus in the case 
of the WhalscN^ Skerries (Shetland), the Northern Commissioners were directed by the 
Trinity House and the Board of Trade to build the light on the outer rock instead of 
the site TOO yards within it, as they proposed. This entailed an additional expense 
of 10,000/. in construction, and involves an additional annual expenditure for maintenance. 
Yet the Northern Commissioners are still of opinion that the original site proposed by 
them was the preferable one for a large guiding light, such as that at the Whalscy 
Skerries was merely intended by them to be. ( See Vol. I. Oral Evidence, Qs. 477. 713- 
716, 885, and MS. Correspondence.) 


It has already been shown that the Lights, Buoys, and Beacons under the jurisdiction 
of Local Authorities are, as a rule, and with some praiseworthy exceptions, inferior to 
those under the jurisdiction of the General .Authorities. This will be evident from an 
inspection of the Returns furnished by the Local Authorities themselves, and printed in 
Vol. II., and of the personal observations of Your Commissioners on them, in Vols. I. 
and II. The following cases are some of those taken respectively from England, the 
Channel Islands, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. 

The harbour lights at Dover, Folkestone, and Newhaven, on the English side of the 
Clianncl, present a singular variety of faults, comprising among tliem nearly all those 
which can be committed in Lighthouse arrangements. Thus at each of these three much 
frequented ports there is a very inefhcicnt ilhimination, while the travellers leaving them 
and crossing the Channel to Calais, Boulogne, or Dieppe, come at once to small but 
brilliant harbour lights, wliich are all dioptric, and in the construction and management 
of which there arc displayed all the achievements of the science of illumination which 
have yet been imported into the French national system — a contrast by no means 
creditable to our country. (See Vol. I. pp. 49, 58, 59; Vol. II. p. 305; and the 
reference to the Harbour Light at La Rochelle in Vol. T. p. 38.) 


The Harbour Commissioners at Jersey derive a very large revenue from the shipping Examples of 
that enter the port of St. Heliers, They fully recognize the liability of this revenue to '"'^'5'''"^° • 
light and buoy the approaches to the harbour properly. 'I'his is very inefficiently done, 
especially as regards the buoyage. The owners of the shipping are very discontented. 
The Harbour (Commissioners, after extensive correspondence, have failed to give some 
important information required ; but the following fact has been elicited by one of our 
number, who was deputed to visit the island for the special purpose, namely, that a large 
sum, 15,000/., the accumulation of harbour dues for some years past, had been appro- 
priated to island purposes, which had no connection with the interests of the shipping. (See 
Vol. H. p. 3-21.) 

Numerous wrecks took place in the neighbourhood of Aberystwith on the night of 
25th October 1859. whereby many lives were lost; and it appears that the losses were 
attributable to the harbour master not seeing that the pier and guide lights were put up, 
but going to bed instead. (See Vol. H. p. 285.) 

The contrast between the works of the Northern Coaimissioners and those of Local 
Authorities in the same country, is well illustrated at Aberdeen and Peterhead. In the 
neighbourhood of each of these towns is one of the finest coast lights in existence; but 
at each the harbour lights are ill kept, though well provided with the essentials for effi- 
cient ilkunination. In neither case does the vicinity of a properly appointed lighthouse 
appear to have induced the Local Authorities to improve their own works. Nor has it 
incited the keepers to see how their business could be better carried out, although at 
Peterhead the keeper was anxious to do his duty, and asked the chairman of Your 
Commission to him give a lesson in cleaning reflectors! (See Vol. I. pp. 27, 66; and 
Vol. II. pp. 3/2, 39L) 

At Boddam Harboiu" in Aberdeenshire, on the contrary, there are lights of small 
pretensions, merely extra-sized street lamps, glazed red, with reflectors behind the gas 
flames, l)ut they are very efficient, because under the charge of an intelligent man, who 
is an " occasional keeper " at the adjoining Buchaii Ness Lighthouse under the Com- 
missioner of Northern Lights. (See Vol. I. p. 59.) 

Numerous buoys marked the dangers of the Shannon some few years since ; they 
have gradually been washed away and never replaced. The Local Government now 
responsible for properly marking the dangers are the Harbour Commissioners at 
Limerick, to whom this charge was transferred from a previous Board. It was in the 
time of the previous Board that the buoys were washed away. The revenues are 
considerable, about 7,000/. a year, but are entirely mortgaged to the Board of Works 
at Dublin as interest on a debt of over 200,000/., a large portion of which, 80,000/., as 
was stated, was expended on building a bridge across the river at Limerick, and an 
almost useless lock, which former conferred not the slightest benefit on the shipping, whose 
owners are charged with defraying the interest of the money expended on it. tSums are 
doled out to the Harbour Commissioners by the Board of Works for any repairs that are 
absolutely necessary ; but these only go to increase the debt, of which about 25,000/. 
consists of accumulated unpaid interest. There appears, therefore, to be but little prospect 
of the urgent necessities of the shipping that frequent the port being properly supplied, 
unless the whole question is made the subject of a special inquiry. (See Vol. II. p. 410.) 

At Sligo, the wreck of a yacht, the " Fancy, " belonging to the Marquis of 
Drogheda, may serve as an instance of great neglect on the part of a Local Authority, 
either to replace and maintain in its position a buoy that had been washed away, and yet 
appeared on the charts, or to give such information of their intention not to replace 
it, as might serve as a sufficient warning to mariners that the buoy was out of position. 
The buoy in question had been washed away for more than a year, and had not been replaced, 
but it still appeared on the latest Admiralty charts; and we were unable to find any trace 
of any communication having been made by the Harbour Commissioners at Sligo to any 
Authority accustomed to disseminate information on such subjects. Hence the yacht was 
lost, and the owner is unable to obtain any redress. (See Vol. II. 416 ; and Vol. I. p. 136.) 

Liverpool is the largest of the Local Authorities, and has 7 Lighthouses, 3 Floating Largest Local 
Lights in position, 65 Buoys in position, and 10 Beacons. The numerous and critical Authority- 
channels leading to the Mersey are marked by these Lightvessels, and are admirably 
buoyed, the buoys being generally of a superior description, and effectively maintained. 
The same, however, can scarcely be said of the Lights on shore. ( See Vol. II. pp. 326- 
340 ; and Vol. I. p. 61.) 

From Aberdeen and many other ports it was impossible to obtain returns, though 
repeated application was made, but such as have been furnished show that almost every 
Authority has some peculiarity in its constitution or management, and that the 
management of Local Lights is as various as the constitution of the Authorities. 

f 4 



Present power 
of super\'ision 
and control. 

Uniform sijs. 
tern of Tiik 
li,,hu nml 
signals Tccum- 

Cfuinqc in 
li,jhts, ^-r. to 
be more fully 

Further sujicr' 
vision und con- 
trol of Local 

What has been said of the Superior Authorities is generally applicable to Local 
Authorities also. Those who manage Lights are not appointed to their offices because 
they have had any previous knowledge of the subject, and those whom they employ may 
or may not have the required knowledge. The keeper's salary varies from 200/. 
per annum with house accommodation, to '/s. 6d. per week without a house, or lower 
when their whole time is not required. The Lights are almost universally in worse 
condition and worse kept than those under the larger Authorities, and the}- are inferior 
to French Lights of the same class, which are under the same management as the great 
Sea Lights, and which are fully equal to them in proportion to their requirements. 

As every Local Authorit}- is independent of all the others, each acts on its own plan, 
and the result is great inequality and confusion. There is no uniformity in Tide Lights. 
A red light means danger at one place, and safet}- at another ; the same number of 
flags or balls may mean two different things at neighbouring ports. The system of 
buovage varies everywhere. Red is left on the one hand in sailing into Hull ; on the 
other, in sailing into Liverpool, and the mariner who is familiar with the Liverpool 
sj-stem, meets one which is exactly the reverse in entering the port of Dublin. The 
Admiraltv have adopted at Berehaven a system depending on the points of the compass ; 
at Plymouth, one founded on the knowledge a man has of the distinction between his 
right and left hand in entering the port. In short, there is no uniformitj^ in the system 
adopted for Loc il Lights, Buoys, or Beacons, and they are, generally speaking, inferior 
in quality. (See Vol. IL p. 280.) 

Under Section 394 of the Merchant Shipping Act, the General Lighthouse Autho- 
rities, with sanction of the Board of Trade may compel Local Authorities within their 
several jurisdictions, — to lay down new Buoys ; remove or discontinue lighthouses 
or Beacons ; and vaiy the character of Lighthouses or the mode of exhibiting Lights. 

And they may prevent the construction or alteration of Lights by these Authorities. 

Under 395, thcv may apply to the Queen in Council for the transference of the 
powers of a defaulting Local Authority. 

Under Section 413, a Local Authority may surrender or sell any Lighthouse, Buoy, or 
Beacon, to the General Authority in the same country, to whom the dues become in 
i'uture payable. 

From the evidence of the General I^ighthouse Authorities, it appears that these 
powers have been very sparingly employed, nor do they appear to consider that they 
have any jurisdiction in regard to the internal arrangements of Local Lights, or to the 
maintenance of Local Buoys and Beacons. It should be observed also, that the Act 
makes no provision for the alteration of the position, colour, or character of Buoys ; 
hence there is no power to enforce a uniform system, however desirable such a system 
might be considered. (See the remarks of the Ucputv Master of the Trinitv House, 
Vol. L p. 165.) 

Your Commissioners think it very desirable that a uniform system of Tide lights and 
signals should be established, instances having been reported to us in which valuable 
ships have been lost from a mistake in their meaning, or the want of them. (Vol. II. p.691-) 

Your Commissioners wish to lay some stress upon the necessity that exists for a more 
extensive and careful distribution of Notices respecting changes in lights, &c., whether 
belonging to Local or General Authorities. We would recommend that, in addition to 
the present issue, as stated in the Admiralty letter of 1st February 1861, Vol. I., p. 215, 
Notices should be sent periodically to Your .Majesty's Consuls at the principal 
ports abroad, and that the several changes of the current 3'ear, and the contemplated 
changes in the ensuing year, should be published quarterly in a cheap pamphlet, pur- 
chascable at the shipping offices at home, and at the consulates abroad ; and that, in 
order to insure the masters of ships being provided with these Notices, they should form 
part of the dealing papers of at least those vessels that are bound on oversea voyages. 

Although aware of the great advantages of local self-government. Your ^Majesty's 
Commissioners feel that such a state of things as exists in most of the harbours of 
this kingdom, demands the serious consideration of the Legislature, and that means 
should be adopted for permitting the exercise of a more effective control over such Local 
Authorities as mav persist in mismanaging the interests entrusted to their charge. This 
control ought to extend at least to the maintenance, character, and colour of Buoys, to 
the use of efficient means of illumination, and to the exposure of improper application 
of dues. But no such control could be exercised without a knowledge on the part of 
the controlling Board of the actual state of the Local Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, and 
this could be gained only by bisptction. Power is given to the Trinity House to enter 
any Lighthouse within the jurisdiction of the Northern Commissioners or Ballast Board, 
to view the condition thereof (Section 392), and as the Lights of Local Authorities 


arc said to be " -within the jurisdiction" of the General Authorities, they may be 
supposed to be inckided ; but here the permission to inspect ceases, no power being given 
to the Trinity House to inspect Englisn Local Lights, or to the Scotch or L-ish Boards 
to inspect the Local Lights in places under their jurisdiction ; nor are either of the 
three empowered to examine Local Buoys or Beacons anywhere. Nor is it to be 
expected that were such power simply given to the General Authorities it would be 
exercised by them unless in special cases. What is wanted is such a systematic inspection 
of all Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, by some competent authority 
as shall serve the purpose of making known to the public, and to the inhabitants of 
the port themselves, the merits or deficiencies of the works m question. To gain this 
object, the inspector's annual report should be presented to Parliament and published ; 
and further, to facilitate the general distribution of that portion which relates to the 
locality, the report might be printed in separate sections ; and the Trinity Commissioners 
should have further powers in reserve to be called into play in cases of extreme neglect.* 


There appear to be at present various systems in force for the construdion, main- System of con- 
tenance, and control of certain Lighthouses in the Colonies under the Superintendence Sntenance, 
of Your Majesty's Government. See Vol. IL pp. 631-643. andcontroi. 

There is a system provided in the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment Act (1855), see 
Clauses L to YIIL, which contemplates the erection of Lighthouses at or near Your 
Majesty's Colonies, with money to be raised by the Board of Trade under security of the 
dues to be levied in respect thereof, see Clause VIII., and also for placing the Lighthouses 
previously existing, or that may hereafter be erected, under the Act, which provides for the 
levying of Light Dues in the United Kingdom and Colonies on vessels that have passed or 
are about to pass such Lights ; providing, however, that no such Light Dues shairbe levied 
in any Colony without the sanction of the Local Legislature having been first obtained. 
The only Lighthouse erected under these clauses Is that on Cape Race in Newfoundland. 
It appears that several applications have been made under this Act, see Vol. II., some of 
which have been declined, and some are still under consideration. 

The Merchant Shipping Act Amendment Act appears to have arisen out of a correspond- 
ence between the Departments of the Board of Trade, the Admiralty, the Treasury, the 
Colonies, and Mr. Gordon, C. E., (sec Parliamentary Paper No. 355 of 1855,) in which 
Mr. Gordon and the Admiralty press upon the attention of the Board of Trade the 
great importance of availing themselves of their position as defined in the Merchant 
Shipping Act, and urge them to proceed to aid in the erection and supervision of Light- 
houses in or near the Colonies. 

There are numerous Lighthouses in the Colonies to which our inquiry under the 
Commission does not extend, as they are not under the superintendence of Your Majesty's 
Government. The Board of Admiralty, in their letter of the 6th December 1854, 
evidently contemplated a much more extensive interference by the Home Government 
with the Colonial Lights, owing to the unguarded state of "the seas bordering upon 
Your Majesty's possessions abroad, and to the bad condition or management of some of the 
existing lights ; but the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment Act gives only very restricted 
permissive power to the Home Government, and leaves the faulty Lights as they were. 

That other systems are in force may be shown by the following table : — 


Date of First 

Bv -n-hora 


By -H-hom Maintained 

At what 





and Controlled. 

Annual Cost. 



Gun CaVj Bahamas 


Imperial Go- 


Imperial Govern- 


Abaco „ - - 





Cay Snl Bank „ - 






Great Isaacs „ - - 






Lobos Cay „ - 




Cape Pembroke, Falkland Islands 






* Since the above was written it has come to our knowledge that the Commissioners of Northern Lights 
recommended a similar system of control to be introduced in the first Merchant Shipping Act. 


o f present 

Change of 
stj.^tcm recoin- 


Date of First 

Bt 'Brhom 


By -H-hom Maintained 

At -what 





and Controlled. 

Annual Cost. 

Cape Race, Newfoundland 


Imperial Go- 


Board of Trade, 
Toll on Shipping. 


Breaksea Island, Australia 



J 3,796 { 

Imperial Govern- 


Point King „ - 



Cerise, Ionian Sea 




Imperial Govern- 


ment and Ionian 

Cape Point. Cape of Good Hope 






IJonian Rocks ., - 






Great Basses, Ceylon 

Not com- 



It will be obvious from the foregoing table that the Board of Trade has not confined 
its action in the erection of Colonial Lighthouses to the powers provided bv the Merchant 
Shipping Act Amendment Act, but has in the cases of the Great Isaacs, Lobos Cay, 
Cape Point, Roman Rocks, commenced since the passing of that Act, relied on the 
Imperial funds for their construction. Two of the above are maintained by Imperial, and 
two others by Colonial funds. 

The Board of Trade evidently consider that it is still within their power, and that 
power will probably be exercised, to maintain certain Colonial Lighthouses, [although 
erected since the Amendment Act of the [Merchant Shipping Act was passed,] entirely 
from the Consolidated Fund. 

Control over the expenses of constructing certain Lightliouscs in the Colonies is 
exercised by the Home Legislature, to whom are submitted all recommendations of 
expenditure on a Colonial Lighthouse. A certain undefined amount of control over the 
maintcufince. and fnanagement of some of the Colonial Lighthouses is recognized as con- 
setpient upon, and resulting from, aid more or less partial, having been given from 
Imperial funds, or from passing dues levied in consequence of any Act of Parliament 
to that effect. In practically enforcing this control we suppose the stringency would 
varv with the amount of the aid given, as compared with the total sum expended. 

In respect to scientific points, or matters of detail in the management of these lights, we 
find that the practice of the Board of Trade has been to consult the Trinity House, or its 
officers, or to follow their procedure. 

The machiner}' at the disposal of the Board of Trade for the construction, maintenance, 
and control of certain Lighthouses in Your Majesty's Colonial possessions, under the 
superintendence of Your Majesty's Government, appears in certain cases to have been 
insufficient. This insufficiency is especially apparent in the total failure to erect a Light- 
house at the Great Basses, Ceylon, where, at the end of five years, and after the 
expenditure of 42,UU0/., a light imperatively called for is not yet commenced (see Vol. I. 
pp. 138-141, and Vol. II. pp 632, 643, 646); and a most dangerous locality thus 
remains unguarded until the Board of Trade have received the report of the Govern- 
ment of Ceylon, on the expense of constructing and maintaining, as substitutes for the 
proposed Lighthouse, two Lightvessels, which have been recommended b}' the Admiralty- 
Surveying Officers, specially employed for this purpose. The steps now adopted are 
those which should have been taken in the first instance, and which we recommend 
should be adopted for the future. We are therefore of opinion that the systems now in 
force for the Construction, Maintenance, and Control of certain Lighthouses in Your 
Majesty's possessions, under the superintendence of Your Majesty's Government, are not 
well adapted for ensuring the most efficient control of that service with a due regard to 
economy, and we beg to submit to Your Majesty that the following change is required : — 

Change of System. 

Your Commissioners would recommend that the powers of the Board of Trade, with 
regard to Colonial Lighthouses, be transferred to the new Central Authority about to be 
proposed, and that steps be taken by its members to acquire a complete knowledge of 
the requirements and legitimate wants of the trade passing near the British Colonial 
possessions, so that applications from any particular trade or colony shall not be either 
too easily granted, or too hastily refused. 

To ensure this, we would suggest that the officers of Your Majesty's navy, either afloat 
or on shore, and especially surveying officers, and, in their absence, artillery and engineer 
officers, be made available for periodical inspection of existing Lighthouses in the Colonies, 


and for reporting on petition for new Lights, or for transfer of old Lights, under the 
Merchant Shipping Act Amendment Act ; and also generally on the want, if want 
there be, of Lighthouses for the safety of the passing trade. 

If this practice is adopted systematically, and the Naval Commander-in-Chief be sup- 
plied with printed forms, to be returned periodically, the Lighthouse Board in England 
charged with the superintendence of certain Colonial Lights will always have in its pos- 
session such an amount of evidence collected on the spot by trustworthy and experienced 
persons, as will enable it to come to a sounder decision than can at present be possible 
in the absence of any such system. 


From an early period of our inquir}' it has been evident to Your Majesty's Commis- change of 
sioncrs that changes might be advantageouslj' made in the sj'stem of management and manlgement 
control under which the Lighthouses, Floating Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the and control, 
coasts of the United Kingdom, and certain Lighthouses in the Colonies, are constructed 
and maintained. The evils of a double, triple, or quadruple government, the anomalies 
arising from such a multiplicity of sj-stems, and the want of certain necessary elements 
in all the managing Boards became more and more apparent as our inquiry advanced. 
Yet so complicated was the question, and so great are the interests involved, that it has 
demanded long and careful consideration on the part of jonr Commissioners before 
deciding on the nature of the change they would recommend. By a sort of exhaustive 
process a scheme of government has been arrived at, the reasons for which are more 
particularly set forth in the Chairman's letter attached to this Report, and whose words 
in describing the proposed change we have thought proper generally to adopt. 

It was beyond the province of this Commission to recommend any change in the fund 
for maintaining Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, but bearing in mind the possibility or 
probability of a change, they have so arranged the proposed scheme of government that 
it is equally well adapted, — ist, to the present sj-steir, of levying tolls on the passing 
trade ; 2ndly, to a system which has occasionally been suggested, viz., a tonnage rate, 
which promises some advantages, and, in addition to that of simplicity, a great economy, 
both of labour and expense, in collection ; and, 3rdly, to that system which has been 
recommended to the Legislature by the four Special Committees that have been authorized 
to treat directly this important portion of the subject, viz., that the expense of erecting 
and mainfabiing our Lighf/iotises should be defrayed out of the public revenue. 

Had the question submitted for the consideration of Your Majesty's Commissioners 
been how to form the most perfect sj-stem of Lighthouse Management for the first time, 
we should probably have suggested a simpler and more responsible form of government ; 
but, regarding the subject in all its bearings, as we were bound to do, — considering 
the existing, almost national institutions, the extent of practical knowledge possessed 
by them, as well as the large machinery employed, — we have deemed it expedient to build 
on existing foundations rather than to reconstruct out of entirely new materials ; and 
we, therefore, recommend that the government and management of the Lights, Buoys, 
and Beacons of the United Kingdom, and of certain Lighthouses in the Colonies, be 
vested in a new central authority to be denominated the Trinity Commissioners for 
Lights, and that the expenditure of such Commissioners be brought directly under the 
control of the House of Commons b}' an annual submission of their estimates, through 
the Board of Trade or the Board of Admiralty, as may be deemed best, and that when 
once the estimates have been approved of by Parhament the expenditure of the funds 
voted be entrusted to the sole discretion of the Trinity Commissioners, under the recog- 
nized system of imprest and audit. 

To constitute this Central Authority, to be denominated the " Ti-inity Commissioners Central Autko- 
for Lights," it is proposed that four members be elected by the Elder Brethren in such a '^1%"^^' 
manner as will ensure the retirement and election, after the four first years, of one member 
annually, and that to these four be added one member for Scotland, to reside in Edin- 
burgh, and another for Ireland, to reside in Dublin, elected every four years, the whole 
to be eligible for re-election ; and, in addition to the above six members, who should be 
engaged in no other business, that one other member be selected by the Government 
with special reference to his scientific acquirements in those branches of knowledge 
which relate to Coast illumination, as enumerated by us in Circulars IX. and X., the 
whole subject to the approval of Government, and to have salaries commensurate with 
the importance of their duties and with the necessary engagement of their time. To 
these it is proposed to add the Astronomer Royal, the Hydrographer of the Admiralty, 
the Comptroller-General of Coast Guard, and one of the Professional Members of the 

g 2 



Hoi/til Socicli/ 
to vhil. 

to aid in liqht- 

Board of Trade, -which last four persons would be ex-officio " Trinity Commissioners 
for Li"-hts," and should be liberally paid for their attendance at the weekly Boards, or 
oftener if summoned. 

The appointment of a governing body such as is sketched out above implies the 
transference to it of the "l^ighthouse duties of the Board of Trade, Trinity House, 
Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, and Ballast Board ; and we recommend that 
the election of the Scotch and Irish resident members should rest with the public bodies 
whose members have so long and so zealously, and without gratuity, performed the 
Lighthouse duties in the two countries ; and for the purpose of selection from time to 
time it would be highly desirable that the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses 
should continue to exist as a body constituted as at present. 

The members, who would thus be resident in .Scotland and Ireland, and whose 
duties in those countries would be generally executive, should receive the s.mie salary 
as the four executive members of the Central Board, selected from the Elder Brethren ; 
and as the subject of new works and changes would probably only be discussed at 
collective mcetinos in London, and at a time when the estimates were being prepared for 
Parliament, it would be proper that they should attend in London at that period, and 
on other occasions when summoned by the Central Board. 

In addition to the increased responsibilities to be vested in the new governing 
authority, we recommend that the whole of the Local Lights and Buoyage in this 
kino-doni be subiected to an annual inspection under the direction of the Trinity 
Commissioners for Lights, and an Annual llcport of the same be presented to Parlia- 
ment with the Lighthouse Estimates ; that the powers already vested in the General 
Lio-hthouse Authority with regard to Local Lights, &c., by various Acts of Parliament, 
be°put into more active operation ; and that further powers be given, as already stated ; 
and in the event of the expenses for Lights, Sec, being defrayed out of the public 
revenue that the Admiralty Lights, Beacons, and Buoys, exclusive of IMooring and 
Warping Buoys, be given over to the same body. 

,sy,,#;t_Qaalifications of a special order, such as are only to be found in a person trained 
to the business of what the Astronomer Roj-al, in his letter of the 10th November last. 

in rarliameut. 

with optical engineering. The clerical staff now employed in the management of Light- 
house business would be more than sufficient under the altered circumstances. 

Though we recommend the assimilation and amalgamation of the entire Lighthouse 
svstems of Emjland, Scotland, and Ireland, yet, on account of the great extent of coast 
line in the three countries, we consider it desirable to retain an office in Edinburgh and 
another in Dublin, which shall be the ordinary head-quarters of the resident member of 
the Central Authoritv, with the secretar}- and inspector of Lights, attached to Scotland 
or Ireland respectively. In Ireland a marine inspector for Floating Lights and Buoys 
will be necessary, as at present ; and another will be required for England, unless the 
Trinity Commissioners should continue to discharge that duty, as it is at present 
performed bv the Elder Brethren. 

Visifafioii of the Roi/al Sociefi/. — In order to satisf^^ the public that our Lighthouses, 
and the whole system of Lighthouse illumination, are in all respects what the highest 
state of science can produce, and the interests of this great maritime country require. 
Your Commissioners would recommend that Your Majesty should be advised to issue 
Your warrant appointing the President and Council with other Fellows of the Royal 
Societv annually to visit the central establishment of the Trinity Commissioners, as 
is now the case" with the Uoyal Observatory ; and that the Trinity Conunissioncrs for 
Lio-hts should on that occasion submit a Report of their proceedings in all matters 
relatino- to the development of and improvement in Lighthouse illumination to the 
Visitina; Board of the Royal Society ; such Report to" be presented to Parliament 
with the annual estimates. 

Cnast Guard.— We recommend that the officers of the Coast Guard be employed in 
that frequent inspection of the Lights by night which we have reason to believe is absolutely 
necessary to the incessant maintenance of the best flames, and to the due vigilance 
of the keepers; also that the gunboats and the tenders attached to this branch of the 
service should be employed, when practicable, for purposes of inspection, supply of stores, 
and changing of crews, in lieu of the expensive system at present in operation. See 
Vol. I. p. 7 L, and 228. 

Reprcseiitdfinn in Parliaincnf.— Whether the funds to be provided for the Lighthouse 
service continue to be raised by dues, or by the simpler and more economic mode of a 


tonnage rate, or ultimately from Imperial funds, the estimates regulating the amount of 
these funds -will have to be submitted to Parliament ; and as the proposed Central Board 
Avould not be represented in, and would not be directly responsible to Parliament, some 
department of Government will have to present the estinsates to the House of Commons, 
and -whatever that department might be, it would necessarily in some sense be responsible 
for those estimates ; but this responsibility should extend no furtiier than to the being 
able fully to explain the several items of those estimates to the House. 

This representative body, Your Majesty's Commissioners propose, should be either the Admiralty or 
Board of Trade or the Admiralty. Ui^ard of Trade. 

In the various Statutes establishing the authority and duties of the Trinity House, 
the Office of the Lord High Admiral or that of the Commissioners for executing that 
otRce is frequently referred to ; and it is impossible to read the evidence taken by the 
Committees successively appointed by Parliament in 1822, 1834, and 1845, to inquire 
into Lighthouse management, or the correspondence in the last twenty years between 
the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, and the Colonial OfHce respecting Colonial Lights, 
without it being apparent that not only the Board of Trade, but the Trinitv House also, 
have more or less leant upon the Admiralty in fulfilling their duties, and that there must 
always be an official and essential rehition betwixt the Lighthouse service and the Admi- 
ralty; but although the dependence of the one upon the other of these departments has in 
no degree diminished, but jdther the contrary, yet in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, 
this connection is ignored, and the Admiralty nov/here appears in our Lighthouse polity, 
as set forth in that Act. 

Nevertheless, the xidmiraltj' is that department of the Government which more than 
any other possesses the means for effectually assisting in carrying on the Lighthouse 
service. These means consist of its able Hydrographic staff, both at home and abroad, 
and the necessary affinity existing between tliat staff and the lyighthouse service, as shown 
in the Admiralt}^ letter of 1st February 1861 (Vol. I. p. 215), its present complete chain- 
work of Coast Guard stations and flotilla, under intelligent naval officers at every point of 
the coast (see Coast Guard Map, Vol. I.) ; and its employment of the ablest engineers 
of this country, whose estimate for a work, when once submitted, would scarcely admit 
of the prejudicial disputes which now retard the prosecution of important works. 

On the other hand, we have the Board of Trade, a department having the general 
superintendence of matters relating to merchant ships and seamen, and which, since 
the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, has had the control over the three 
General Lighthouse Authorities, and in its six years' exercise of that control much 
valuable experience must have been gained ; it is also the department at present 
representing the Lighthouse Authorities in Parliament, it has — so far as the limited 
machinery at its disposal admits — devoted great attention to Lighthouse business, and has 
most scrupulously kept in check all Lighthouse expenditure ; whilst, under the system 
as now proposed, the Board of Trade would have one of its professional members an 
ex officio member of the new Central Body. 

Leaving it then an open question, to be decided by the Government, whether the 
Board of Trade or the Admiralty is for the future to represent our Lighthouse Govern- 
ment in Parliament, and reverting to the unanimous opinions of the sevei-al Parliamentary 
Committees, embodied as those opinions are in the recommendation of the Committee of 
1845, viz. " That all expenses for the erection and maintenance of Lighthouses, Floating 
" Lights, Buoys and Beacons on the coast of the United Kingdom he thenceforth 
" defrayed out of the Public Revenue,'' the representative duties would be confined to Prcscntiiion ct 
the presentation of estimates of a simple nature prepared by the Trinity House Commis- 
sioners in a comprehensive form, and the acquiring of information necessary for the full 
explanation of these estimates to the House of Commons ; neither of which would involve 
an amount of trouble deserving of any consideration in weighing the relative advantages 
possessed bj- the two departments, or in deciding which is most likely to affoi'd the 
largest amount of material support to the Commissioners appointed to carrj- out the 
Lighthouse service of the country. 


Your Majesty's Commissioners would not close this Report without expressing their 
obligations to those Foreign Governments who have so courteously replied to our some- 
what lengthy questions, and have furnished us wnth such elaborate di-awings and descrip- 
tions ; and in particular we desire to thank M. Reynaud, the head of the Lighthouse 
Department in France, whose readiness and endeavours to meet the wishes of Your 
Commissioners have been marked with the greatest care and goodwill, and from whose 
good offices they have derived valuable assistance, — and not from his services only, 




but also from those of others connected with his department. To Senor Lucio del 
Valle, of the Coviision, de Faros of Spain our thanks are due also for much interesting 

To our Secretary Ave are also greatly- indebted. His peculiar genius and aptness for 
the work in hand lias been remarkable, as shown amongst other particulars in the 
Drawings and Diagrams prepared by him ; and some of the most valuable of our 
experiments have originated in his suggestions : his ability has also been shown in the 
arrangement, abstracts, and summary of the evidence. 

We have already spoken of what is owing to the Astronomer Royal, and to those 
Scientific Men who have generously, and at the cost of valuable time, furnished such 
replies to our questions as cannot fail to be of use in the furtherance of an important 
science ; and in the proposals sent to us by Manufacturers and others for improvements 
in tide lights, in the build of Lightships, in Lamps, tSrc, there is ample evidence of the skill 
and ingenuity available in this country for further facilitating the navigation of these 

In conclusion, Your Commissioners would humbly express their hope that the attention 
which they have given to the subject of the inquiry which they were commanded to under 
take, may not be entirely fruitless ; and that the remarks and observations contained in the 
Report now humbly submitted to Your Majesty may result in an improvement in Light- 
house Illumination, in a more complete system of lighting and marking the shores of Your 
Majesty's dominions, and in the furtherance of the interests of Commerce and of 
Humanity, — interests which Your Commissioners are fully sensible must ever hold a high 
place in Your Majesty's regard. 

All which we humbly submit to Your Majesty. 

Witness our hands and seals this 5th day of March 186L 

(Signed) AY. A. B. HAMILTON, (l.s.) 

ALFRED P. RYDER. (l.s.) 

J. H. GLADSTONE. (l.s.) 


S. R. GRAVES. (L.s.) 
J. F. Campbell, 






After our many discussions on Lighthouse Government, I think I have gathered what 
would mostprobabli/ be the views of my colleagues on that subject : I propose, therefore, 
to put in ivriting what I believe those views generally to be ; and if I succeed in my 
interpretation of them, the following paper may aid in the completion of that part of 
our Report which relates to Management and Control, — remembering always there is 
some further oral evidence to be taken, and that Capt. Sulivans examinatio7i is 
deferred till the last. 

W. A. B. Hamilton. 
\QtJb January 186L 

1 . ir has been necessary, during our inquiry, to bear in mind that it is not with the Range of 
whole of the duties of the Corporation of Trinity House that this Commission has had inquiry of the 
to do ; but with those only which relate to Lights, Buoys, and Beacons. .ommission. 

2. The same consideration was necessary in investigating the Irish lighthouse sj'stem. 
It was not with the Ballast Board of Dublin, as a Corporation, that we were dealing, but 
only so far as respects its management of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons. 

3. It is different, however, when we come to Scotland ; there we have a Board, the only 
Lighthouse Board (in the ordinary meaning of the term) in the kingdom; and this Board 
is denominated the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses. 

4. The Corporation of Trinity House was founded in the reign of Henry VII., "for Purposes for 
" the government and increase of the navigation of England, and the relief of poor '^hich Trinity 
" mariners, their widows, orphans, &c. ;" and in time the Corporation came to be charged foundedTn 
with other duties, as, for instance, in the reign of Elizabeth, when an Act was passed '■'^'■*- 
enabling the Trinity House to erect sea marks, beacons, and signs of the sea, and to ^^^f ^'^!"' 
place buoys ; and it was not until the year l607 that the Trinity House could be properly of James i." 
said to have had any light for the direction of navigation upon the open sea, when by First Light- 
virtue of their statute of the 8th of Elizabeth, the Elder Brethren laid claim to one of Geo.Ti.^ 
which had been set vip in 1606 by Mr. Thomas Bushell, a private gentleman, at his own 

charge, and whom they afterwards admitted to be their tenant both for this and for other 
lights, as well as for certain buoys and beacons. The first floating light (the Nore) was 
applied for and placed in 1732. 

5. The members of the Corporation of Trinity House are self elected ; and although Members of 
the acting members appear to be selected from amongst the most respectable of the com- •'oj'poi'ation of 
manders of our mercantile navy sailing out of the Port of London, they are not chosen -n-hence 

for any special qualification they may possess for the scientific duties" connected with ^"'^'^''^'^'^ 
lighthouse service. 

6. In Ireland, the members of the Ballast Board, a Corporation instituted by Act of Baibst Board : 
Parliament in 1763 for preserving and improving the Port of Dublin, are not even nautical bHshed' and for 
men, with the exception of one retired naval officer ; nor does it contain amongst its ^i?A-^m^o%r 
members any, with the above exception, that have been selected with reference to light- 
house requirements. 

7. With respect to Scotland, a Board consisting of two Law Officers of the Crown, the Scotch Board: 
Sheriffs of certain maritime counties, the Provosts of certain Royal burghs and the Provost bi'iXd"" d f 
of Greenock, was specially established in 17S6, by Act of Parliament, for the management wiiarpurpose." 
exclusively of Lights, &c. in that country. As is the case in the Irish Board, provision 

does not seem to have been made in that Act for the members of the Scotch Board being 
persons conversant with lighthouse science or management; but in the exercise of these 
duties, special care has been taken by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses to 
secure the services of persons who were possessed of the necessary qualifications. 

8. We have thus, properly speaking, to deal with two corporations, the Trinity House Lighthouse 
in England, and the Ballast Board in Ireland, (but only as regards that portion "of their Authorities. 
duties which relates to lights, &c.,) whilst in Scotland our business is simply with a 
Lighthouse Board. 

9. To illustrate the above, we have only to turn to Question V., Circular No. I., Kxecutive 
"Constitution of General Authorities, England ; " and to Answer, page 7, Vol. II., J'^f-'"'''''""' 
where we shall find, that of seven Committees into which the 20 acting Elder Brethren TrSt'y^HoiLe 
of the Trinity House are divided, for the general business of that Corporation, one only, two'^com'^ ''^ 
" The Committee of Lighthouses," consisting of four or five members and the chairman, mittees."" 

cr 4 



business of 
Irish Light- 
houses, con- 
ducted by two 
Committees of 
the Ballast 

Nature of 
business, and 
number of 
Scotch Board. 

Views of Par- 
mentary Com- 
mittees as to the 
expediency of 
one Central 

Question as to 
composition of 
a Central 

Trinity House 
Committee for 
the ground- 
work for a 
Central Board. 

Xecessily for 
new elements. 

Kumbers and 
composition of 
the new 
Central Board. 

is required exclusively for the executive business of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons ; and 
that they meet hut once a -week as a Committee, for that business ; at the same time 
it ibrms "part of the duties of another Committee, viz., "The Examining Committee," 
annually to inspect the sands between Yarmouth and the South Foreland, and other 
localities where changes are likely to have taken place ; and it is under the supervision 
of this last Connuittee that all notices to mariners are framed and issued ; but the duties 
of both Committees are purely administrative, jurisdiction resting with the entire Board 
whose sanction has to be obtained before any reconuuendation of a Committee can be 
carried into effect. The routine duties of the Committee of Lighthouses are fully set 
forth at page 7, Vol. II. Each of the acting Elder Brethren receives a salary of 
300/. a year. 

10. Again, with respect to Ireland:- — the Answer to Question 2, Circular No. 1, 
page 211, Vol. II., shows that out of nine Committees into wliich the Corpora- 
tion of the Ballast Board, consisting of 23 members, are divided for conducting its 
business, two only are specially appropriated to the executive business of the Irisli 
Lights. These two Committees are entitled the Lightship, and the Inspecting Com- 
mittees ; the former consists of live, and the latter of six members, all unpaid. 
Important questions relative to Lighthouses receive the consideration of the whole of 
the Ballast Board. 

11. The vScotch Board, as before stated, has none other than Lighthouse business to 
attend to, and is composed of twenty-eight unpaid Commissioners, though, under an Act 
subsetiuent to that of i7f^G, provision is made, under certain circumstances, for an addition 
to those numbers. 

Proposed Central Board. 

12. This Commission can hardly have arrived at the present stage of its inquiry without 
having come to the conclusion that the several Parliamentary Committees that have been 
appointed I'rom time to time since 1S22 to inquire into the JNlanagemcnt of Lightb.ouses in 
this country, were justified in the view they took (without exception) of the expediency of 
those Lighthouses being under the management of one Board, resident in London. 

13. The question now arises, admitting the necessity of such a Board, whether 
there exist materials or a groimdwork on which an efficient Central Board could be 
constituted? and this is a point upon which, after our long and careful investigations, we 
are in a position to form some conclusion. 

14. I have said above that the members of the Corporation of Trinity House are not 
selected for their special qualification for Lighthouse business ; but this Commission has 
been brought in contact vtith most of the gentlemen of that Corporation who compose 
its present Committees for Lighthouses, ike, and I am sure that m^' colleagues must be 
satisfied as to the general ability, tlie intelligence, and the anxious desire of those 
gentlemen to fulfil the duties devolving upon them. The system of their election from 
among the Elder Brethren of the Corporation is stated at page 8, Vol. II. ; and, 
adopting such Committee as a nucleus or basis upon which to frame a Central Board, 
let us consider the sort of infusion necessary to complete it. 

15. It is manifest from our inquiries, that the elements essentially wanting are the 
sc'icnfific and the IqidrograpJilc ; and these considerations have to do with the 
composition of the new Central Board as well as its staff. 

16. The numbers as well as the qualifications of the members necessary for composing 
a Central Board, will now have to be considered. 

17. Of the five Elder Brethren who now constitute the present Committee for light- 
houses, we find that not more than four are in regular attendance ; and that number 
mitiht be adopted as constituting the Trinity House proportion of a Central Board, 
to be denominated the "Trinity Commissioners for Lights," such four members to 
be elected by the Elder Brethren, subject to the approval of the Government, and 
to have such addition to their present salaries as might be considered commensurate 
with the increased importance of their duties, and with the necessary engagement 
of the whole of their time,* and to these four should be added one member for 
Scotland, to reside in Edinburgh, and another for Ireland, to reside in Dublin ; imd 
in addition to the above six members one other member should be selected by the 
(Government Avith special reference to his scientific acquirements in those branches of 
knowledge which relate to coast illumination, as enumerated by us in Cii'culars 9 and 10, 

* The four Commissioners elected in the first instance hy the Corpor.ation of Trinity House, to liold tlicir 
appointments for four years, at tiic end of which time one of tlicse Commissioners -will retire by ballot, ami 
in each succeeding year another to retire in like manner, till the four orii.;iiuilly elected shall have been worked 
off; after which, one (^'nnmi.ssioner to retire hij rotation every year. All members retiring, to be eligible tor 
re-election : vacaucie.* to be filled up by the Trinity House. All elections to be subject to the approval of 


with a suitable salary. To these should be added the Astronomer Royal, the Hydro- 
grapher of the Admiralty, the Comptroller-General of Coast Guard, and one of the 
Professional Members of the Board of Trade, which last four persons would be ex-officio 
" Trinity Commissioners ibr Lights," and should be liberally paid for their attendance 
at the weekly Boards, or oftener if summoned. It would be competent of course to the 
Government to increase the number of the Central Board. 

IS. With respect to the Scotch and Irish members of the proposed Central Board, this Mode of 
Connnission cannot doubt that a fit person for such appointment is now to be found "^'^"^l"","^ 
amono'st the Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses, and in the Ballast Board of Dublin, and Irish 
respectively ; and I am sure ray colleagues will be of opinion that the selection of Commissioners. 
these members, cither from their own body or elsewhere, should rest with the above 
gentlemen [subject always to the approval of the Government], who have so long 
and zealously, and hitherto without gratuity, performed the Lighthouse duties in 
Scotland and Ireland. The Scotch and Irish members of the Central Board should hold 
their appointments for four years, and be eligible for re-election ; and the Commis- 
sioners of Northern Lighthouses, who are unpaid, might continue to exist as a body Commissioners 
constituted as at present, for the purpose of selecting from time to time the person who is to ^if^tw™ to 
be the Scotch member of the new Central Board.* The members, who would thus be remain incor- 
rcsident in Scotland and Ireland, and whose duties in those countries vvould be gene- ^"eciafpur- "' 
rally executive, should receive the same salary as the four executive members of the poses. 
Central Board, selected from the Elder Brethren ; and as the subject of new works and 
changes would probably only be discussed at collective meetings in London, and at a time 
when the estimates were being prepared for Parliament, it would be proper that they 
should attend in London at that period, and on other occasions when summoned by the 
Central Board. 

19. And in order to satisfy the public that our Lighthouses, and the Avhole system of Royal Society 
Lighthouse illumination, are in all respects what the highest state of science can produce, v^k'SntJ-d 
and the interests of this great maritime country require, the Queen might be advised to Estabiisiiment. 
issue Her warrant appointing the President and Council with other Fellows of the Royal 

Society annually to visit the central establishment at the Trinity House, as is now 
the case with the Royal Observatory ; and that the Trinity Commissioners for Lights 
should on that occasion submit a Report of their proceedings in all matters relating to the 
development of and improvement in Lighthouse illumination to the Visiting Board of the 
Royal Society ; such Report to be presented to Parliament with the annual estimates. 

'Staff of ijenfral Board. 

20. The next point for consideration is, the staff for the proposed Central Board. All lumbers and 
our observations — all our experiments, go to show that qualifications of a special order, such composition of 
as arc only to be found in a person trained to the business of what the Astronomer Royal, ponfoTof the 
in his letter of the 10th November last, aptl}^ terms an "Optical Engineer," are absolutely Central staff, 
necessary. The qualifications that such a person must bring with him are clearly set 

forth in that valuable paper ; and it might be necessary for purposes hereafter to be 
mentioned, that such officer should have the assistance of three Assistant Optical 
Engineers (who will also be " Inspectors of Lights,")— one for England, one for Scotland, 
and one for Ireland ; whilst, as regards the clerical staff, that now employed in the 
department of the Trinity House for the management of Lights, <S>rc., would be amply 

21. It is true that at first sight the Trinity House would seem to be supplied with all 
that could be required of an Optical Engineer and Inspector of Lights ; for the Elder 
Brethren have had at their command, and have, to a certain extent, availed themselves 
of the talents and genius of a Faraday, and to say that science were wanting where 
Professor Faraday is the scientific adviser, would seem to be a contradiction in terms ; but Better appiica^ 
it was necessary, as this Commission have seen, to turn those talents and that genius foTFlrl'dfT 
in the required direction, to secure to the science of Lighthouse illumination, that per- services; 
fection which it has been the aim of this Commission to prepare the way to ; and it 

Avas in consequence of the researches and experiments of this Commission, that the great 
talents of Professor Faraday were directed to those points which we now find essential 
for the best production of hght,— its perfect adaptation to a costly illuminating apparatus, 
— and the most correct adjustment of that apparatus for Lighthouse purposes. 

22. All these are subjects that a Faraday's powers have promptly mastered since prof. Faraday 

__^ should be pro- 

made for "<Ae meetings of the Commissioners, 



of the duties of 
tbe Scotch and 
Irish Boards. 

Merits of 
Scotch and 
Irish Boards 

systems in 
England, Scot' 
land, and Ire- 
land to he 

Staff for Scot- 
laud and Ire- 

Authority to 
be given to 
Central Boird 
over local 
lights, buoys, 
&c., and report 
to be made to 

Precedents for 
erecting and 
trora Imperial 

attention has been called to them by this Commission ; but precisely in proportion to 
the great scope of his talents, is the difficulty of their being absolutely, and at all 
times, at the command of the Trinity Commissioners ibr Lights ; for, assuming lor tlie 
moment that Professor Faraday were the Optical Engineer to the new Board, that 
appointment must carry with it the employment of his whole time. The scientific 
woild, however, could not afford that a Faraday's talents should be entirely devoted to 
Lighthouse duties, but whatever portion of his valuable time and peculiar talents he 
can afford to the Central Board, for that time and for the use of those talents he should 
be amply remunerated. 

23. The appointment of a Central Governing Board as above sketched out, implies 
the transference to it of the Lighthouse duties of the Scotch and Irish Boards ; but the 
absolute necessity for thus simplifying the present cumbersome scheme of Government 
has been apparent to us from the first, and docs not necessarily imply the slightest reflec- 
tion on the management of those Boards, wliich will for the future be represented by the 
two Commissioners to be elected by those Boards. 

24. I do not now enter at large upon the respective claims of each ; but whilst the Scotch 
and Irish Boards are not without their merits, and may fairly be described as Lighthouse 
Establishments working under difficulties, the Scotch Board deserves to be especially 
praised lor the admirable management of its Lights, though the costliness of some of its 
works, (a costliness probably of easy explanation,) in some measure accounts for what 
would otherwise seem to be an over jealous exercise of control on the part of the Board 
of Trade. 

Staffs for Scotland and Ireland. 

25. The question of the staff sufficient for the Scotch and Irish service has now to 
be considered. 

26. We have seen the necessity- for assimilating and amalgamating the entire Light- 
house systems of England, Scotland, and Ireland, yet the multifarious duties of the three 
establishments, together with the great extent of coast line in the three countries, will render 
necessary the continuance of a small scientific staff'in Scotland and Ireland, in conjunction 
with the Commissioner, or member of the Central Board, resident respectively in those 

27. It is probable, therefore, that a Secretary, together with an " Optical Engineer and 
Inspector of Lights," will be required in Scotland ; and it might also be advisable to retain, 
if possible, for certain duties, the services of the Messrs. Stevenson, the engineers at 
present employed by the Scotch Board, who have devoted a large portion of their time 
and talents to the science of Lighthouse illumination, and with great success ; whilst for 
Ireland, (where we have an overworked engineer,) a Secretary, together with an " Assist- 
ant Optical Engineer and Inspector of Lights," with the present " ]Marine Inspectoi- " 
for Floating Lights and Buoys, will be necessary. In Scotland there are no floating lights 

28. In addition to the increased responsibilities which m'c contemplate vesting in the Cen- 
tral Board, I believe we are prepared to reconnncnd that the whole of the Local Lights and 
Buoyage in this kingdom shall be annually inspected under the direction of the Trinity 
Commissioners for Lights, and that an Annual Report on the subject should be presented 
to Parliament with the Lighthouse Estimates; — that the extensive powers already vested 
in the Trinity House with regard to local lights, Ike. by various Acts of Parliament should 
be put into more active operation ; and that further powers should be given to the General 
Lighthouse Authority to enforce on Local Authorities, not only the placing as at present 
of a Buoy, but the continued and effective maintenance of it in its proper position ; and 
in the event of the expenses for Lights, &c. being defrayed out of the public revenue, 
that the Admiralty Lights, Beacons, and Buoys, exclusive of Mooring and Warping 
Buoys, be given over to the same body. Assuming such to be the views of the Commis- 
sion,' the necessity for attaching the three Assistant Optical Engineers and Inspectors of 
Lights to the central staff', to aid in the inspection, and in reporting on the general and 
local lights, in England, Scotland, and Ireland, will be apparent.* 

29. So far we have been considering a Central Board of government and its Staff": the 
next question relates to — 

Representation in Parliuiiient. 

30. The principle that the cost of erecting and maintaining Lighthouses may be 
defrayed out of the public revenue, appears to have been already sanctioned by 
Parliament; for, looking to the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment Act 1855, and to 
the Board of Trade's letter to this Commission, dated 25th January 1860, it 

• The Astronomer Royal in recommending the appointment of an " Optical Engineer," observes (in 
l::s li'itcr of the 10(h November 1860), that the examiii.ntion of existing Lighthouses by such jfHcer would 
probably occupy the two first years of his time. 


seems that some of our Colonial Lighthouses,— for instance, those at the Bahamas 
and at the Falkland Islands, have been erected and are maintained entirely out 
of Imperial funds, and are entirel_y under the control of the Board of Trade ; that 
other Lighthouses, such as those at King George's Sound, Western Australia 
have been erected and are to be maintained by Imperial funds until such time 
as the colony is in a position to maintain them itself ; and that others, such as the Lio-ht- 
house at Cerigo, have been erwVf'f/ with Imperial funds, and are maintained ]Gm.\\y \iy 
Her Majesty's Government and the Ionian Government; — that the cost of erection ot tnt 
Roman Rocks Lighthouse at the Cape of Good Hope is to be borne by Imperial funds • 
and that sums have been from time to time voted by Parliament for the erection of Light- 
houses at the Great Basses, at Vancouver's Island, and at Cape Point LighthousCj 
Cape of Good Hope, and that Parliament will be asked for additional sums for 
the same purposes. This practice, sanctioned by the Legislature in so many 
instances, is, in a certain sense and to a certain extent, giving effect to the recom- 
mendation of the various Parliamentary Committees that have been appointed since 
1834 (including the Committee on Merchant Shipping appointed in this year), viz., 
that the expense of maintcmiing our Lighthouses, Sfc. should be defrayed out of the\mhlic 
revenue. _ In speaking, therefore, of a change in the system of Lighthouse Government, 
although it may be beyond the province of this Commission to pass an opinion as to the mode 
of raising the fund lor maintaining the Lights, &c., or to say out of what funds provision 
for the expenses of Lights, Buoys, and Beacons should be made, yet this is a question 
impossible to be lost sight of in considering the form of government best adapted for our 
Lighthouse system. 

31. And herein hes our difficulty,— that we are directed " ^'o inquire whether the 
" present sysfetn of managemeiit and control under which the Lighthouses, Floating 
" Lights, Buoys, and Beacons on the coasts of the United Kingdom are constructed and 
" maintaitied according to the provisioiis of tlie 'Merchant Shipping Jet, 18.54,' is well 
" adopted for securing the 7nost efficient lighting and buoying of the coasts oftlie United 
" Kingdom, with a due regard to economy ; orivhether any, and if any, what cliange 
" might he advantageously made in that system ,•" and whilst (as is the case) our inquiry 
has led to the conclusion that some change is required in order to " secure the most 
" efficient lighting and buoying of our coasts," and we are prepared to recommend a 
change, we are met at the outset by that clause in our instructions, which would seem 
to point to the existing provisions of the " Merchant Shipping Act," an Act which by 
transferring the Light Dues to the Mercantile Marine Fund, does at the same time give 
to the Board of Trade the entire control over those Authorities who are really charo-eable 
with " the lighting and buoying of our coasts." ^ 

32. If, therefore, the proposed ' change should at all appear to be a step beyond the Proposed 
bounds miposed upon us, yet it may be allowed to possess this advanta<J-e that if not "^"""^^ ^^"^^"^ 
strictly adapted to the present '^ provisions oftlie Merchant Shipping Act" it is at least lys^ern'of levy- 
adapted,— 1st, to the present system of levying tolls on the passing trade; 2ndly to i"s "'"'•"'• *" 
a system which has occasionally been suggested, viz., a tonnage rate, which promises of providing 
some advantages, and, in addition to that of simplicity, a great economy both of labour *"""'''• 
and expense in collection; and, 3rdlj, to that system which has been" submitted to the 
Legislature by the four Special Committees that have been authorized to treat directly this 
important portion of the subject, viz., that the expense of erecting and maintaini?ig our 
Lighthouses should be defrayed out of the public revenue.* 

33 Whether the funds to be provided for the Lighthouse service continue to be Necessity for 
raised by dues, or by the simpler and more economic mode of a tonnao-e rate or ^'"""™'^°'!"'y 
ultimately from Imperial funds, the estimates regulating the amount of these funds '■'^'■'''°'""'°' 
will have to be submitted to Parliament; and as the proposed Central Board 
would not be represented in, and would not be directly responsible to Parliament 
some department of Government will have to present the estimates to the House of 
Commons, and whatever that department might be, it would necessarily in some sense 
be responsible for those estimates ; but this responsibility should extend no further 
than to the being able fully to explain the several items of those estimates to the House 

34.The 422nd section of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, provides that " each of the 
" General Lighthouse Authorities shall from time to time submit to the Board of Trade 

* The sa-ving of a considerable sum iucidental to the collection of light dues must be borne in mmd as con- 
nected with the question of their abo ition. At the port of Liverpool five clerks, with an T.g "gate salary of 
1,098/. 10^., are requn-ed for the calculations and collection of light dues ; and at the port of London tl?e 
L^SOO/ avtr 'Se'"f '•"-" ' l'^ t"'"^' 7'"?'"^" the collectioir of the Trinity Houre^'l^tDu J; tin 
Xt[;:imountYoXSSo?atei! '^"^ " ^'^ ^'''''' ^°"^^ *°^- '^^^'"'"•^^-'^' ^'=-' "^ '— f- 




system of 

of macliinery 
at the com- 
mand of Board 
of Trade. 

" estimates of all expenses to be incurred by them." Doubts are entertained by the 
above Authorities as to the strict legality of the Board of Trade's interpretation of that 
section, as exhibited in their minute interference with the mode in which those Authorities 
cany out their works after the estimates for them have been finall}- approved 'ny the 
Board of Trade ; but, settinu" aside these doubts for the moment, and without dwelling at 
any length on the ver}^ considerable increase of correspondence arising out of that Act, 
and without referring to the prejudicial delays that may be attributed to the present 
working of that particidar section of it, it is difhcult to discover the necessity for that 
cumbersonie system which now exists under the two Acts, the Merchant Shipping Act 
Amendment Act, 1S5.5, and Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, viz., (i shiir/e ^nn'rniuent 
(the Board of Trade) for Lighthouses in the British Possessions abroad, a doiihlc trovern- 
meiif for the Lighthouses under the Trinity House, a triawj^iilar <^(>rcrnme.nt for the 
Scotch Lighthouses and for Local Lights in England, a/»/ (t qundr'tldtcnd gorernment 
for the Irish Lighthouses* and i'or Local Lights in Scotland and Ireland ; — a system 
which can scarcely be expected to find favour in the present day. 

3.5. The machinery at the disposal of the Board of Trade in much that relates to " the 
cn)isfri!cf'iiin, vxi'mfi'innice, luid control offcrfnin Lin/iflioiiscs in our Colonial Possensions " 
would appear, from certain papers and from parts of the evidence that have come before us, 
to be in some cases insufficient. It cannot be denied that this insufficiency is in a great 
degree made up for by the talent and assiduous devotion to their duties of those officers 
of the Board of Trade on whom the Lighthouse business devolves; and in Capt. Sulivaa 
as one of the professional members attached to that Hoard, and in Mr. Farrcr, the Secretary 
of the Marine Department, as well as in Mr. Williams the Accountant, there is all that 
can be desired in oflicial talent and zeal. In Capt. Sulivan the Board of Trade has 
the assistance of an eminent naval officer, who stands deservedly high in his profession 
and with the public, and who, in addition to his accomplishments as a sea officer, has 
this one eminent qualification, that he is a superior hydrographer ; but the qualifica- 
tions embodied in Capt. Sulivan, though most valuable as far as they go, do not comprise 
all that is necessarv in a department which has the entire control over oiu' Liglithouse 
Boards ; for not only is it the case that the necessary qualifications can scarcely be found 
in any one individual, but we may assume that in carrying out an Act which has for its 
object the " amendment and consolidation of the Acts relating to Merchant Sliipping," 
an Act containing 548 clauses, and having one of the eleven parts, into which it is divided, 
appropriated to Lighthouses, that Capt. Sulivan, who, in addition to the demands upon his 
time which the working of that Act may be supposed to entail, is also one of the lliames 
Conservators, has other and important duties to attend to besides those connected with 
Lighthouse control ; nor would it appear that he has any qualified staff attached to him to 
whom could be deputed the due performance of every one of those duties connected 
with Lighthouse government which we now find to be necessary. 

Dependence of 
the Trinity 
House on tiic 

might co- 
operate in 

Board of Trade or Admiralty to rf present Lightliouse Board in Parliament. 

.36. The question now arises, what public department of the Government could most 
advantageously be connected with the new Lighthouse Board, and be charged with re- 
presenting that Board in Parliament. 

."57. In the various Statutes establishing the authority and duties of the Trinity House, 
the office of the Lord High Admiral or that of the Commissioners I'or executing 
that office is frequently referred to ; and it is impossible to read the evidence taken by 
the Committees successively appointed by Parliament in 1822, 1834, and 1845, to inquire 
into Lighthouse management, or the correspondence in the last twenty years between 
the Admiralty, the ]5oard of Trade, and the Colonial Office, respecting colonial lights, 
without it being apparent that not only the Board of Trade, but the Trinity House 
also have more or less leant upon the Admiralty in fulfilling their duties, and tliat there 
must always be an official and essential relation betwixt the Trinity House and the 
Admiralty ; but although the dependence of the one upon the other of these departments 
has in no degree diminished, but rather the contrary, yet in the Merchant Shipping 
Act, 1854, this connection is ignored, and the Adniiralty nowhere appears in oiu- lighthouse 
polity, as set forth in that Act. 

38. Nevertheless, the Admiralty is that department of the Government which more than 
any other possesses the means for cftectually assisting in carrying on the Lighthouse 

* See piigos 212, 213, Vol. II., where the Act 26 (l(o. ,3. <■. 19. is rdVricd to. wliicli provides 
that no iippoinlinent coniicctod with lijihthouscs in Irchiinl cin tnkf place without the iii)piov!il oi' the Lord 
Lieiitcniint, wliilst the like sanction bv the Boiii-d of Trade is leipiired. 


service. Those means consist, — 1st, in its numerous and accomplisiicd hydrograpliic 
staft', both at home and abroad, by whom all questions or disputed points as to the best 
position for a light could be settled, not only readily, but beyond doubt ;* Sndlj-, in 
its present complete chainwork of Coast Guard stations and flotilla, under intelligent 
naval officers at every point of the coast, as shown b}- the Coast Guard Chart, supplying 
as our Coast Guard does a j)crfect machiner}^ not only for aiding in carrying out tlie 
Lighthouse service on shore and afloat, but one that could be employed in that frequent 
nightly inspection of the lights which we have reason to believe is absolutely necessary 
to the incessant maintenance of the l)est flames f , — a local surreilhtnce which in France 
is secured bv the superintendence of the Ingcnieurs des Ponfs et C/iaussves resident in each 
Dcp<irfcmenf, and to a certain extent in Scotland by the frequent professional visits of 
the Sheriffs of the maritime counties to the neighbourhood of the locality in which the 
Lighthouses are situated, during which they are in communication with people of all 
ranks, and have an opportunity of hearing their views, and of informing themselves of 
the condition and management of the Lighthouses, &c., under their charge ; whilst in 
England the machinery for this purpose is to be found ready to hand in the present 
organization of the Coast Guard service ; and 3rdly, employing, as the Admiralty 
occasionally docs in the refuge harbour and other great naval works, some of the 
ablest engineers in this country, including the present engineer of the Trinity House and 
the engineers employed by the Scotch Board, it has at its command precisely that body of 
men whose estimate for a work, when once submitted, would scarcely admit of the 
dispute which continues to retard the lighting and marking a serious danger in a 
frequented sound on the west coast of Scotland.! 

39. On the other hand, we have the Board of Trade, a department having the pr^eeem^col""^^ 
general superintendence of matters relating to merchant ships and seamen, 'and troiung autho- 
Avhich, since the passing the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, has had the control over the Jigpre^J^nts in 
three General Lighthouse Authorities, and in its six years' exercise of that control, much I'ariiamem. 
valuable experience must have been gained ; it it also the department at present repre- 
senting the Lighthouse Authorities in Parliament, — it has — so far as the means at its 

disposal admit, — devoted the utmost attention to Lighthouse business, and has most 
scrupulously checked all Lighthouse expenditure ; whilst, under the system as now 
proposed, the Board of Trade would have one of its professional members an ex officio 
member of the new Central Board. 

40. But whilst entertaining the question, which of the two, the Board of Trade or the ^™a"^<i'5'- 
Admiralty, is the fitter department to represent the Central Board m Parliament, that would 
and in considering the means, as above stated, at the disposal of the Admiralty '^^",^"^31°" if 
for assisting in the Lighthouse service, it may be alleged that the Admiralty is already selected to 
overburdened. In reply, I can only say that, if the Trinity Commissioners for Lights Lfhfhouse 
are well selected, such aid as would be required of the Admiralty would add very little government in 
to the present duties of that Board. Those branches of the Admiralty Office, viz., the J'^^^'j^^'j^J'^j^ 
Hydrographical, the Harbour Branch, and the Director of Works, upon whom the Light- our Lighthouse 
house business, consequent upon co-operating in the Lighthouse service would devolve, 
are at present in the almost daily exercise of some of the details of that business ;§ the 

* The sum voted by Parliament for the surveys of the current year iu which the Naval Surveying Olficers 
are engaged is 98,983/. 16s. 

I It. would have been of the utmost service if it had formed part of tlie duty of the Inspecting Commander of 
Coast Guard at Whitby to have instructed the officers under his orders to inspect nightly, and report upon the 
lieight of the flame now being maintained in the Whitby South Lighthouse since the important change that 
has been made in the lamp there. Since the above was written " Capitaine de Fregate " L. Foillouy, in an 
able pamphlet entitled " Reflections on the Navy " recommends the establishment in France of a Coast Guard 
similar to the English, and he proposes that the Commanders of this force shall have the Lights and Beacons 
of their Sub-divisions under their control. 

\ In April 1859, the estimate for a lighthouse in the Sound of Jura, on the west coast of Scotland, was 
objected to, the plans being entirely approved ; the olyection is still maintained, and the lighthouse is not j'et 

§ See (for example) the case of the Lighthouse on Cape Pembroke in the Falkland Islands, referred to 
by Mr. Alexander Gordon, C.E., page 646, Yol. II., in answer to Questions XXI. and XXII., " Mariners 
Questions " issued by this Commission. — Appendix to Report. 

A complete List of the Lighthouses of the United Kingdom, with the order and character of each light, 
is annually published by the Admiralt}- ; and it is the Hydrographer of the Admiralty who sees to 
the placing of those lights iu their proper positions in all official charts, viz., those which bear the stamj) 
of the Hydrographic Seal of the Admiralty ; whilst no List, as far as we have been able to ascertain, 
emanates from the Bo.ard of Trade, or either of the Lighthouse Boards, who would appear to be the culy 
responsible authorities in the matter of lights. 

N.B. — Since writing the above, a letter has been received from the Ailmiralty — in reply to questions put 
by this Commission — strongly illustrative of the remark '■^ that the Admiralti/ isalreadi/ in the almost daili/ 
exercise of Lighthouse business" and not only as above stated, " (>rp.«^)onsii/;/ " engaged, but to an extent, 
and in a manner that even with my acquaintance with Admiralty business, I was scarcely aware of. It 
furnishes an example also of a rather rotatory process. It will be seen from that letter that the Admiralty 
publishes the official List of Lights ; but the Admiralty is in a great measure dependent for its accuracy as 




Admiralty is at present referred to, and frequently consulted by the Trinity House in 
Liiihthouse matters — but irresponsibly, whereas if the Admiralty were selected for the 
representing body, it would be aHording statutory as well as material aid ; and, in aifording 
such aid, I am persuaded that no increase of statT would be required at that office. Some 
additional duty would devolve upon the Comptroller-General of Coast Guard, whose officers 
would, for purposes of inspection, and for telegraphing casualties to the Lighthouse offices, 
in each capital, be placed in communication with the Lighthouses and Floating Lights 
along the co;ist ; but with the Comptroller-General of Coast Guard as an ex-officio 
member of the Central Board, the Admiralty would have little, if an\', additional work. 
The Comptroller-General of Coast Guard and the Hydrographer of the Admiralty would 
have the readiest means of satisfying themselves as to the reasonableness of any 
requisition that might be made on the Admiralty, and it would be only necessary for 
these officers to report to that Board, and it would issue its orders accordingly. Such 
requisition, however, would not be frequent ; as the supply of stores, the changing the 
crews of li'i^htvessels, the shifting of buoys and lightvessels, the periodical inspections by 
the Inspectors of Lights, &-c., would be effected as at present by vessels specially 
employed for those purposes under the superintendence of the proper officers of the Central 
Boardi excepting where any of those services could be performad with advantage by the 
steam gunboats and the sailing tenders attached to the Coast Guard. 

4L Leaving it then an open question, whether the Board of Trade or the Ad- 
miralty is for the future to represent our Lighthouse Government in Parliament, 
and, reverting to the unanimous opinions of the several Parliamentary Commit- 
cees, embodied as those opinions arc in the reconnnendation of the Committee of 
1845j viz.: "■That all expenses for the erecfio?i and mainfennnre of Li<rhthouses, 
Floatinq Li^ihts, Buoys and Beacons on the coast of the United Kingdom be thence- 
forth defraijed out of the Public Revenue," — and assuming that the time is not far 
distant when the present ex-officio necessity for the Board of 7'rade being the 
representative in I'arliament of our Lighthouse Government will naturally cease,* it might 
not be unnatural that the Admiralt3% as able materially to co-operate in the Lighthouse 
service, should be selected to represent that service in Parliament, in which case the duty 
of such representation would devolve upon a department with which the Trinity House 
has from the first had real affinity, whilst we should at the same time be assimilating the 
Lio-hthouse government of this country to the systems most generally adopted abroad. 

42. Supposing, then, for the moment, that the Admiralty were the department selected 
for statutory connection with the new Lighthouse Board, a positive additional duty would, 
to a certain extent, devolve upon that member of the Board of Admiralty who would 
have to present the Lighthouse Estimates to the House of Commons ; but those estimates 
would be of the simplest character if framed in the admirable form in which the Navy 
Estimates are now prepared for the House of Commons by the Accountant-General of 
the Navy ; and so framed, the Lighthouse Estimates would be such as any one accus- 
tomed to the Navy Estimates would be able to master in half an hour. 

regards that List on the Board of Trade — it sends its proof slieets for correction to the Board of Trade, and 
they come back to the Admiralty to be published. Again, the Admiralty relies on the Board of Trade for 
immediate information on an .ilteration taking place in any existing Light, Home or Colonial, or in the case of 
a Home Light only, on the Trinity Home; and it is the Admiralty that forthwith issues a printed Notice to 
Mariners distributing at once from 700 to 1,000 copies. 

In addition to the above mode of obtaining information, the Admiralty endeavours further to obtain it 
throuo-h its own surveying officers ; and in the General Naval Instructions now under revise, special directions 
are inserted as to Captains reporting on Lights to the Admiralty. It is also at the request of tJie Admiralty 
that circulars have been issued to all British Consuls abroad, desiring them to report alterations in Lights 
in their several consulates ; whilst the preparing and printing " the Notices to IVIariners " respecting Lights, 
must form a very considerable item in the business of the Hydrographer, to say nothing of the labour devolving 
on his department in insuring that every new Light shall be immediately inserted in every Admiralty 
Chart. (See also Admiralty Circular to Chart Agents, dated Ilydrographic Office, Admiralty, 6th of 
February 1861, Vol. I. p. 225') 

* Whilst in this country, where we have 404 Lighthouses and Floating Lights (general and local), every foreign 
vessel has to pay light dues, — in America, where there are also upwards of 400 Lighthouses and Floating Lights, 
no charge whatever is made on British ships. In France it is the same, though it should be stated that in that 
country the port charges, which are heavier than in ours, arc made to contribute to Imperial funds, and may 
fairly be said to include these dues ; nor are any charges for lights made on British ships entering any of the 
ports of Russia, Prussia, Holland, &c. (See " Our Merchant Shipping, its present state considered {and 
Appendix)." by W. S. Lindsay, Esq., M.P.)t 

N.B. We have it stated that on the 1st November last, the New York Chamber of Commerce accepted a 

report made by the Chairman of the Executive Committee, which, amongst other conclusions come to, con- 
tained the following: — 

" 6. Coasting Trade. The Committee see no objection to discussing in the Chamber the propriety of 
throwing open to British Shipping the Coasting Trade between the Atlantic and Pacific Ports, it being 
understood that Great Britain would reciprocate by abolishing '• light dues," " passing tolls," " local 
charges," '" compulsory pilotage," '• colonial coasting,'' and " intercolonial trade," and " the coasting trade 
of the .American lakes." 


43. In the case of the Board of Trade, this duty is ah-eady performed (though the Facilities at 
estimates appear at present in a somewhat meagre shape) by the representative of that J5;\"ij'"!/''f'"^'^ 
department in the House ; and in either case, and considering that otiicers from each of Trade or the 
those Departments would form (ex officio) part of the New Lighthouse Board, the member ^yi."i.''-''ty ex- 
presenting the estimates to Parliament would have ample means of acquiring every i-i.-iu:iouse es- 
information respectinii: them, and having obtained for himself such information, and once "™:"« :''•'= 

. . ^ -t^- , ■ ^ 1 TT 1 /• ■ 1 1 / Uoiiso ot Com- 

m a position to explain those estimates to the House, the iinancial control (or, as the mons. 
President of the Board of Trade describes it, " ike Control of the Purse,") on the part 
of the representing Department should cease. 

44. The state and condition of our Lighthouses, and the effectiveness of the lights Lighthouse 
themselves, admit of favourable comparison with the great mass of lights and lighthouses systsm 
abroad, with the exception of some of the lights in France ; but there is room for hiprovement. 
improvement, and the existing system is scarcely the most i'avourable for that impro\'e- 

ment : under this system the control and management of our Lights has passed into 
the hands of the Government, but as matters stand there is no department of the 
Government which possesses machinery fit for the purpose ; the Board of Trade is at Anomaly in 
present the governing body, and it is in the actual exercise of functions which, as that P^'^^nt systeir. 

, • " . "^ , . . 1 . 1 1 1 • 1 , "' Lighthouse 

department is now constituted, it is scarcely equal to, or was probably intended to government, 
fulfil ; at the same time, it must be admitted that even before the application of such geK-nc^nd 
control, the progress of our Lighthouse Authorities, at least in England and Ireland, management 
whether in Lighthouse science or management, had scarcely been in keeping with haTi''' Advance 
the state of science in this country; but with a central Board, as now proposed, and in under proposed 
itself responsible, improvement might be expected, and it ought in its management to keep tovermnent 
pace with the times. 

45. " The great safeguard of human life on our coasts is the lighting up of our reefs central Board 
" and headlands, and this cafi be accomplished only by Public Boards, composed of qualified tj have control 
" individuals, and possessing ample resources and extensive jurisdiction."* In a Central hlZe expen- 
Board of eleven members, composed as has been suggested, there can be no doubt that <'''»'<^- 

we should have a body fit to manage its own affairs, without that description of check 
and control which is now exercised over the three Lighthouse Authorities ; and we 
may feel satisfied that in estimates which would be prepared under the superintendence 
of such Central Board, the strictest regard would be had to the economical and just 
application of its funds consistent with the one paramount object of the proper Lighting 
of our Coasts, and in maintaining in the utmost efficiency our National Lighthouse 
system, and it may be presumed, that those great interests, — the interests of Humanity, 
of Navigation, and of Commerce, — which our Lighthouse Government i is intended 
to serve, would be best promoted by providing that the Lighthouse Estimates should 
be presented to the House of Commons, as prepared by the Trinity Commissioners 
for Lights, to be dealt with by Parliament, as is the case with other estimates coming 
before it. 

46. In conclusion I need hardly remind my colleagues of our numerous and anxious ^.hidTabne, 
conferences on the subject of Lighthouse management and control, and that it has been conclusions 
by a sort of exhaustive process that the scheme of Government above proposed has been 
arrived at ; nor need I now allude to our long and careful investigations, — the many experi- 
ments we have ourselves originated, and in great measure conducted ; nor to that con- 
stant and anxious consideration which we have given to this portion of our inquiry. 

Summary of proposed Government. 

To sum up the above proposal. —The Government and Management of Lights, 
Buoys, and Beacons in the United Kingdom, and of certain Lighthouses in the Colonies, 
.should he vested in a new Central Board {constituted as alreadij staf.ed),and to he denomi- 
nated the Trinity Commissioners for Lights, subject to the annual visitation of The 
Royal Society ;— the Board ov Trade or the Admiralty to be the Department that 
would present to Parliament the Lighthouse Estimates, as prepared by the Trinity Com- 
missioners ; whilst, as regards expenditure, after those estimates have passed the House 
OF Commons, THE CENTRAL BOARD should have the entire Control. 

have been 

^ * British Lighthouse System, by Sir David Brewster, LL.D., F.E.S.. Principal and "Viee-Chancellor of the 
University of Edinburgh. 

h 4 



•29tJi April IS.iP. olst Meeting. 

Admiral Hamilton, Mr. (iraves, Dr. Glart.stoiie, 
Captain Ryder. 

Mr. Allen attended, and stated that the Magneto- 
electric lifjht would not be exhibited after Monday night 
at the Scuth Foreland. 

At 4..'3() the Commission decided to visit the South 
Foreland, and adjourned, in the first place, to Adam Street, 
Adelphi, to inspect a lime light. 

The light is on the same principle as Drummond's, but 
varies m the shape of the prepared lime on which the 
oxyhydrogen blow-pipe flame plays, and it has also 
three jets instead of one. The prejiare'd lime is pushed 
slowly up«-ards as it is worn away by the heat, and is 
prevented from faUing outward by a series of wires. 

The light was brilliant and steady. The French Super- 
intendent of the Light House Board, Mons. Reneaud, 
was present, and he, as well as many other gentlemen, 
expressed admiration of the light. 

Mr. Graves, Dr. Gladstone, Captain Ryder, and the 
Secretary started from London Bridge at 8.30 p.m. Dr. 
Gladstone, on arri\'ing at Dover, proceeded to the South 
Foreland, while the others embarked for (Calais, and ob- 
served the electric light from the steamer, (lir. Gladstone's 
report follows.) 

The light was far brighter than any of the others, visible 
either on the French or the English coast. 

It was steady. It seemed to be obscured for a time 
twice during the passage, but it subsequently appeared, 
from Dr. Gladstone's report, that the seeming obscuration 
might, (as was suspected,) have been caused by the passage 
of the steamer through the shadow of one of the bars of the 
lantern. No alteration in the light was observed by 
Dr. Gladstone, who was at the light house, but the shadow 
of the bars were clearly visible in the air close to the light, 
and must have obscured it at a distance. 

P'rom Calais the electric light appeared like a large star 
on the horizon, with a bluish tinge, while the lovrer South 
Foreland hght, — catoptric, oil lam])s, — though clearly 
^•isible was less bright, and yellow, or rather orange. 

The sailors on board the steamer estimated that they 
could see the electric light for 30 minutes after losing sight 
of the lower Ught. That is, according to the rate of the 
steamer, at a distance of about 7 miles. 

They had seen it in thick weather when the other was 

The light at Grisnez, as seen from Dover, was about 
equal to the Lower South Foreland Light, as seen from 

The electric light, at a distance of some miles, threw a 
shadow which could be seen clearly on the palm of the 
hand, and still more clearly on a white surface. 

With respect to coloured lights, it was obser\-ed that a 
blue light at Dover was lost when the common town 
lamjjs became invisible ; that a white light at Calais Pier 
was first seen, next a red light, and lastly a green. 

With respect to the colour of hghthouses it was observed 
that the lighthouse against the sky was difficult to make 
out clearly, when the lower lighthouse against a dark 
background of grass was easily made out ; both are white. 
That the dark shadow inside the lantern, seen through the 
glass of the Upper Lighthouse, was better seen than the 
white wall against the sky as a background, and that the 
dark part of the Lower Lighthouse at the same time was 
invisible, while the white wall was clearly seen against the 

I. A 

It appears to follow, — 

1st. That the electric light should be fully tried, and Conclusions, 
that on its success should dejjend a consideration of its 
application to certain points of the coast. 

2d. That red and green are better colours than blue, but 
that Mdiite is more powerful than any colour. 

3rd. That lighthouses and beacons and buoys should be 
coloured with reference to the background against which 
they are seen. 

'I'he Commissioners visited the vSouth Foreland Light- 
house after landing at Do^-er, and were much pleased with 
its condition, and with the intelligence and neatness of the 

They inspected the electric hght and the apparatus by 
which it was produced. They conversed with Professor 
Holmes, who explamed the working of his apparatus 
And they afterwards returned to London by the 12 train. 

Dr. Gladstone reported: — The principle of i^c Oljsen-atlons by 
Magneto-Electric Light is as follows : — The power that Vr. Gladstone 
])roduces the light is resident in a large number (360?) of 
permanent magnets ranged on the periphery of two large 
wheels. This power is called into action by a steam engine Engine, 
of two-horse power, which causes a sesies of soft iron cores 
surrounded by coils of wire to rotate past the magnets. 
The small streams of electricity thus generated are collected 
together into one stream, and, by a si^ecial arrangement, the 
alternate positive and negative currents are all brought into 
one direction. The whole jjower is then con\eyed by a stout 
wire from the engine-house to the lighthouse tower, and 
up into the centre of the illuminating apparatus; there it 
passes between two charcoal points, ])roducing thus a 
most brilHant and continuous light. The " lamp " is so 
contrived that by means of clock-work and a magnet, 
round which the wire coils, the charcoal points are kept 
always at a proper distance ajjart. The charcoal lasts 
three hours, after which the " lamj) " has to be changed, 
but the transition of the current is instantaneously 
effected, and the light is brought into the focus within 
ten seconds. The attendant can judge of the position 
and brightness of the light b}' watching where one of 
the luminous beams is thrown on the inner wall of the 
lantern, and thus he is seldom required to look at the 
brilliant spark itself. As arranged in the centre of the 
large dioptric appai-atus at the South Foreland, the electric 
light gives scarcely enough di\'ergence, and dark shadows Divergence. 
are cast by the framework of the ajiparatus and lantern, 
notwithstanding a special contrivance of reflectors partially 
to obviate this , but from the luminous point being so small. Reflectors, 
and no draft of air being required, nor any soot or smoke 
being produced, it is evident that an arrangement of lenses, i,gnses. 
prisms, or of reflectors, might be made in a very smal 
space, and perhaps the difficulty of the frame-work might 
be entirely overcome. The working expense of the Magneto- (^^^f 
Electric Light consists of the coals consumed, and the 
charcoal points, with the wear of the machinery, and the 
wages of an engineer in addition to the ordinary light-house 

At a distance of one or two hundred yards the magneto- Brilliancy, 
electric light appeared incomparably more brilliant than 
that exhibited by the lower lighthouse, which is fitted with 
fifteen parabolic mirrors kept apparently in the highest 
state of poHsh. Dr. Gladstone remarked the great clean- Comparison, 
liness and order observed in the lower as well as the upper 

The electric light appeared of a blueish white in com- 
parison with all other artificial lights in view, caused a 


Electric Light, remarkable fluorescence in the glass of the apparatus, 
and illuminated the atmosphere in such a manner as to 
produce singular optical effects, both near at hand and at a 

Ohsen-ations Admiral Hamilto.n visited the South Foreland Ught- 

h,,the house on the night of the 4th of May, arriving at the 

Cluiirman, Ught at 9 p.m., and quitting at 11.30 p.m. Professor 

Arlmiral Holmes was on the spot, and explained nunutely the prin- 

Ha.mttun. ciple of the magneto-electric light, and all the details of the 

npparatus. It appeared that there was the greatest facility 
r >.,„ in managing the light, and that very common care was 

required to insure its regular exhibition. During Admiral 
Hamilton's stav at the light it was visited by a I'l'ot, an 
intelligent youiig man (by name Goldsackl, who had^ had 
constant opportunitv of 6bser\-ing the light from the Chan- 
nel since its exhibition, and who bore strong testimony 
to its great brilliancv and efficiency, and greatly re- 
gretted its contemjilated removal. In this regret Adnural 
Hamilton cordiaUy joins ; for it would seem to be a waste 
Oiienations. ^f money now that the whole machinery is working well to 
extinguish the light without a further opportunity being 
afford'ed of testing its merits as compared with other lights. 
Admiral Hamilton cannot but be of opinion that a fuller 
opportunity and more extensive means, not only of testing 
the working of the light, but of enabling mariners to judge 
of its efficiency, and to make their comparisons with respect 
to other lights, should be afforded. He understands that 
Professor 'paradav has reported on the magneto-electric 
light to the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House, and he 
considers it would be right that this Commission should 
request to be favoured, as early as possible, with a copy of 
that report, in order that such steps may be taken as the 
Conclusom Commissioners mav deem fit, with a view to a further trial 
of the hght, it being reported to the Commission that it 
is intended to remove the whole apparatus immediately. 
Admiral Hamilton also visited the Lower South Foreland 
Lighthouse, returning to Dover at 12.20 fnight). The 
light (magneto-electricl was observed from Dover pier, at 
12.30. Admiral Hamilton returned to tow-n next morning. 
He was much struck with the cleanliness and perfect order 
of the North and South Foreland bghthouses, and the 
manner and inteUigcnce of the lighthouse keepers. 

On the 6th of May the secretary was directed to write 
toe following letter: — 
s;,R^ May 6th, 1859. 

I am directed to request that the Commission may 
CarresponJenee. ],e furnished with a copy of the Report which has been made 
by Professor Faraday on the magneto-electric Ught at the 
South Foreland. The Commissioners have themselves ob- 
served the Ught. 'ITiey have received returns from pilots 
and others relative to it, and assuming that Professor 
Faraday's report is favourable, they are anxious to be 
informed of the decision of the Elder Brethren relative to 
the electric light. They wish to be informed whether the 
Elder Brethren contemplate adopting the principle of the 
light by applying it to certain Ughthouses on saUeat points 
of the coast, or whether they intend to make further trial of 
the Ught by continuing to exhibit it at the South Foreland 
for a further period, under the entire management of their 
ou-n servants, or whether they intend that the machinery 
for producing the light shall be remoxed from its present 
position. I ani, &c. 

J. F. Campbell. 
P. H. Berthon, Esq. 

On the 12th. reply of the Trinity House was read :— 
Trinity House, London, E.C., 
Sir, 12th May 1S59. 

Having laid before the Elder Brethren your letter 
of 6th instant, signifying the request of the Commissioners 
on Lights, &c., to be furnished with a copy of Professor 
Faraday's Report ujion the Magneto-Electric Light at the 
South Foreland, and with information as to the probable 
adoption of the light by this corporation, I am directed to 
acquaint you, for the' information of the Commissioners, 
that not having received from Professor Holmes certain par- 
ticulars which lie has been requested to furnish, and which 
the Elder Brethren consider essential in the consideration 
of the question as respects the practical applicabiUty of the 
Ught to lighthouse purposes, they are not yet in a position 
to comply with the Commissioners' request. 
I am, &:c. 
J. F. Campbell, Esq., P H. Berthon. 

Sec. Sec, &c. 

On the 8th of November the electric Ught was again 
observed from Boulogne, and previously, on the 5th of 
November, the Commission were present, at Paris, at cer- 
tain experiments instituted by the French Lighthouse 
authorities for the purpose of testing an electric Ught. See 
page 38. 

It was stated that the Ughthouse keepers on the French 
coast had been instructed to observe the light at the South 
Foreland with great attention. 

An abstract of the evidence of mariners as to the South 
Foreland will be found at page 1 1 4. 

On the 26th of November, the following Report from 
Professor Faraday to the Trinity House was received by the 
Commission, and confirms their yievia expressed above. 



Roval Institution, 

29th April. 18.i9. 
The light applied in the South Foreland Upper 
Lighthouse is an electric light ; not produced, how- 
ever, by a voltiiic battery, but by magneto-electric 
induction. In the year 1831* it was discovered that 
when a piece of soft iron, surrounded by a metallic 
wire, was passed by the poles of a magnet, an electric 
current was produced in the wire, which could be 
exalted so as to give a spark. The apparatus of 
Professor Holmes, which is figured and described in 
the accompanying paper A, consists of an accumula- 
tion of powerful magnets and iron cores with sur- 
rounding coils, accurately arranged, so that when the 
associated cores are revolving they send all their 
currents into one common channel, from whence they 
are conveyed to the lantborn by conducting wires, 
and there produce the electric light. There is no 
consumption of material or energy, other than that of 
the burning fuel required at the steam-engines to 
produce motion. 

A trial of the ligbt began in the lighthouse on the 
8th December, 1858 ; but as the apparatus was imper- 
fect in some points and ihe results unsatisfactory, the 
lighting by the apparatus was suspended for a while, 
that the defects might, if possible, be remedied. The 
lighting was renewed on the 28th March instant, 
and has been continued regularly since. 

I have had the honour of accompanying the deputy 
master and brethren, both on the former and present 
occasion, so that I know personally what the light 
was and is. No report was made at the former time, 
because of the expected improvement of the arrange- 
ment ; but it now becomes my duty to report on such 
matters regarding the lamp as properly fall within my 

Being on board the yaclit off Dungeness on the 
night of the 20th inst., about 21 i miles from the 
South Foreland, the weather being rainy and the sky 
covered with clouds, we could see (when the sun went 
down) the high light illuminated and appearing as a 
faint star. 1 could not perceive the low light ; but 
proceeding eastward the loxv light gradually became 
visible, and the high light inerea.sed in brightness. 
When about S.W. by 8. the yacht approached the 
lights more directly ; then went eastward again, and 
after awhile turned and proceeded towards Dover ; 
so that the observations were made through about one- 
fourth of the horizon, and at very ditferent distances 
from the South Foreland. From the time the upper 
ligbt was first seen until the last, it remained visible 
and .</pn(/y (with the exceptions to be mentioned im- 
mediately), and much superior to the lower light when 
that also came in view. The exceptions were as fol- 


* Philosophical TraDSSctions 1832. p. 131. Faraday. 


lows : — At times the high light fell off. and once 
appearetl almost out. when the lower light iinderwent 
no such change. This effect had been anticipated, and 
was due to tlie following cause : — the upright bars of 
the lanthorn windows and the dioptric apparatus are 
much broader than the electric light, the latter being, 
indeed, not more than one-sixth of an inch in hori- 
zontal width ; hence they throw deep and rather sharp 
shadows. By taking the bearings of these before- 
hand, it was found at sea, that the fiiUing off of the 
light coincided with these shadows, and hence the 
above exceptions. The evil occurs in part with the 
central oil lamp, and is in some lighthouses partly 
remedied by causing the window bars and astragals 
to incline from the perpendicular, and therefore out 
of the plane of refraction. Other remedies (in addi- 
tion to this) are applicable in the case of the electric 
light, and in the present instance the effect is lessened 
by the use of a small reflector at the lamp, close to 
and behind the light. ■ The light was at all times 
white, or even blue occasionally, in comparison with 
the low light, which appeared yellow or reddish. 

The next day I examined the lighthouse and appa- 
ratus both by day and night. The magneto-electric 
machines, steam engines, and steam-condenser were 
generally as at the last visit. In respect of the 
commutator it had worn very little ; the application of 
a file to the surface of one wheel had removed about 
the thirteenth of an inch of metal since the apparatus 
was first erected, there remaining about 1-g- inches 
still ready for consumption in like manner, if needed. 
During the daytime I compared the intensity of the light 
with that of the sun, i.e. it was placed before and by 
the side of the sun, and both looked at through dark 
glasses ; its light was as bright as that of the sun, 
but the sun was not at its brightest, and was only seen 
at intervals between clouds. 

In the lanthorn, there was now but one electric 
lamp in place, two others, however, being on the wire 
rails ready for change of lamp at any moment. The 
magn^'to-electric machines were set in action, and the 
lamps were manipulated with, both by day and night, 
to my entire satisfaction. When the steam engines 
were ready for action the machines could be set in 
motion, and the current evolved within the space of 
half a minute ; the lamp could then be lighted in an 
instant, and if it were required to put out and displace 
that lamp and replace it by another, the operation 
could easily be performed by one person within 10 or 
15 seconds. The light may be considered as at its 
full intensity at once, though it was reported to me 
as growing up in power until about four o'clock in 
the morning, an effect probably due to the continued 
recurring inductive action in the cores and coils of the 
revolving apparatus. 

The place of the light in respect of the dioptric 
apparatus is exceedingly well retained, even more so 
than in the case of a lamp flame, which, though its 
base be fixed, varies in its height. The light itself 
is not that flickering, wavering, revolving light pro- 
duced by the voltaic battery, but, in a sheltered 
atmosphere, as in the lanthorn, is fixed in its position ; 
a fact of great importance in the application of small 
catoptric ordioptric apparatus. Animportantregulator 
of the character of the light is given by two magneto- 
electric coils introduced into the circuit in tlie lanthorn. 
The light does not call for continued attention, but is 
often left untouched for one, two, or even three hours 
together. The eyes of the keepers are not affected, 
though the blue glasses provided for them are very 
pale in colour, for the light is better watched by 
observing the place and intensity of the rays which 
fall heje and there on the walls of the lanthorn, than 
by looking at the light itself. 

On going out to the hills round the lighthouse, the 
beauty of the light was wonderful. At a mile off the 
apparent streams of light issuing from the lanthorn 
were twice as long as those from the lower lighthouse, 
and apparently three or four times as bright. The 
horizontal plane in which they chiefly took their way 
made all above or below it black. The tops of the 

hills, the churches and the houses illuminated by it. Electric light, 
were striking in their effect upon the eye. 

All the reports which have come in from the sur- 
rounding lighthouses, floating lights, and pilot vessels, 
confirm the superiority of tlie upper light above the 
lower, though many of the reports are imperfect. 
Those from Dungenoss are the best ; and include 160 
observations made between March 28th and Apri. 
16th. The upper and the lower South Foreland and 
the Grisnez lights were either visible or invisible 
from the station, according to the weather. The 
upper South Foreland was visible first and oftenest, 
i. e. always if the others were ; then the Grisnez came 
oftenest in sight ; and then the lower South Foreland; 
but these were nearly equal. The Grisnez was some- 
times in sight without the lower South Foreland, 
but never without the upper ; and the lower South 
Foreland was sometimes in sight without the Grisnez. 
Upon the 160 observations tliere were 73 on which 
none of the three lights were visible ; 86 upon which 
the upper light was visible : 40 upon which the lower 
light was visible, and 44 upon which the Grisnez 
light was visible. When both the upper and lower 
lights were visible, the upper (except in four cases) is 
said to be twice the power of the lower ; in the four 
cases it is called equal. There was one exception on 
April 3rd at 10 o'clock p.m., when the upper light is 
stated to have gone out. The report does not say 
whether it came in again, but the weather at II o'clock 
is returned as very thick and misty. Generally the 
light is said to be very steady. 

The keepers at the Goodwin and South Sand head 
floating lights appear to have had a fair view of both 
upper and lower lights. If both were visible, the 
upper was much the most powerful ; the upper was 
always visible. The lights were generally very steady; 
if wavering, both the upper and lower wavered at the 
same time, as if the cause were in the air, not in the 
lights. The reports from the Gull Stream Light are 
very poor and afford no instruction. There is no 
comparison or mention of the upper aud lower liglits. 

In fulfilment of this part of my duty I beg to state 
that, in my opinion. Professor Holmes has practically 
established the fitness and sufficiency of the magneto- 
electric light fir lighthouse purposes, so far as its 
nature and management are concerned. The light 
produced is powerful beyond any other that I have yet 
seen so applied, and in principle may be accumulated 
to any degree ; its regularity in the lanthorn is great; 
its management easy ; and its care there may be con- 
fided to attentive keepers of the ordinary degree of 
intellect and knowledge. 

There are many considerations, beyond the esta- 
blishment of the fitness of the light in principle and 
management for lighthouse purposes, regarding its 
introduction into liglithouses generally, on which I 
should hesitate to speak before those who are far more 
competent to judge of these matters than I am, were 
it not for the encouragement which the Brethren of 
the Trinity House give me, and especially as regards 
this light, in respect of a letter from Professor Holmes 
dated 28th April 1857, which I considered in my letter 
of the 1st May. I will, therefore, venture to enumerate 
some points which m-e against and others \n favour oi 
the light, and of a change in the present system. In 
the first place, the simplicity of the present system is 
very great compared with that of the electric light 
Only two keepers are required to a lighthouse, they 
need possess no special knowledge, ordinary attention 
is all that is necessary ; and thus failures of the light 
are almost impossible. In the new .system a second 
set of men will be required to attend the engines ; and 
there must be amongst them one or more who under- 
stand the principle and construction of the lamp in the 
lanthorn, of the magneto-electric machines, the steam 
engines, and the condensers below, and be able to 
make effectively the repairs necessary to the apparatus; 
or, as I think is more probable, a competent resident 
intelligent engineer, with his stock of tools and means, 
will bo required. 



In the next place, the expense of the new system 
must be large, compared to that of the present system. 
As oiit/it, there must be the cost of the two if not three 
magneto-electric machines, with the corresponding 
.«t€am engines : of the houses to contain them ; of the 
cistern, condensers, and water apparatus, and supply 
associated with them ; of the electric lamps in the 
lighthouses, witli their connexions : and of the lodg- 
ing houses for the extra men. And in respect of 
current expenditure additional provision niu.^t be made 
for the wagns of the extra men, with coals and such 
things as are allowed them : the fuel for the engines ; 
the supply of water; and the repairs required by the 
wear andtear of all the apparatus. To these causes of 
expense must be added the claims of the Patentee. 
In the matter of expense for any given amount of 
light, I may say that the letters I have already referred 
to of the i28th April and 1st :May lSo7, can scarcely 
be accepted as giving sulticient information. I con- 
clude that by this time Professor Holmes is in a posi- 
tion to give an amended statement. 

Amongst partial objections it may be stated that 
the light cannot be expected to apply to all light- 
houses, or receive general adoption. I am not aware 
how many it might be fit for: but there are evidently 
some at extreme situations where it would be objec- 
tionable in its present state. An objection has also 
been made, of which I cannot see the force ; namely, 
that the light is too bright ; that it gives a false im- 
pression of the distance of the lighthouse, and that it 
blinds the eyes of the mariners to the perception of the 
lights on board vessels between it and them. These 
objections, if they have any force, must be judged by 
mariners themselves. 

The points in favour of the magneto-electric light, 
now that its practicability has been established, are 
strong and clear in relation to the increase of light 
and the advancement of lighthouses in power. In 
cases where the light is from lamp flames fed by oil, 
no increase of light at or near the focus or foci of the 
apparatus is possible, beyond a certain degree, because 
of tlie size of the flames ; but in the electric lamp any 
amount of the light may be accumulated at the focus 
and sent abroad, at, of course, an increased expense. 
In consequence of the evolution of the light in so 
limited a focal space, it may be direeled seaward, 
diverging either more or less, or in a vertical or hori- 
zontal direction, at pleasure, with tlie utmost facility. 
The enormous shadow under the light produced by 
the oil flame burner, which absorbs and renders useless 
the descending rays to a very lage extent, does not 
occur in the magneto-electric lamp ; all the light ]n'o- 
ceeding in that direction is turned to account. The 
optical part of the arrangement, wliether dioptric or 
reflecting, might be very small in corapari.-on witli 
those in use. It is probable that the system either of 
reflectors or refractors need not be above 18 inches in 
diameter, perhaiis much less, and probalily a foot 
higli. Tlie glass of the lanthoi-n through which the 
rays would pass would then not require to be aliove 12 
inches radius, i.e. from the light. This would allow 
that part of the lanthorn to be constructed of carved 
plates of glass, framed above and below, and ivquiring 
no opaque, intervening, shadow-making upiit'hts. 
There appears no reason why such a lanthorn should 
not enclose tlie electric lamp round seven-eightlis of the 
horizon, and yet allow of all necessary attendance on, 
.and change of the lumps. ,Such arrangements, how- 
ever, could only be made when the lamp is (if ever) 
perfectly established ; for they would preclude the 
substitution of an oil lamp lor tlic electric lamp, if 
any accident occurred to the latter. 

Before concluding this report, I must bear my testi- 
mony to the ]ierfect openness, candour, and honour of 
Professor Holmes. He has answered every question ; 
concealed no weak point ; explained every applied 
principle ; given every reason for a change either in 
this or that direction, during several periods of close 
questioning, in a manner that was very .ngreeaVile to 

one whose duty it was to search for real faults or 
possible objections, in respect both of the present 
time and the future. 

(SiErned) >I. Faiiadat. 

July 16, 1860. — The Chairman and Secretary 
visited the establishment of Mr. Holmes at North 
Fleet, and saw the electric light, as shown in the 
regulating lamps of Monsieur Serin. The light was 
extinguished and lit instantaneously at various points, 
by breaking and making the contacts. The invention 
appeared to work exceedingly well. Mr. Holmes 
appeared to be engaged in the construction of various 
forms of reflectors, and it was suggested that he would 
do well to apply for advice to Sir John Herschel. It 
was stated in conversation that the electric light is to 
bo set up shortly at Dungeness. Mr. Holmes also 
stated that Mr. Chance was engaged in constructing 
a dio])tric apparatus according to calculations, fur- 
nished in the first instance b}' Mr. Holmes, subse- 
quently calculated by Mr. Chance. The apparatus is 
intended " to throw the light where it is wanted," and 
each prism and angle is to be specially ground for the 
light. See jiur/e 34, and oral evidence. 

Professor iVay's Electric Light. 

On the 13th of May, 1859, the following minute Pro/Vwor 
■was made by Dr. Gladstone : — "".'A %*'• 

In the evening the Commissioners visited Professor 
Way, and saw his electric light. It is produced between 
a running stream of mercury and a small cup full of 
the same metal ; the whole being comprised within a 
stout glass cylinder, cemented into brass-work, which 
screws on to the apparatus, so that the whole is her- 
metically sealed, and the volatilized mercury is con- 
densed again in a long tube under the cup. The 
power is generated by a galvanic battery of 48 Bun- 
sen's cells, which requires renewal every four hours, 
and is saiil to cost L*. 6d. per hour, though were the 
products economised and the nitric acid regained, 
Mr. "Way believes a saving of one half might be 
effected. The light is continuous, and forms a kind 
of cone between the jet whence the stream of mer- 
cury flows and the ctip beneath. It is intensely 
brilliant, casts a greenish blue radiance on surround- 
ing objects, and has a most wonderful efleet on artifi- 
cial colours, its constitution evidently being widely 
dift'erent from that of solar light. Professor AVay 
showed that the current might be interrupted fre- 
quentl)' in succession, and that the light which on 
each interruption is extinguished re-kindles itself 
immediately contact is again made ; and suggested 
that this might be used as a method of economising 
the force, of distinguishing between different light- 
houses or for signalling. The Commissioners viewed 
the light, not merely from Mr. Way's labor.atory and 
house, No. 1.5, Welbeck Street, but also from Hinde 
Street and the corner of Manchester Square, when its 
great superiority over gas lights was most apparent. 

This light was again shown to the secretary on the 
29th of March, 1860, by Professor Way. The electric 
light had been shown that day to a scientific com- 
mission belonging to the War Ottice. 

The light is produced in a stream of mercury flowing 
through slender tubes, and connected above and below 
with the poles of a powerful battery. By clockwork 
the connection can be broken and remade, and the 
light extinguished and relit instantaneously. It was 
very powerful, and of a peculiar ash grey colour, 
which ga^e a ghastly appearance to every person and 
thing in the room. 

The light was said to reach its greatest brilliancy 
some time after the battery was filled, and to continue 
steady for a considerable time. After a certain time 
when the acids are saturated the light wanes. 

One drawback to the light is that the force of the 
electric fluid scatters the stream of mercury into 
spray, and throws it against tlie glass within which 
the lisht is shown. 


Manufactorij of 

Method of 
testing appa- 

These drops of an opaque though fluid metal 
necessarily obscure the light, and settling on the 
glass interfere with its brilliancy. 

When the glass is removed the mercury is changed 
into vapour, and becomes highly deleterious. A port- 
able form of this light was shown. A small vessel 
of mercury within bronze cylinders, so constructed 
that by turning the apparatus the mercury is thrown 
back into the upper chamber. 

Also a boot with a copper sole, intended to malic 
and break the connection with a wire let into the deck 
of .1 ship, and joined to tlie battery below. 

Tiiis light was exhibited at Oxford, and subse- 
quently as a masthead light on board a vessel in the 
Solent, in July, 1860. An account of the proceed- 
ings was published in the " Times." 

Memoranda made by Captain Ryder 
regarding a visit to the shop of Mr. Wilkins, 
Long Acre, Lighthouse Lamp Maker, 
June 24th, 1859. 

Mr. Gkates, Dr. Gladstone, Captain Rtdkr, 
the Secretarv. 

Mr. Wilkins accompanied us over his shop, and we 
saw the various parts of the illuminating apparatus 
of different lamps. 

T/ie lantern of a floatiny light under repair. — Jlr. 
Wilkins stated that after seven years' wear and tear 
the lanteru of a floating light requires a tliorough 
overhaul. The paint is entirely burnt off the copper 
in order to examine it ; the ventilators are taken out 
and refitted, and the lantern is made almost as good 
as new. A lantern with two such thorough repairs 
will last for 21 years. 

We noticed that there were three sets of orifices 
for ventilation in the lantern, some nnderneath, some 
on the top, and some on the side. The size of these 
can be diminished at pleasure. In a gale of wind 
the upper holes have to be entirely closed, otherwisi; 
the lamp would be extinguished. 

The reflectors are copper lined with silver, and 
their sections are parabolas. We saw some reflectors 
invented by Major Fitzmaurice made of chr'na or 
porcelain. The inner surface was composed of plati- 
num glaze ; it was very wavy, and not very bright ; 
but the reflectors were comparatively very cheap, 
being one quarter the price of the metal, and do not 
tarnish. The set we saw were for a small light on 
Major Fitzmaurice's principle, to range five miles. 

We saw several lamps for floating lights ; they 
hang on gimbles inside the lantern. All floating 
light lamps are thus hung, and are Argand lamps. 
The reflectors for floating lights last about 1.5 years. 
They are not considered to be worth re-silvering, 
but are broken up at the expiration of that time. The 
reflectors of lighthouses have more silver on them, and 
and will last for 50 years. We were shown a metal 
reflector of three feet diameter for a lighthouse ; its 
value was about 50/., and Mr. Wilkins considered 
that for a revolving light such a reflector would be 
more efficient than a 1st order dioptric light. Its 
merits are to be compared with a 1st order dioptric 
light at the Trinity Buoy Wharf in a (e\v days. 
When the light is obliged to be very high, as at 
Lundy, the reflectors are said to be slightly inclined 
to the perpendicular to throw the rays downwards ; 
but the pi'isms are never inclined, but are always so 
adjusted in the first place as to throw the rays hori- 

The position of the prisms is carefully tested by 
inspecting the direction the rays take, as shown by 
the position of the end of the pencil of light on the 
screen erected for the purpose, there are nu adju.-tin" 
screws to the prisms. Professor Faraday inspects 
the prisms, and they are moved in their beds of puttv, 

if necessary ; the intended height of the lighthouse 
is never taken into consideration. 

Mr. Wilkins has contracts for South America and Mantifaciory o, 
the United States and Russia. The Englisii metal a^puratus. 
work is much preferred for its solidity and toughness. 
Mr. Wilkins first said the French illuminating' appa- 
ratus was cheaper, and then thought it was dearer 
than the English. He obtains his glass generally 
from Mr. Sautcr, or Lepautc, of Paris, or Messrs. 
Chance of Birmingham. 

Gas has been tried, but, in Mr. Wilkins' opinion, Ga$. 
has never succeeded as a substitute for oil. 

Contracts — All new lamps are contracted for as a Cuntracu. 
general rule by one of the following four manufac- 
turers. Chance, De Ville, Simpson, or Wilkins ; of 
these Chance is the only glass maker. The contract 
is always nominally open and advertised for in the 
" Times." The taritf prices of these firms are exactly 
and by agreement the same. There is. therefore, no 
competition among them in dealing with the general 
pui-chaser, and I was unable to elicit from Mr. Wil- 
kins any explicit statement that could satisfy me 
that even in tendering for contracts to the Lighthouse 
Board there was not an understanding between the 
firms. I think it will be advisable, therefore, to 
ascertain the dates of the several contracts entered 
into for illuminating apparatus since 1853, the names 
of the contractors, their several tenders, and the 
amounts paid in each case to the accepted contractor, 
to enable us to inform ourselves whether it is not 
probable that by a secret arrangement among them- 
selves the contractors have divided the contracts, (a 
proceeding which it is, of course, perfectly competent 
to them to adopt if they choose,) and thus really 
enjoyed a monopoly. It is worthy of note, that 
although Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Chance are competing 
contractors, Mr. Wilkins frequently obtains his lenses 
and prisms of Mr. Chance, as he does not make glass 
himself ; and Mr. Chance obtains lamps of Mr. Wil- 
kins, as he does not make lamps; and that thus the 
unsuccessful contractor assists his successful rival to 
complete the contract. 

The Irish illuminating apparatus, and, in some 
instances, the Scotch also, were ordered we were 
informed by the Board of Trade ; but as ageneral rule 
the Scotch Board ordered their illuminating apparatus 
of Milne, of Edinburgh. 

Experiments have been tried to illuminate a letter 
or figure, so as to enable the mariner to identify a 
light at night, but they all failed, for when a long slife 
10 feet by 4 inches was illuminated, it appeared 
at any distance over two miles as a circular light. 

Fog Signals. — We were shown a bell of 3 cwt., Fog tignals. 
similar to that used at the Gunflcet, worked by 
machinery. The cost was about ^^40/. Bells as 
large as 12 cwt. have been made for this purpose for 
the Casketts. 

Mr. Wilkins has supplied six in the last four years. 
A 3-cwt. bell is said to be heard at a distance of 
four miles in a thick fog. 

Mr. Wilkins remarked on tlie orders of the Board 
of Trade, " that while that Bor.rd appeared most 
" anxious to have the very best articles they were 
" very desirous to obtain them at the lowest price." 
Alfred P. Rvder. 

The Trinity Buoy Wharf was visited on the 
18th June 1859, by Admiral Hamilton, 
Captain Ryder, Mr. Gladstone, and 
the Secretary, and the following notes 
made by Captain Ryder. 

T/ie Trinity Yard and Buoy Uliarf, situate on 
the mouth of the River Lea at Black wall, com- 
prises a space of from two to three acres. 


It does not profess to be a manufacturinpr establish- 
ment, but rather a depot for buoys, and of stores of 
all sorts for ihe use of I'ghthouses and lightvessels. 

A spare lightvessel is always at the wharf in readi- 
ness to replace any lightvessel that might be driven 
from her station, and for the purpose of undergoing 
the periodicitl repair. 

Lio^htvessels are built and repaired at Messrs. 
Pilcher's yard. 

The wooden buoys of the Trinity House are manu- 
factured at Thos. Allen, Shuter, and Co., Dockhead, 
and tlie iron buoys at Messrs. Lennox. Brown, and Co. 

The average number of men in the yard (being 
those on shore in their turn from the lightvessels) is 
36 ; their average wages are 21. 15s. per month, and 
they find their own provisions. 

They are employed in receiving, storing, and issuinsr 
stores, including oil, ami in ti.ansporting buoys, 
manning the Trinity House yachts, &c. 

The whole of the oil for the entire service of the 
lighthouses and lightvessels is stored in this yard. 
The average quantity in store is 2 15 tons. 


Btioi/ Store. 

The arrangements for examining, replacing, and 
repairing the buoys appeared to be very efficient. 

Every buoy belonging to the Trinity l5oard, and 
there are more than 8'J Buoy stations in the London 
district alone, which extends from North Foreland to 
Orfordness, is replaced by a spare buoy every six 
months, is brought on shore, thoroughly overhauled, 
repaired, and repainted ; and then kept in perfect 
readiness to return to its station, either at the end of 
six months or on any accident happening to its com- 
panion. A large shed is full of these buoys, painted, 
marked, and ready to start for their stations at a few 
minutes' warning. 

Classes of Buoys. 

The buoys used by the Trinity Board may be 
divided into two classes. 

(I.) The Nun Buoj-, which is 
only used to mark wrecks, is 
painted green, is six feet in length 
(of stave', and about eight feet in 
total length, including the heads. It 
shows above water about five feet, 
It weighs about four or five cwt., 
and the cooperage costs about 9/. .^ 

N.B In the Thames, owing to the great number of 
passing vessels, and their frequent collision with the 
wreck buoys, beacons on the nearest shore have 
been substituted, on which the position of the wreck 
is indicated, and the Trinity Board are also trying 
solid wooden buoys, with framework tops. 

(II.) The Can Buov, used to mark channels, shoals, 

No. (1) is the old can buoy, floating apex down- 
wards but they generally float on their sides (the 
Admiralty still adhere to this shape). Within a few 

years the can buoy has been reversed by the Trinity 
Board, and the chain has been secured, as in 
Nos. (2), (3), (4), to the centre of the ba,se. 

No. (2) is a wooden buoy, hooped inside, a sugges- 
tion of Mr. Poulter, to prevent the rust from the 
hoops affecting the colour of the buoy. Its base is 
convex (1 in. in 12 in.) and the diameter of the base 
is equal to the height of the buoy. The largest buoys 
of this description are 8 feet in the stave, and about 
9 feet 6 in. high. When floating, about 2 feet is 
immersed, leavi-rg 7 feet 6 in. above the water. If 
this buoy was reversed, only about 5 feet of it would 
show above water. This buo)' was designed by 
Mr. Poulter, the Superintendent of the Trinity Buoy 
Wharf, but he does not claim the merit of first sug- 
gesting the reversal of the can buoy. 

Hooping the buoy on the inside adds very con- 
siderably to the expense of the buoy. 

A Poulter's buoy, 8 feet stave hooped on the inside, 
co.sts, for cooperage, 40/. ; if made on the old plan, 
18/ ; a buoy 6 feet in stave, 16/. 

As there were a large 
number of old can buoys 
in store (see Fig. 1), Mr. 
Poulter has enabled them 
to float upright when re- 
versed, notwithstanding 
their deficiency in breadth 
of base, by attaching to 
the base an iron span, and 
they now answer very well; 
but all new buoys are 
made on the new principle. 

No. (3) is a sketch of Herbert's buoy, made of iron 
and sufficiently hollow in the base to allow of the 
chain being attached at about the centre of gravity of 
the buoy. This buoy is reported to ride very well in 
exposed situations, tide ways, &c., and to float very 
upright. There are two or three in the London dis- 
trict ; but there is at present no intention of more 
extensively using them, and ]SIr. Poulter does not 
admit their claim to any superior advantages over his 
buoys, or over 

No. (4), Lennox's buoy, also made of iron, and with 
a flat base. 

Some very large buoys, 12 feet long, have been 
made by Mr. Lennox, but they have been found very 
inconvenient to transport, owing to their size and 
shape ; the Trinity steamers always tow them to their 
stations, the other buoys they carry on board. 

Objections to Iron Buoys. 

An objection to all iron buoys is, that hitherto it 
has been found impossible to prevent them from rust- 
ing, and becoming liable to be mistaken for red buoys, 
whatever their original colour may have been. 

They are also more liable to accidents from colli- 
sions, being easily stove. 

The wooden buoj's are made of wainscot oak, as fir 
soon absorbs water. 

Mr. Lennox claims for the iron buoys that their 
repairs are, taking one j'ear with another, less expen- 
sive than wooden buoys. 

Buoy Districts. 

England is divided into eight Buoy districts. The 
Trinity Buoy Wharf supplies all the districts with 
new buovs, and for this purpose alw.iys has a store on 
hand painted with the first coat of priming ; but each 
district has charge of its own reserve set of buoys. 


Buoy Chaivs. 

The wooden buoys are made at Shooter's, the Dock- 
head, Bhickwall. They have H chain, and generally 
have cables, whose length is equal to twice the depth 
of water ; they ride to square iron sinkers. 

Buoy Anchors. 
Hollow sinkers are being 
tried, so as to add the effect 
of suction to the weight of 
the sinkers. 

System of Buoyage. 
Mr. Poulter was of opinion that no system of indi- 
cating the side of the channel on which a buoy was 
placed, by any peculiarity in ihe buoy, as to its form 
or colour, would be practicable in the Thames, owing 
to the great number and intricacy of the channels. 


The lightvessels remain on their stations seven 
years, and are then brought in and receive a thorough 


Their cables are changed every four years, and the 
old chains (Hin.) are converted into chains for the 


The crews have no other occupations than their 
professional duties. Libraries are supplied to each 

The crew consists of eleven, of whom four come on 
shore every month for a month, and are employed in 
the storehouses at the buoy wharf. 

The master and mate are in command month and 
month about. 

Only good seamen are entered by Mr. Poulter. 
£. s. d. 
As lightraen they receive - 2 15 a month. 

When advanced to lamp lighters 3 6 „ 
A carpenter receives - - 3 12 „ 

The mate • - -400,, 

The master - - - 5 „ 

and lOZ. a year for house rent. 

They all find their own provisions, but are allowed 
to corn their beef at the wharf. 

Beer and Spirits. 

They are allowed beer but no spirits. No boats 
are allowed to go alongside the lightvessels, and the 
men are not allowed to board any passing ship. 

The men rise by seniority from the lowest rank to 
that of master. 

Spare Stores. 

Spare stores for the lightvessels are always kept in 
perfect readiness, so that they can be sent off instantly 
when required. 

Oil, — how tested. 

The oil is carefully tested, first at the Trinity 
House, samples being taken from each cask. When 
the oil reaches the wharf it is again tested, one 
sample of each cask being preserved in case of future 
complaints, and another tested by burning. Nine Ar- 
gand lamps of the same size are lit, eight having been 
trimmed with last year's oil, and one with the sample. 
At the end of some hours the lamps, still burning, 
are carefully inspected by Mr. Poulter, who is in 
ignorance as to which of the nine lamps is trimmed 
with the new oil, to see if he can discover any dif- 
ference. He states that in his experience, owing to 

the previous very careful testing at the Trinity j-, ■ ■. p 
House, he has never discovered any ditlerence. The Wharf 
oil used is the best rape seed oil. About 215 tons is 
required every year for the supply of the Trinity 

Cables, — how tested. 

The li-inch cables for the lightvessels are tested 
with great care, as follows : — 

They are made in Wales, of the best iron, and 
before being received at the wharf are exposed to a 
strain of 80 tons. Whde exposed to this strain they 
are carefully inspected by Mr. Poulton, to see if there 
is the slightest symptom of weakness, or permanent 
alteration in length. The strain is then lessened to 
30 tons, and every link is repeatedly struck with 
heavy sledge hammers. Having stood this test, 
Mr. Poulter selects a link haphazard in ea;!h lenn-th 
of 15 fathoms. This link is cut out and submitted to 
every possible strain by blows, so as to discover if 
possible any weakness in the welding or in the con- 
stitution of the iron. It is then tallied, registered, 
and hung up for fulure reference in case of any acci- 
dent to the chain of which it formed a part. A new 
link is sent for from Wales, and the length is stored 
for use. The chains are very rarely known to have 
parted. Each vessel has 208 fathoms. She has also 
a spare anchor and chain. 

She rides at her station to a mushroom anchor, and 
the cable is hove in or veered according to the 

Spare Lightvessel. 
The lightvessels are nine in number in the London 
district. There is only one spare lightvessel, which 
is substituted for any vessel under repair. As the 
repairs are sometimes very extensive, it might of 
course occur that the spai-e lightvessel being away, an 
accident to one of the lightvessels would find the 
Trinity Board unprepared to replace her, but under 
such circumstances the spare lightvessel at Yarmouth 
would be sent for. 


The lightvessels are painted red. Experience 
proves that one third Venetian and two thirds red 
lead are the best proportions for making the red 


The balls which serve to dis- 
tinguish lightvessels from others 
during the day, are made of 
wood, hollow and open. The 
straps of wood of which they 
are composed being painted red. 
They are in two pai'ts. A col- 
lapsing ball made of wood and 
canvas is always supplied as a 
substitute in case of accident. 

A 4 


Lujhthouse Lantern for Experiments. 
\ room at the top of the buildings at the buoy 
wharf is fitted up as the Liatern of lighthouse and 
a Lir"-a revolving frame work is placed thers. A\ hen 
any Sew description of light or lamp is to be expe- 
rimented on, a Committee of the Elder Brethren pro- 
ceed to a distance of some miles to study and compare 

the proposed lights or lamps with some other by 
which its merits are to be tested, and which is also 
attached to the frame. At stated and pre-arranged 
intervals the frame work is moved, and the required 
comparison instituted. 

Alfred P. Ryder. 




July 4th. —The Commission proceeded to Ports- 

July .^th.— The Commissioners met at 9 a.m. at 
the admiral's office in the dockyard, made some inspec- 
tions examined some witnesses, and subsequently em- 
barked on board the " Vivid," and got under weigh 
at sunset. Admiral Hamilton and Mr. Gladstone 
previously communicated with the Queen's liar- 
bour master and one of the Queen's pilots relative to 
buoyage and the mariners' questions. They did not 
appear to be acquainted with the new buoy adopted 
by the Trinity House, and described in Captain 
Kyder's MinutJ as Poulter's buoy ; and they admitted 
that from description it must be preferable to the 
old-fashioned buovs now used at Portsmouth. 

Dr. Gladstone "visited the lighthouse at Southsea 
and made the following report : — 

No l.-The SOUTH SEA CASTLE lighthouse 
shows a red light down the channel by which I'orts- 
mouth isentered. and a green light over the Swash way. 
It belon'--' to the Admiralty. {See return furnished 
bii the Admiralty.) Some years ago it was con- 
fessedly a very poor light, and could scarcely be 
distinguished from the ga^ lamps at Southsea ; so it 
was bri<rhtened, and the present dioptric arrangement 
was adopted. The lenses and prisms are good, but the 
green "lass is verv dull, and the red glass streaky lu 
the mo'st important part. As the light is wanted lor 
only a quarter of the circle (or less), and there is no 
reflector behind the lamp, by far the greatest portion 
of the li-rht is lost. The lamp also smokes to such .an 
extent that the keeper thinks it necessary to wipe the 
n-lass of the lantern several times every night, lill 
he came (two years ago), there was no means of clcaii- 
in<T the outside panes, although tbe spray frequently 
dashes a-ainst them ; but he had them swung on a 
pivot so as to bring the outer side within his reach. 
Sperm oil is burnt, sometimes so thick that it will 
scarcely flow, sometimes as thin as wine, and in the 
winler'it occasionally freezes in the pipe of the lamp, 
so that the keeper is obliged to poke a passage with a 
hot wire. He believes that before his time it 
sometimes allowed to freeze completely. There is 
but one kee-er, who, however, is sometimes relieved 
in his duties by his wife. He complains that during 
the two vears he has been in the lighthouse he has 
bad but one oflicial visit from any superior. . 

The members of the Commission who visited the 
buoy wharf at Portsmouth Dockyard, reported as 

" The'' buoys are made of fir, and the very evident 
line of flotation, as shown by the barnacles, appeared 
to indicate that they float very deep. Wc wtre in- 
formed that thev not unfrequeutly leak. Ihe* buoys 

were all conical, and fitted to float apex down. Buoys 
thus fitted cannot watch as well as those of the 
London district, which float base down. We saw an 
iron Herbert buoy which was lying unused on the 
wharf; it was reported to us as having watched well 
at the Prince's Shoal. No reason for bringing it in 
was given. 

The Commissioners remarked that the liglit_ a' 
South Sea was dim as they passed in the "Vivid" 
on leaving Portsmouth Harbour soon after sunset. 

2. THE WARNER.— No. 26. Vol. II. l-':2. 

The Warner light was just lighted, and began to 
revolve soon after the vessel was passed. 

3. THE NAB, or BEMBRIDGE— No. 27. Vol. 11. 123. 

The Commissioners boarded tlie '• Nab "' lightvessel 
at 9 p.m. and remained on board three quarters of an 
hour. They were informed that the vessel had been 
adrift three times during the last 20 years. (The 
master on shore was afterwards examined at Cowes, 
and stated that a gong is heard best to leeward, and 
a bell to windward; but guns are best. Cannot hear 
a gong to windward in a fog more than a quarter ot 
a mile. Has been three times adrift in 44 years ; 
but chains are much better of late years. Thinks a 
fine bow would be preferable to bluft' bow for riding 
in a heavy sea. An old lightvessel with a fine bow 
was the best ho ever was in. He has known light- 
vessels to roll from 35= to 40° broadside to sea. The 
Trinity Board gave orders for the measurement to be 
made, but did not supply pendulums.) The crew 
had just been relieved, but the vessel appeared 
to be in excellent order. The log was inspected, and 
the thunderstorm of S.aturday and the weather oi 
this day were found to be correctly entered. The 
a-'ent of the Trinity House visits the vessel once a 
inouth. The gonu' of the Warner, distant three miles, 
has been heard ; \he light of the Owers, distant 14 
miles, has been seen from this vessel. The reflectors 
were in very good order generally, but some were 
observed to be worn in places and scratched in others. 
The mate in cliarse was told that the Commission 
were pleased with the condition of his vessel. 

4. THE OWERS LIGHTVESSEL.-No. 24. Vol. 11. 121. 

Wis si-rhted at an estimated distance of ten 
miles the night being fine, but not peculiarly clear. 
It is marked in the list of lights as visible at that 
distance. Boarded the vessel ; found the master and 
the watch (two) on deck. The light in order. Ihe 
ma-ter stated that his father had been on board tins 


floating light for 58 years ; he liimself had been on 
board tor 42, during ■\vhich time the vessel had been 
adrift only once. Seven witnesses of the first 500 
state their knowledge of the fact that the Owers had 
been adrift. In bad weather the vessel occasionally 
rides so heavily that the master "cannot lie on the 
floor of his cabin without holding on to the legs of 
the table." He has sometimes 195 fathom of cable 
out. He considers his station to be one of the most 
exposed ; but the Seven Stones is still worse. Re- 
flectors clean, but scratched in places. 

The master considers that a vessel built in the 
shape of a square box with fine ends would ride 
easier than vessels of the present build, which slope 
outwards amidships, and suffer when riding across 
the run of the sea in the tide. 

On leaving the Owers the Vivid stood in to sight 
Littlehampton. {See /he report on the Fort of 

The course was then shaped to sight 

5. BEACHY HEAD.— No. 33. 

Which should be visible at 22 miles, (catoptric, 
revolving). Sighted it at 25 miles, not far from 
Shorcham. The Owers light and the town lights of 
Brighton and Shoreham being .'dl visible at once. 
Tlie day beginning to dawn, 
f On the 25th of August, at about 5 p.m. this light- 
house was visited by Dr. Gladstone. It is a first- 
class establishment, in excellent order. There are 
30 reflectors, old, but bright, arranged on three faces. 
They revolve once in six minutes, so that there are 
intervals of two minutes between the flashes, with 
14 seconds of darkness. The keeper (who has been 
there for 12 years, and was born in the service), 
complains of insufficient ventilation, though there is 
a metal chimney over each lam]). Fogs are very com- 
mon. Stones are sometimes blown up against the 
lantern, and make holes in the plate glass, some of 
which were pointed out by the keeper. 

Tiie light at Shoreham is often seen distinctly, 
though 23 miles distant, fixed, and a harbour light 
under a local authority {see report on Slioreham). 

The light at Beachy Head i:5 seen plainly from 
AYorthing, 27 miles distant, wlien the weather is 
clear and the cliff not enveloped in clouds, but this 
seems the exception rather than the rule. AVhcn 
very clear, the light at its maximum about equals 
that of a second magnitude star, but looks red in 
comparison with any of the fixed stars. It is visible 
for only about 20 seconds ; yet, through the telescope 
of the refraction goniometer a feebler light could bo 
discovered during the greater part of the revolution, 
perhaps H min. Red, orange, yellov,% and green rays 
are alone transmitted, the blue and violet being wholly 
absoi'bed by the intervening atmosphere. The ex- 
treme red ray also could not be detected, so that no 
light whatever was seen through Cobalt glass. The 
green rays were very dull ; and evidently the portion 
of the spectrum transmitted most easily, or in greatest 
quantity was the orange — in all probability the part 
between Fraunhofer's lines C and D. Similar ex[)eri- 
ments were performed on the Beachy Head light, as 
seen from Shoreham, with similar results. The atmo- 
sphere exerted a simihir absorbent power on the more 
refrangible rays of the light coming from the gas 
lamps of Brighton, as seen from Shoreham, five or six 
miles distant. 

From these experiments the following conclusions 
may bo drawn : — 

1 . A blue light will not be seen far. 

2. A green light will be seen farther, but not so 
far as an orange or red liglit. 

3. An orange light seen through a considerable 
amount of atmosphere will have the same appearance 
as a white light then assumes. 

4. A red light will be seen nearly as far as a white 
light, but only provided the glass does not absorb 
too much of the orange rays. 

Of 9 foreign lights compared with Beachy Head, 4 
are said to bo better, 5 worse. 

I. B 

Mariner's Evidence, No. 7. 
Comparison of Bkacuv Hkad with Nine Fokeign Lights. 








rt m 





S ? 







1. Grisiiez 

D. 1st., fixed 








2. Ailly - - 

D. 1st., rev. 







3. Fecamp 

D. 1st., fixed 







•J. Le Hcve 

D. 1st., fixed 







5. Barneur 

D. 1st., rev.. 






6. La Hague 

D. 1st., li.\ed 









Russia, o 

7. Dagerort 

:- I'ixcd - 










S. St. Paul's.Gulf 

? . 







of St. Lawrence. 

9. MoTite Video - 










Bcacliy Head - 

C, 1st, rev. - 









Total - - 


Cruize of the 

ifith foreiyn 

Of 18 comparisons, 10 are for Beachy Head, 8 

The result is therefore favourable to the British 
light, though it is catoptric, and compared with the 
best dioptric lights in France. 

At about 2 a.m., July 5tli, the '" Vivid " altered 
course for the Isle of Wight ; weather fine, calm, 
and clear. Of the seven lights seen two only were 
dim, viz., Southsea and Littlehampton, neither of 
which are under the Trinity House. The other four 
appeared to be efficient and fully equal to the account 
given of them in the list of lights. It was remarked, 
however, that in certain positions the two lights of 
the Nab might appear as one, and occasion mistakes. 

Wednesday July 6th. — At an early hour the 
" Vivid," was oli' Cowes. Captain Ryder anil jMr. 
Graves landed and questioned several persons. 

Mr. Spain, Commander of Pilots, can make no Oral evidence, 
suggestion as to im]iroving buoys or lights ; would 
have an inditic'rent opinion of any pilot who found 
any fault, " everythiiirj under nianageinent of Triniti/ 
heing so perfect." Pilots pay '2.1. 2s. every year to 
Trinity Board for licence, and are, therefore, quite 
in power of Trinity Board, who can remove license 
without a])peal. 

Mr. Willis, Trinity Agent, over Cowes Beachy Head 
to Portland. Has 7 buoys and 4 lights floating, and 
several ligiithouses and a cutter tender. Reward 
to independent parties for bringing in a drifted buoy, 
2/. 2s. Masters of light vessels have \s. 6d. a day to 
find men in provisions ; no complaint was heard. 
Superannuation of masters when worn out, 55/. a year. 
Active pay 51. a montli : 20/. in house rent and 
Is. 6d. a da}' for provisions, not more than sufficient 
to pay fcr the requisite provisions. 

The Commission proceeded to Southampton (see Vol. H. 35P, 
report on that place), and, after coaling, steamed to 
Bournmouth, anchored, and observed the lights on 
the Needles and in Poole Harbour (see separate 
report on Poole). 

G. NEEDLES.— No. 35. 

This light was visited by the Secretary on tho 
25 th of August. It is of grey granite, almost of the 
same colour as the chalk rock. It is built on the 
outermost Needle rock, which has been cut away so 
as to make a foundation and a platform ; cellars and 
storehouses are also cut out of the rock. The keeper 
states, that the waves seldom break high about the 
tower, and there arc few days on wiiich a boat can- 
not approach the landing-place. The illuminating 
appp.ratus is dioptric, and the light red. The colour 
is produced by surrounding the lamp with a screen 
of red glass, and by placing red shades outside the 
lens. In parts a cylindrical reflector is placed on 
the landward side, and there are clear portions to 
show a white light. 

The light has to traverse, 1st, the glass chimney ; 
2nd, the red glass screen ; 3rd, the lens ; 4th, a red 
shade ; 5th, the glass of the lantern. The light is 
Slid not to bo very briaht. 

Vol. ir. 8a 



The establishment was in very good order, clean, 
and neat. There are three keepers, as at other rock 
stations ; two live at Ryde, when on leave, the third 
at Freshwater. 

Portions of the granite of this building can be 
rubbed off with the fingers, even more than was 
found to be the ease at the lighthouse on the Skerry 
^Ihore. The colour of the stone of this ouilding is 
that selected by duck shootei's for their punts. It is 
a li^ht grey, and it cannot easily be seen, for its 
colour blends with that of the sea and of the light 
grey chalk rocks against whicli it is seen from the 
sea. A set of observations were therefore made from 
Black Gang Chine to test the effect •of various states 
of the atmosphere in this particular colour as con- 
trasted with others near it, including the chalk cliffs, 
a patch of grass almost yellow, but the darkest object 
near. Is it on the cliff near the old lighthouse, and of 
about the same size as the Outt'- Needle rock. 

The rock on which the lighthouse stands, and the 
lighthouse itself, were observed at 9 a.m. every morn- 
ing for a period of 65 days, and the most distant 
points visible along the coast were noted at the same 
time, as well as the general state of the light and 
atmosphere. In the morning the sun is behind an 
observer at Black Gang Chine, who is looking towards 
the lighthouse at the Needles, and consequently the 
building and cliffs there receive nearly the max- 
imum of light, while the sea reflects the minimum. 
Still, even under the^e the most favourable condi- 
tions, there were 19 days on which the lighthouse 
was invisible at 14 miles, though the rocks on which 
it stands aud more distant points were seen. The 
green patch beside the rocks, and of the same appa- 
rent size .as the smallest of them, was seen twice 
when both rocks and lighthouse were invisible. 
On both occasions the weather wa? sunnv and haz}', 
and Bournmouth, about 10 miles beyond the lighthouse, 
and the green patch close to it, were sometimes 
seen, though the building and the rocks lower down 
were both invioible. On 710 occasion was the light- 
coloured building seen and the darker grass patch 
invisible ; but on seven bright hazy days the light- 
coloured rocks were seen through the haze when the 
grass could not be made out. On one occasion Port- 
land Bill, distant 45 miles, was seen, and the lif;ht- 
house and the grass patch, at 14 miles, were both 
invisible, while the rocks could be distinguished. 
That d.ay is marked sunny and clear, and the chalk 
rocks shining in the sun probably showed through a 
partial land fog. On the whah; the result of the 
observations goes to .show that lighthouses, if they 
are intended to be seen during the day, should be 
coloured with reference to the back ground, and that 
those buildings which are projected against the sea 
or sky, or against white rocks, should be coloured 
Dakk. {See Table next column.') 

The observations do but confirm the positive testi- 
mony of 657 mariners who, in reply to Question 1", 
name the colour which they see best on the water at 
night. Of these, 502 name Black or Dark, 29 Red, 
and of the remaining minority of 82, only 62 say 

August 1860. — Subsequent observations have fully 
confirmed these. The lighthouse and the rock en 
which it stands, seen against the sea, are often in- 
visible when the land at Bournmouth seen over the 
lighthouse is visible, and the dark patch of grass 
seen against the sky is also visible. On the evening 
of the 14th, — though Portland, distant 40 miles, and 
ships on the horizon could be seen with the naked 
eye, and Bournmouth and tho Needles Point were 
both free from haze, — the rocis and the lighthouse 
could not be distinguished from the background of 
sea. It follows that the colour of the back ground 
should be considered. ( Observations from the 4th 
August to the 10th 0/ October confirm these.) 

Obsen'ations taken at 9 a.m. on 65 days from Black Gang 
Chine, near the Preventive Station. The Points visible 
are shown by ; Points invisible by Blanks. 

Lighthouse, Outer Rock.Xeedlcs Point, Grass Patch. Bourn- 
mouth, as seen Ihroucrh teloscope. 


« ^ 







General Condition 
of the Light 









and .Vtmo^phere. 




;^ 1 M 




.Sunny Hazy 




! Sutiny Hazy 

. . 





Grey Clear 


Grey Hazy 



. — 

Sunny Verj- clear 

■ ' 


- — 

Sunny Hazy 



Grey Hazy 

. . 



Sunny Hazy 



Sunny Hazy 



Sunny Ha/.y 



Grey Clear 



Grey Very hazy 


Sunny Very hazy 


— — 

Sunny Clear 

— — 

— — 


— — 

Sunny Clear 



- — — 

Sunny Clear 


— — 

Sunny Blow- 


ing hard 


— — 

Grey Hazy 

- — _ 


— — 

Grey Clear 




Sunny Hazy 




— — 

Grey Clear Hazy 
in the distance 



Sunny Hazy 

Grey Hazy 



Sunny Clear 



— — 

Grey Clear 





3 ^°u^" 


Grey Clear 


Sunny Foggy 





— — 

Sunny Clear 





Sunny Clear 





Siuniy Clear 





Sunny Clear 



— - 



Sunny Clear 



Sunny Hazy 





Sunny Hazy 




i Suimy Clear 

' : 




; Sunny Ealherhaz?' 









Sunny Rather hazy 


Cliff 1 \ 

Grey Bainy 


Grey Eainy 





Sunny Clear 



Grey Foggy 


— i 

Clifl- ) 

Grey Fogg}- 


— 1' — 

Sunny Hazy 


— — 



Sunny Hazy 

t — 


liaiii Tl.iek 




i n:nn an,I fog 





j Grey Clear 

. — _ 1 


— 1 - — 

1 Sunny Hazy 

. [ 



— i — 

Sunnv Pazv 
Suiuiv Hazy 
Suiiin Wry hazy 



<;ri\ A'crv^iazv' 

1 Miiiny Clear 


Miniiy Uazy 


, Grey Clear 


Cliff 1 ToKgy 



1 I 1 r.rey Hr.7.y 


1 , 1 Sunny Cleari&h 



cmr 1 1 Urey Ha?.y 



' Grey rociry 


- — 

Greyish Clear 


.. ■ 

1 Sunny Olep.r 



- — 

Grey Cleavish 





43 1 46 27 


ii'sj of the Atmosphere nt 9 A 
I860.— AUL'UH. 

.M. 1 

9 A.M. 



I 1^ "djirk,"" lieht," Ac, nnlerthe 
i, . . ■• I'ortUn.i/Vtc-nlinateth'itthe 1 

til" a grey l 
Lighthouse Color- 


i. ; ■ , c» tuM d-rkor lii;ht aijaiadt 


een against 


l>.ick LTP-unj. 

General Coadition of the 

the sea. 





^ II. Bi 

1 ^ « 




Light and Atmosphere 


32 !.= » ;||| 

a ' 1 i 

■? ! t a 







at » A.M. 


11 :N \'3\ 

" i i i 




1? It 'is i|s| 





U |5 Is l!|lS 

^ 1 


Clear - - _ - 

llaza - . - - 

5 ! — 

— — 

Clear - - - - - 
Clear - - - - 

Fog - 


R ' i!ni 



o o 

Clear - - - - 

Very clear - - - - 

11 1 — 


Ha'e, pun shining 

I'i 1 -•- 


Clear grey, showery 





11 i.litik 






Clear air, mist on the hills, 
sun shining on the Needles. 





Ij |-' .I.ii-k 






Clear air. cloudy, yellowish 
gre.7^ clonds thin, sun 





.■Cntl: o 


Very thick mist, raining, 





In ' .l.irS 





Haze - - - - 




17 .l.irk 






Clear, sun shining - 
Mi.t, raining hard - 






dar> dark 

13 il.irk 1 dark 

white! o 


Mist, grey - - - 





dark dark 



Grey, raining, sim shining 
on the Needles. 



o light 




lisht ! light 

light O 

Clear, sun staining 



wbitci light 


Very thick mist, raining - 


i?rey grey 

white light 

Very clear, s n shining - 



whitei light 


Mist, wind and rain 

o 1 o 




Thick mist, raining hard - 




dark dark 

li=ht light 

Very clear, sun shining 






dark dark 

lulit livht 


Clear - - - 





dark .l:irk 

l,,.',t li-ht 

Verv clear 





dark Hark 

light light 


Haze - - - 



linht lii;ht 


H UL-, sun shining - 



lisht liglit 

lighl| light 

Clear - - _ 





lislit licht 

Ught light 

Very clear, sun shining - 





li^ht liLlht 


Haze - - - - 




liglit light 

light a 

Hate - - - - 







o o 

Ilaxe - - _ 


Haze, sun shining - 

f. — 



Grey, mtsty - - - 




Grey, mUty 


Thick mist - - - 

O ' 

Fug and rain - - - 

' ill in; 

dark 1 dark 

white, o 

Grey haze - - - 





11 — 

dark dark 

white licht 


Clear, sun shining 





dark dark 

white 1 hght 

Very clear, sunny 






ligM lisht 

ivhite light 

Very clear, sun shining - 





U ' 

dark li?ht 

white light 


Clear, sunny 






dark [ dark 

light light 

Clear, sun shining on the 

Grey - - - 



ft hite 



light ! dark 

light Ught 







Misty - - - - 




o 1 

Misty - - - 




Mist (thick), raining 


lig t 



Very clear, sun shining - 




light' light 


Clear, sun shining - 






Thick mist 




white Iwbite 

Very clear - - - 



2; - 



light I 


Hazy - - - 





Mist - - - 





while light 


Very clear, sun shining - 







light light 


Cle*r, sunny 

dark white 






Misty - - - 




dark o 

51 ^^^ 


. 1 

.ijbt light 



Suu shining, haze 





white,' o 

Grey - . . 

dark white 





light light 

Clpar, sunny - - _ 

dark 'iwbit.3 





Mi-t - - . 




winle light 

Haze - - - 

I dark 




.i;irk 1 dark 


1 o 

Haze - - _ - 



1 Ught 

li_-ht liBht 

whitei o 

Clar, sun shining - 



; wbit 


d.irk dark 

white light 


Very clear - - - 

! dark 



li-ht light 

whilel light 

, Clear - - - 

jwhitc' — ^ — 

ii lisht , .iiht 

.white light 


Very clear, sun sliining - 



white light 

10 "i;»rk dark 

light o 


Grey - - _ 

{ dark 




05 68 

51 87 



1 50 


25 1 so 

Wih. Portland seen in th 
:>. Tae -ark line of tbe i 

eLishtUiuye wa.-; invisitile and 
eveuiu?. and the Liglithouse telii 
I weed at hiyh water mark elearl. 

dinelj- clear ; ships £ 

Vol. II. 84. 

Vol. I: 
Vol. i 

Co!r.<,r r. 
luiLii; . 


The following is taken from the Mariners' Evidence, Cruhe of tlic 
Qutistion 7. Vivid. 

July 7th, Thursday. — Steamed past Weymouth and 
Portland, passed and signalled the fleet cruizing; passed 

7. THE START.— No. 44. 

The Commissioners remarked that a dark stripe on 
the lighthouse, when seen against the sky, might make 
it more easily distinguished and more visible. 

Of 13 lights oompared with the Start, 8 are said 
to be better, 5 worse. 

Of 17 comparisons, 7 are for the Start, 10 against. 

The result is therefore unfavourable to the British 
light oa the whole, though it is said to be better than 
Grisnez, which is the favourite French light amongst 
mariners. (^For further observations on the Start and 
Grisnez, see p. 46, 49, 51,) 

CoMPABisoN of the Start with Foreion Lights. 














1. Grisnez 

D. 1st., fixed 






2. Le Heve 

U. 1st., fixed 




3. Barfleur 

U. 1st., rev. - 




4. La Hajnie - 

D. 1st., fixed 






8. Cape St. Vin- 

C. 1st., rev. - 






6. Gf uoa 

? Rev. 







7. Berlingas 

C. 1st., rev. - 





8. PorqueroUes 

D. 1st., flash 






9. Moro, Havana 






111. Roea Lisbon 

C. Sd., rev. - 



— . 




11. Bayona 

D. 2d., rev. - 







12. Gibraltar - 

D. 1st., fixed 






13. Alexandria - 

? Fixed - 










D. 1st., flash 









Total - - 



with fui fiyn 

Landed at the 

8. EDDrSTOXE_No.48. 

Vol. II. 88. 

at low water, and inspected the establishment, which 
appeared to be in excellent order. The keeper stated 
that the lighthouse was painted once in three or four 
years. It appeared to the Commissioners that this 
should be done more frequentl}', as the paint to sea- 
ward was damaged though laid on this year ; it was 
stated that in heavy weather the seas run up the side 
of the house, and break right over the top " in tons ;" 
on these occasions they are obliged to put in dead 
lights. The house is coloured red and white in Colour oj 
horizontal bands, instead of white as formerly. The f"'ild'«9- 
change has been remarked with approval by several 
witnesses ; see evidence. 

It appeared to the Commissioners that some kind 
of fog signal should be used ; that the keepers 
should have some means of signalling ; and that they 
should have some kind of boat, however small, such 
as an Indian rubber boat, which could be folded up 
and kept inside in case of such an accident as a man 
falling off the rocks in fine weather. The ventilation 
appeared defective, as the lantern was very hot and 
close. It was stated that the Elder Drethren of the See page 1-'. 
Trinity House had not been able to land for 3 years. 
The light was .subsequently observed at 11.30 when 
steaming westward from Plymouth, it was tested 
through the dark prism at a distance of 13 miles, 
and showed "41 ; in another observation made ^"^^'""'y "' 
by Dr. Gladstone it showed ' 55. It appeared to be •' " 
nearly equal in brilliancy to the brightest star in the 
Great Bear ; the sea horizon is calculated at 9 miles ; 
the light was clearly seen as soon as the vessel was 
clear of the point outside Plymouth at ^ past 9, and 
it was still visible at about ^ past 11, when its dis- 
tance was estimated at upwards of 13 miles, about 
which time the observations were made with the 
dark prism. 

Cn leaving the Eddystone, steamed in to Hamoaze, 
and while the vessel was coaling the Commissiorers 
landed. Two and the Secretary went in search of 
Captain Detcham, the Trinity House Agent ; they 
were informed at his house that he had gone to the 

The Commissioners remarked that the buoys in 
Plymouth Harbour were much in want of paint, that 
they were moored by the small end when conical, 
that they were not arranged on any system of shape 
or colour. 

Ob.served the lishts at the end of 


The red light, which appears from the list of light- 
houses to be of the same size and kind as the Eddy- 
B 2 

Vol. II. 88. 



Cruize of the stone, appeared to be very feeble. At a distance of 
ViviJ. 2 miles and seen at shorter distance it was faint, 

' tbougli it is intended to be seen at 9 miles. 

The low light, catoptric, white, was very brilliant 
while the A'ivid was within its horizontal range. 
The two lights showed almost as one at about two 
miles, though 15 feet apart. 

With the glass the 2 Plymouth lights could be 
distinguished easily at that distance. 

Friday, July 8th. — Anchored at Falmouth at 1-30 
a.m. for fniir hours. The revolving light at 

10. ST. A^•TI10NY. FALMOUTH, -No. 49. 

showiu" very well. It was thought that a black 
panel on the inner side of the lighthouse, where it 
is .«eeu against the skv, might be an improvement. 
At 5.30 a.m. steamed" westwards. Observed the 
beacon on the Manacles, at the entrance to the har- 
bour ; it is painted black, is h)fty, and was very 
clearly seen. 

Passed the Lizard. It was thought worth con- 
sideration whether dark marks on these lighthouses 
would not make them more visible, as the structure 
is always seen against the sky. The day was bright 
and clear, and ithe white buildings were seen at a 
great distance, but it has been observed that white 
seen against the sea or sky is not so well seen in dull 
weather as darker colours. The following table 
shows the result of the comparison of this light with 
lights out of the United Kingdom. There is a majo- 
rity of 1 in its favour in 23 comparisons with im- 
portant lights. It is said to be better than nine of 
these, inferior to live ; there is, therefore, a majority 
of four in favour of the Lizard in a comparison with 
fourteen lights. 






























Bunkerque - D. 1st., rev. 
Grisnez- • ' D. l-t.,nash 












■Ushant - - 1 D. 1st., Hash 
Cordouan - ; D. Isi., rev. 
Berliiwas - ' C. 1st., rev. 








Cape St. Yin- , C. 1st., rev. 




Gibraltar - D. 1st., fixed 









Ccuta - - D. 1st., fi.\e(l 






Camarat • | D. 1st, rev. - 
Genoa - - i 
Gozo - - ' rev. 







Alexandria • i ? fixeil 









of St. Law- 1 > — 
renee. J 





Havanna - ; — 




Lizard* - , C. fixed 









amined, and found to bt? clear. The keeper stated 
that it was good, and a boatman, who was engaged 
to show the best landing-place, said that the light was 
" beautiful." There are three keepers always in the 
house. The head keeper had previously lived at the 
Eddystone, and preferred that station, though he 
considers the sea to be as bad there as at the Long- 
ships. In heavy weather he states that waves break 
about the lantern 79 feet above high-water mark. 
On one occasion the sea lifted the cowl off the top 
so as to admit a grrat deal of water. Several lamps 
were extinguished, and all the men were eu.'ployed 
in baling out water till the tide fell. 

There is a cavern under the house at the end of a /.■, 
long split in the rock, and when there is a heavv sea 
the°noise produced by the e.-^cape of pent-up air from 
the cavern is so great that the men can hardly sleep. 
It was stated that one man w-as so terrified that his 
hair turned white. 

When such sounds are naturally produced by the 
action of the waves it seems possible to use the same 
power in the same manner as a fog signal. 

Near the Lizard, in a small island, is a cave which 
at certain states of tide is filled by the waves. 
At the extreme end of the cavern is a hole about a 
foot in diameter, which opens towards the land. The 
rush of air through the opening, as each wave ad- 
vances from the mouth of the cave, is such as to 
produce extremely loud sounds, which are heard at 
o-reat distances. "Similar roaring caverns are to be 
found on the west coasts of Scotland, and it seems 
easy to imitate this principle on a smaller scale. 
Though the weather was remarkably tine, and the 
sea so'^calm that shoals of grey mullet were resting in 
the lee of the rock, there was still a sufficient move- 
ment in the waves to produce a very consideiable 
hydraulic power, and the sea is very seldom without 
a ground swell.— See Stevenson's report on the build- 
ing of the Skerry Mhorc lighthouse ibr observations 
taken to estimate the force of the Atlantic waves, and 
the sounds produced by them in a small cavern in 
the rock under that lighthouse. 

The Commissioners having inspeclc<l the log, 
which was properly kept, re-embarked, and steamed 
west for Scillv. Observed tlie beacon on the Wolf 
Rook to the eastwards, lofty, colored red, and easily 

Took a pilot on board oft' Scillv, and steamed to 

Vul. Il.;i5(i. 
Monster Bu',ii. 

Vul. II. 90. 

Steamed into Mourns P.ay, and landed Dr. Glad- 
stone, whose report on 


will be found under that head. I'asscd the monster 
buoy on the Runnel Stone ; it was lofty and black, 
and" easily seen. It is a cone moored by the base. 
The buov leaned frnm the tide. This is contrary to 
Mr. Poii"lter's statement, that buoys so moored lean 
towards the tide. Landc-d without difficulty at 

12. TIIELONGSIIIP.S.— No. 52. 

The sea was calm. The is built on the top 
o; a conical rook opposite to the Land's End. The 
light is catoptric, 20 reflectors. These were bright 
and well polished, generally in better condition than 
those in the lightvcssels. This agrees with the 
statement of iMr. Wilkins, the manufacturer, who 
said that reflectors in lightships wear out much 
sooner than those on shore. The house was being 
painled. but v/as in good order. The oil was cx- 


Vol. II. 

Landed on the rock without difficulty, and in- 
spected the lighthouse. It is built on a rock, which 
ija little higher and longer than the ICddystone. The 
building is masrnificent, and, perliaps, the 
exposed in the world. The head keeper has been in 
both Eddystone and Longships, and thinks that the 
sea is worse here, though not much worse. The 
spray goes over the top of the lighthouse, 1 10 feet. 
The'vibration appears insignilicant as compared -with Fogi.h}iuih. 
the Eddvstone. The light is dioptric, first order, 
and a beautiful work. A bell, rung by machinery, is 
fixed near the top. It was sounded when the vessel 
left, and could scarcely be heard at the distance of a 
(luarter of a mile, though the vessel was stopped on 
purpose. There was a slight breeze, and the vessel 
was to windward. This account of a fog signal may 
be compared with the account given above of the 
noise produced bv the action of the sea in caves. 

The house is built of grey granite, painted white. 
The paint is wearing oft", and the colour consequently 
"■rev. the worst possible for being seen at sea. ^^^^^^^ 

On comparing the tower with the dark-coloured j_^.,^.-' 
rocks about it the latter showed more distinctly 
an-uinst the water and the sky. On th;s subject the 
evidence of mariners as to the colour which they can 
see best at night, the American and Colonial reports, 
and the result of the observations made at the 
Isle of Wight, may be cpnsulted. It is within the 
knowledge of pers"ons who have shot wild fowl on 



tlic water by day and night, that dark-coloured birds 
arc most easily seen, and tliat yoiin.!; swans, wliicli 
arc of a grey colour, are the most ditHcuIt to distin- 
guish of all wild fowl. It is also well known that 
smugglers, and coastguardmen, and duck shoolers, 
who wish to conceal themselves on the water, paint 
their boats, and often dress themselves, in white or 
grev, which is the colour of the lighthouse on the 
Sciily Bishops. The agent subsequently stated that 
the eyes of the men suH'ered from the glare. 

Admiral Hamilton remarked that the keepers 
showed certain sliglit indications of a tendency to 
scurvy. On questioning them, they stated that lliey 
often had recourse to the medicine chest. They 
stated that vegetables would not keep fur any lengtli 
of time. 

It is worthy of consideration whether some means 
should not be provided for supplying the keepers at 
exposed stations with preserved vegetables, lime 
juice, or other anti-scorbutics. 

The Commissioners were much struck with tlie 
general superiority of the building as respects its 
design, its material, its workmanship and finish, and 
internal arrangements. 

The secretary tested the liglit with the dark prism 
at about 1 a.m. next morning, and made it ■ 92 at seven 
miles. The boatmen said that it was a beautiful 
" sharp" light. The Trinity House agent stated that 
the Elder Brethren had steamed so as to compare it 
with St. Agnes, and that they had seen the latter at a 
greater distance. St. Agnes is considerably higher. 

The "Vivid," on leaving the Bishops ran in to coal 
at St. Mary's, and the Commissioners landed with 
the agent of the Trinity House, Captain Tregarthen, 
and with Mr. Allen, the agent of Mr. Augustus 
Smith, the lord proprietor of the islands, in a boat 
rowed by the men of the Seven Stones lightvessel. 
The master was with them. He was of opinion that 
a vessel with a bow like a steamer would ride better 
than one of the present shape. In this he agrees 
with the other keepers of liglitvessels who have ex- 
pressed an opinion on this subject. He said that his 
present vessel pitches fearfully. He had once been 
thrown from the tiller over the companion by a 
sudden jerk. He did not seem to think that a 
circular vessel on Herbert's principle would answer, 
and he staled that one of Herbert's buoys moored in 
the neighbourhood of the Seven Stones had. gone 

The Commissioners rowed about three miles to 

14. ST. AGNES, SCILLY.— No. 53. 

and iTspected that lighthouse at 11 p.m. Mr. Graves 
and Captain Ryder having mounted the stairs while 
the chairman and secretary were inspecting certain 
books below, found the door of the lightroom locked, 
and the keeper absent. He came almost imme- 
diately, and stated wh}- he had left the house, and 
that he was not obliged to remain always in the 

He stated that during his experience of 21 years 
the chain of the revolving apparatus had only 
once broken, and was then replaced in a few minutes, 
during which the frame was kept moving by hand. 

There are 30 lamps and reflectors set in three tiers, 
and revolving on a frame with three faces. The 
reflectors were in good order, though some were 
50 years old. The light .seen from a distance was 
remarkably bright. The log was inspected, and the 
names of the Commissioners entered in the visitor's 
book. The house was very clean, and appeared to 
be in good order. 

The keeper said that he did not understand lens 
lights, but thought reflectors better, because several 
lamps might be extinguished without materially in- 
terfering with the brilliancy of the light. He said, 
however, that the single light of a lens light could be 
easily and rapidly replaced, and it is evident that 
the care and labour required about 30 different lamps 
and a like number of silvered reflectors must bear no 

comparison to the labour of cleaning and arranging 
one lamp and dusting a glass lens. 

Tl;e Commissioners descended from the lighthouse 
to the beach in the dark, and returned on board at 
about 1 a.m. 

The Ibllowing is the result of the comparison of 
this light with lights not in the United Kingdom, 
abstracted from Mariners' Evidence, and shows a 
majorit}- in favour of St. Agues : — 








1 ; .2 

1 9 




1. Grisnea - 

D. 1st., flash 








2. Bcrlingas - 

Cist., rev. 








St. Agues' - 

C. rev. 








4 1 


with foreman 

July 9th, at lOi a.m. Steamed for the y^j jj -i^j 

15. SEVEN STONES.— No. 29. 
Boarded the vessel without difliculty. Some of the 
men on shoi'e having stated tliat the quantity of 
provisions was insuificieut for " hearty " men, and 
the quality " indifferent," the Commissioners inspected 
the provisions. They found them of good quality. 
Bread said to be hardly sufficient for hearty men. 
The men, 11, were clean and neatly dressed; the 
vessel very clean, and newlj' painted. The reflectors 
the best polished that liave been seen hitherto, not 
a scratch to be seen. The shape of the vessel appears 
slightly sharper forward than that of the others 
visited. She is 18 years old. Since she has been 
fitted with countersunk shackles to her chain she 
has never been adrift. The vessel is provided with 
guns and a gong. They sound the latter during fogs, 
and fire the former when they see vessels approaching 
the Stones. Foreign vessels seldom appear to notice 
the signals. The mate has only seen one wreck on 
the Stones. Then they saved one man with their 
boat, a common one. They have two boats, but no Xi/eioa< 
lifeboat. The vessel rides in 42 fathoms, and has 
occasionally nearly 300 fathoms of H inch chain 

Though this is the most exposed vessel on the Waves. 
coast the master considers that from the length of the 
sea she rides easier than vessels moored in a shorter 
sea. As he expressed it "she is always read}' for it," 
but still her decks are occasionally swept by the sea, 
and when it strikes her forward " it is like a four- 
pounder going off." 

This statement may be compared with that of the 
master of the Owers lightvessel (aiitr) and that of 
the master of the lightvessel in the Humber (see Hull), 
both of whom seem to consider a shorter sea more 

On the 14th, at Liverpool, one of Mr. Maclvor's 
captains stated, with reference to this light, that ir 
was the worst he knew. He passes it constantly, but 
not very near. It certainly was in very good order, 
the small lamps and reflectors used on board light- 
vessels, even in the best condition, cannot be 
Steamed for 

16. GODREVEY.— No. 55. 

Landed, and inspected the lighthouse. It is built on 
a rock of considerable size, separated from the main 
land. It is large enough to admit of the growth of 
vegetables for tlie lightkeepers, if (bought necessary. 
Numerous wild plants grow there already. The 
spray ha.-i occasionally dashed against the lantern in 
very heavy weather. There is room for a considera- 
ble number of workmen, who, with the contractor 
who built the house, were still on the island. 

Vol. II. 92. 

B 3 



Cruhe of the The light is dioptric, 1st order, 120 feet above the 

Virul. sea. On luokin;,' tioin near the point where ihu light 

— — is placed tlw horizon was seen nearly in the centre of 

the main bands of tlie lens, and in all the prisms. 

Intcrniilfhxer- -j-jig [jgiit appears therefore to be correctly placed 

vatwn, direction ^^.jjjj yj^tl-rence to the lens, but it is worth considera- 

o/beam. ^.^^ whetlier a reflector might not be introduced on 

the landward side, so as to send those rays to seaward 

■which now serve only to light up the clitf and the 

narrow channi-1 inside. 

It was remarked that the outer galleries were of 
iron, and alrc-ady showed signs of corrosion. Some 
of the small internal fittings, door handles, window 
fastiniiigs, &c., were scarcely equal to a first-class 
building. This li'zhthouse is much visvted. Nearly 
1000 persons landed on ths island on Whit Monday, 
but at this time of year it has been inaccessible for 
fivt; weeks together. 

The building of this new establishment has been 
the subject of correspondence amongst the lighthouse 
authorities. The Commissioners had procured copies, 
and the following is a short account of the contents 
of the parliamentary paper ordered to be printed, 8th 
February 18oS, which contains the correspondence. 

The first letter is dated 23d .lanuary l»o.5, and is 
a formal request from the Trinitv House to the Board 
of Trade for sanction to the expense necessary for 
-constructing a lighthouse in a locality to be selected 
by a committee of Elder Brethren. 

It sends enclosures, eight in number, which are 
petitions addressed to the Trinity House by persons 
interested, pilots, seamen, merchants, shipowners, 
fishermen, &c., he, all praying for a lighthouse to 
indicate the position of the dangerous reef of rock 
oalled " The Stones," near St, ives, in Cornwall. 

On the 13th of July 1855, the Board of Trade 
were informed that the deputy master and a com- 
mittee of the Klder Brethren who had examined the 
locality were unanimously of opinion that a light- 
house might be advantageously erected on Godrevey 
Island, and that site was recommended by the Trinity 

The report enclosed gives the reasons, and points 
to the outer danger as the best site, though to build 
a lighthouse on it would be ditticult and expensive. 

On the 12th of September 1855. It is suggested 
from the Board of Trade that the most northern stone 
might be selected as the site of a lighthouse, and 
failing that St. 1%-e's Head on shore is mentioned. 

The letter is accompanied by a map, and a letter 
from Commander George Williams, surveying officer 
on the station. 

On the 19th of September. The Elder Brethren 
point out that they fully concur in the opinion that 
the outer danger is the more eligible site, and that 
it was the question of expense alone which prevented 
them from recommending that position for their 
Lordships' sanction. 

On the 19th of October. The reports of the 
engineers are transmitted from the Trinity House to 
the Board of Trade. 

On the 13lh of September. Reports of two com- 
mittees of Elder Brethren are transmitted, together 
with an urgent recommendation of the site proposed, 
namely, the Stones. Failing that, the Committee again 
reciimniend Godrevey Island. 

On the 9th of October 1856. The Board of Trade 
request that before sanctioning the building of the 
new light, Mr. Walker, engineer to the Trinity 
House, may be requested to state what would be the 
diHerence in expense occasioned by the substitution 
of the inner for the outer stone. 

On the 27th the Elder Brethren tran.^mit a report 
from their ( nginecr, and say tliat "the saving which 
" may possibly be eflc'cted by the substitutioti of the 
" inner for the outer site is so inconsiderable in 
" amount as to prevent them from reconnncnding its 
" adojition." 

On the 14th November 1856. The Board of Trade, 
in a communication .tddressed to the War Uepartineiit, 
incjuire whether it would be possible to have the 

position of a . newly built fort on St. Ives Head 
changed, so as to admit of the building of a lighthouse 
there, and they intimate that the building and main- 
tenance of a lighthouse on the outer stones would be 
attended with too great an expense. 

On the 6th of November. The Trinity House 
transmit memorials praying for the light, which ai'e 
acknowledged on the 13th of November, with a 
statement that the matter is under consideration, and 
a reply expected relative to a site on Battery Point. 

On the 15lh. The reply of the War Office was sent 
refusing the proposed site, but ottlL'ring another on 
that of the magazine, on condition that a magazine 
for .50 hairels of gunpowder should be erected adjoin- 
ing the battery, upon a plan to be furnished by the 
War Department. Failing the site proposed, another, 
having reierence to the line of fire of the guns, is 

On the 28th of November. Their Lordships de- 
cline the site proposed by the War Office, as they do 
not think that the tower could be placed as proposed 
without being liable to injury when the guns are 
fired. And, 

On the 29th November. The Trinity House are 
informed that the battery site being unattainable, or 
dangerous from the situation of the battery, and the 
outer stones, though the most eligible, too expensive, 
their Lordships think that the lighthouse must be 
built on Godrevej' Island, but, as strict economy should 
be consulted, further plans are asked for, and it is 
suggested that the establishment should not be treated 
as a rock light. 

On the 4th of February 1857. The Trinity House 
transmit a memorial praying for the placing of a 
temporary floating light, which request, on the 12tli 
F^cbruary, is refused. 

On the 4th March 1857. The Trinity House 
forward a memorial praying for the erection of the 
light on the outer stone, and for a temporary floating 
light in the meantime. 

In transmitting the memorial the Elder Brethren 
do not i)ress their view, but they state that '• should 
" their Lordships see fit to comply with the prayer 
" of the memorialists, such a course would meet with 
" the cordial concurrence of the Board."' 

On the 9th of March. The Trinity House are 
informed that as the question has been settled, and 
the preparations for the erection of the lighthouse 
now in progress, my Lords consider that the subject 
should not be reopened. 

On the 12th of April 1857. Their Lordships 
approve of the plan for a stone lighthouse, and con- 
sent that the establishment may be treated as a rock 
station, but they recommend that tenders for the 
construction of the tower be invited in the local 

The correspondence concludes on the ISth Novem- 
ber 1857, with a letter from the Board of Trade, 
addressed to certain memorialists, in which it is 
stateil " that it was after very full consideration 
'■ decided to erect the lighthouse on (iodrevey Island, 
" and the contract having been entered into for its 
" erection at that place, their Lordships cannot now 
" entertain the application." 

The lighthouse, wiiich had been threatened in 
embryo with so many dangers from fire and water, 
was ultimately built where it was oiiiiinally proposed 
to build it, on Godrevey Island, between Battery 
Point on shore and the outer stone, which is covered 
at high water, where it is inaccessible to men in bad 
weather, and safe from waves. 

The Lighthouse Commission having previously Ji, ,,.:,,.' 
dircited their attention to this correspondence, corns; 
examined the locality, and came to th<^ conclusion 
that the outer stone was the best site for the light- 
house. Havins; visited the Eddy.-tone and the Scilly 
Bishops, the possibility of building on the outer 
danger was proved, and it was equally manifest that 
the danger would be best indicated by placing a light 
upon it. 



On leaving Godrevey sfenmed to 

17. TREVOSE HEAD.— No. 56-57. 

The lighthouses are built on a lofty promontory. 
There arc two, niarked D. 1st order, the highest 
204 feet above the sea. It is not compared with 
foreign h'ghts by mariners in their evidence, and is 
not mentioned by them, though it is considered to be 
one of" the finest lights in the kingdom. Its position 
out of the track of vcssr-ls running for tlie groat ports 
may perhaps account for this, but a great number 
of vessels were seen in the neighbourhooil. Landing 
below the lighthouse appeared to bo difficult, if it 
were possible, and it would have cost too much 
time to land in the bay and Avalk round. After 
waiting for about half an hour, looking for a landing 
place, steamed ibr 

18. LUNDY ISLAND.— No. 58-59. 

Saw the light soon after sunset, distant aliout 15 
miles ; it is intended to be seen at 30 ; and one of the 
mariners who has replied to the queries circulated, 
has seen it at 45, the greatest distance at which 
any light, at home or abroad, has been seen by any 
one of 814 witnesses. 

The upper light is revolving, D. 1st order, showing 
a flash every two minutes. Tlie lower Hght is 
catoptric, and has nine large reflectors. It is only 
visible between NNW. and WSW. The highest 
light is 540 feet above the sea, and .some of the 
witnesses complain tliat it is often obscured by fog 
collecting about the summit of the island. The 
keeper, subsequently, stated that "whenever there 
" was any fog about it came his line." 

Anchored at the back of tlie island, got a pilot 
to show the way, and landed. The chairman. Cap- 
tain Ryder, and the secretary walked up to the 
lighthouse in the dark. The island is frequented by 
a vast number of birds, which build in tlie rocks. 
They were heard on all sides, on the water, in the 
air, and on the land, screatrdng and apparently 
fighting with each other. The path upwards is 
steep, but it was too dark to see much of anything. 
Near the lop is a house, inhabited by a gentleman's 
family in summer. On arriving at the liglithouse it 
was remarked that the whitewashed walls of the 
dwelling house could hardly be distinguished from 
the sky. The under keeper was found at his post. 
The head keeper, who was off watch, was called, and 
accompanied the Commission over the establishment. 
It appeared to be in first-rate order. The lens was 
made by Chance, Brothers, of Birmingham. The 
metal fittings were ]iainfed ; those at Godrevey were 
bright. This observation relates to the difficulty of 
cleaning bright metal, and the danger of injuring 
the angles of the prisms during the operation. There 
is also the danger of injuring the polish of the lens 
with the materials used for polishing brass, and the 
extra care and labour does not appear to give any 
corresponding advantage. 

The reflectors were well poli.shed, and every part 
of the establishment a model of cleanliness. The 
keeper stated that the lens light was not half the 
trouble of a reflecting light of equal power. 

Julv 10th. On leaving th^ island at 1 a.m., 
immediately after the return of the Commission from 
the lighthouse, steamed round to compare the upper 
dioptric with the lower catoptric light. On com- 
paring them through the dark prism from a distance 
of about two miles no difference could be discovered. 
When the upper light was at the brightest it appeared 
to be exactly the same as the lower. The light being 
540 feet above the observer, and the lenses in all 
cases being made to throw a beam at right angles to 
the axis round which they revolve, it is probable 
that the upper light shows to greater advantage at a 
greater distance nearer to the sea horizon, which was 
calculated to be distant 25 miles from the light. 

That these lenses are so made and set was suffi- 
ciently manifest from the place where the " Vivid " 

lay at anchor. As the lenses revolved the beam of Cru'ze of the 
light collected by each became clearly visible over T7u.(/. 

head, lighting up a path in the haze, which, though 

sufficient to make the beam visible, did not much 
obscure the light. These beams were clearly seen 
like the spokes of a gigantic wheel, diverging as they 
receded from the source of light, and radiating from it 
as a centre. 

The dark prism was previously tested on several jjri'Uancy of 
stars, and as various observations of the same star Vyht, ii.atru- 
prcduced the same result, the instrument appeared to >'icni. Jm- testhuj 
be well fitted for comparing the intensity of artificial ''■ 
lights. It consists of a wedge of dark glass cemented 
to one of clear glass, so as to produce a solid parallelo- 
gram. By sliding a screen from end to end the light 
is seen through various thicknesses of darkened glass, 
and when it becomes invisible the result is read off on 
a scale. The standard is the power of the observer's 
eye, and varies in different persons and at different 
times with the same person ; but for comparing 
two lights side by side it must show which is the 

The comparison then goes to show that nine re- Comparison of 
flectors in very excellent condition, set so as to throw diojnriiwit/i 
the light of nine lamps in one direction, only produced ''"''1'^''"^ "!'• 
the same effect as one of the 8 beams from the ■""'^" ""' 
revolving light produced from one large lamp. 

The fixed light seen between the flashes was very 
feeble in comparison Avith them. It is produced by a 
number of fixed prisms placed below tlie revolving 
portion of the lens. The revolving portion somewhat 
resembles a large beehive with 13 sides. It was ^ o '<'■■■.'" 2-"« 
observed that the upper part of this was attached to ':'/'<'»"■ 
the lower or central portion, so that the angle and 
sides do not correspond, and it was surmised that this 
was purposely done so as to lengthen the duration of 
the flash bv increasing the lateral divergence of t'le 
beams. This arrangement must diminish the powi-r 
of the flash. It was also remarked that the light 
thrown by the lower prisms on the interior fittings ^j/i, p/'/w/;*. 
of tlie lantern was crossed by dark s|iaces correspoml- 
ing to the number of tlie prisms, as if they wer^' not 
set for the same distant point. The keeper said that 
the light would appear as one at a distance, but it is 
probable that these prisms are purpnsely made to 
throw diverging beams downwards on the sea near the 

The following is the result of the comparison of 
the light at Lundy Island with lights not in the 
United Kingdom, taken from Mariners' Evidence : — 

Ciiii'juii hon 
witli fuieryn 















O M 











1. Grisnez 

D. 1st., flash 









2. Isle dR Bas - 

D. 1st., rev. 








3. Belle Isle - 

D. 1st., rev. 








i. Berliniras - 

C. 1st., rev. 








5. Roca Lisbon - 

C. 2nd., rev. 








6. Cape St. Yin- 

C. 1st., rer. 










7. Genoa - 

? Rev. 








S. Pelorus 

D. 4tli., flash 








9. CapeOttoway 








in. Hvi^hlands, 









New York. 

11. False Point, 










D. 1st., rev. 









Majority in favour of Lundy, 10 on 20 comparisons, 
and as compared with 11 other lights it is pro- 
nounced superior to all, except one. This light has 
been seen at 45 miles by one witness, at 35 by two, at 
33 by one, and at 30 by 5. It ranks first amongst 
all the lights meniioned, either at home or abroad. 

Anchored off Pembroke Dockyard, and in the Vcl. !I. 286. 
evening left word for the captains of several Irish 
steamers that the Commission would be glad to sec 
them in the morning if they had any statements to 
make relative to light.'i, buoys, or bi-acons. 

Monday, July 11th. Coaling till 10 a.m. As tne 

B 4 



• of ihe masters of the Irish steamers did not appear it is to 
bepresiiiiicd that they had no couiphiints to make. 

Admiral Hamilton visited Mr. Hammond, a retired 
commander of one of the Government Milford !Mail 

He stated that two small lightvessels were formerly 
maintained olf the fjhear, and were maintained by the 
Government. These have been discontinued since 
the Post Office Service terminated, but Mr. H. thinks 
they would be necessary for working the harbour pro- 
perly at nijjlit. 

■ siipp!;/. The " Vivid " was delaj'ed for some time in conse- 
quence of the total want of provision at Pembroke 
Dockyard for watering ships of any kind. Steamed 
out of Milford Haven and landed at 

on the Scilly Bishops by saying that it was a first Cuhur of 
painting, performed by the builder. He thinks white buiUimj. 
the best colour for lighthouses as the most conspicuous 
when the sun shines. On this point the evidence of 
those wlio look at the object is of more value, and 
grey light should be considered rather that bright 

The keeper misses vegetables. The medicine 
chest was inspected and no bottles had been used, but 
salts and castor oil. The head keeper appeared 

Descended the rock by a stair cut in it, and re- 
marked the crane which is used in bad weather for 
landing stores. IJe-embarkcd easily, and steamed 20 
miles to 

\o\. II. 101', i;, xHE SOUTH BISHOP ROCK.— No. T.:. 

The lighthouse stands on a rock of some size, and 
is marked D. 1st order, 144 feet above the sea. The 
painters were at work. The lens is a ))art only of 
the old lens from Lundy, and was placed a year ago 
instead of a reflecting light. There is only the 
central band of lenses with eight faces ; there are no 
prisms above or below, and the greater part of the 
light is thus allowed to escape. 

The lens is composed of many small pieces cemented 
together ; the joints were very evident as compared 
with lenses previously seen, and similar lenses were 
afterwards seen in the museum of the French light- 
house authorities, and in use in other British light- 
houses. The illuminating apparatus, consisting of a 
small portion of the whole, and that of an inferior 
description, cannot properly be called "first order" 

The keeper stated that peo})le on .'-liore and the 
light-keeper at the Smalls thought that the light was 
brighter and far stronger since the change. This 
evidence is again strongly in favour of dioptric lights. 
The keeper is 64, and has been employed lor upwards 
of 38 years about reflecting lights. He considers it 
Tcry troublesome work to clean the glasses with 
brushes and spirits of wine ; but admits that there is 
more labour in polishing eight reflectors and cleaning 
an equal number of lamps which were formerly nsed 
at this station. His evidence may be contrasted with 
that of the head keeper at Lundy Island, a younger 
man, who has charge of two lighthouses on ditlijrent 

Spra}' occasionally strikes the lantern, and it has 
broken the lower windows of the dwelling-house. 
There is a patch of grass in front of the door; rain 
Wa'cr su]}j ly. water is collected from the roof. In order to avoid 
the salt the keeper turns the spout from the reservoir 
for some time after the rain begins, so as to allow tlio 
roof to be well washed. When it is sufficiently 
washed he turns the spout into the cistern. The 
water was tasted and found to be good. This simple 
contrivance was thought worthy of notice, as it 
might escape persons not forced to think of such ex- 
Cimparison rf The keeper has often seen vessels very near the 
(Jnipiric Willi rock when fogs cleared up. He has a gong, but no 
laioptnc ap- bell and no gun ; there is plenty of room for the 
parutus. jj,(,3,._ 

He is jjrovided with five red glasses in a box, 
through which he tests the light of the Smalls 
three times every night ; and his light is similarly 
tested by the keei)cr at the Smalls, who also tests St 
Ann's in a similar manner. 

'I'lie whole establishment was in \ery good urdrr, 
well and neatly kept. 

The painter stated that the paint was in a very bad 
state wiien he came. He said that the horizontal 
water spouts, being .square and made of iron, rust, 
overflow, and damage the])aint. He suggested round 
Paini. gutters of a different nielal. He thuught that work 

done by contract for tlie Trinity House was very 
inferior to work done by the paid servants of the 
House. He accounted for the bad state of the jiaiiit 

20. THE SMALLS.— No. 74. Vq] h jq 

This is an old wooden lighthouse, built 1778, on income, 185; 
piles, at one end of alow rock 20 miles from land, A 22,759/. 2s, 
new stone lighthouse, partly built, stands on the other 
end of the same rock, and shows the improv?ment 
that has taken place in lighthouse architecture since 
that time. The rock is not so high as that on which 
the Scilly Bishops is built ; it is about the same 
height as the Eddystone bnt larger. There is room 
to walk about. It is above high-water mark, but the 
sea breaks all about tlie lantern of the old light and 
over the new building whenever there is heavy 
weather. Green seas pass up to a point about 32 
feet above the level of the rock. A foreign ship once 
struck at the end of the rock in broad daylight. 
The crew, 12 men, leaped on shore ; the vessel drifted 
about three miles and sank. On being asked how 
they had fed so many men, the keepers replied, that 
they always had six mouths' provisions when they 
came off. The head-keeper has been 18 years on this 
station, and prefers it to any other ; he has refused 
to change. He is a native of Wales ; is married, and 
has a considerable farm on shore. The nnder-keeper 
is a native of Ealing, a watchmaker by trade, and 
" would rather be anywhere on shore at half the 
money." He said, "This is rusting a fellow's life 
away." A more extraordinary dwelling cannot well 
be imagined, or a greater contrast to a watchmaker's 
life at Ealing. The I'.ead-kccper said that he had 
caught woodcocks in September, as also larks, star- 
lings, and blackbirds. Five years ago he caught a Birds. 
partridge on the night of the first of September. He 
thought that probably the shooting had driven him to 
sea. " He was very fat imleed." He also caught a Seals. 
young seal by descending from his perch in the light- 
liouse and placing a bag in front of him as ho slept. 
" He poked him uj) behind with a stick, and in he 

Both these were intelligent men, and said that the 
Bishop's light was much improved since the change 
to the dioptric system ; a reference to the account of 
the apparatus will best show what that change is, and 
what might be anticipated from a still further im- 

Twelve observations made with the darkened glass 
were compared with 12 made at the Bishop's on 
this light. These give 44 Smalls, 48 Bishop. 

The Smalls has 27 large reflectors, which were 
beautifullj' kejit. The Bishop a small portion of an 
indifferent dioptric apparatus and one large lamp. 

The old lighthouse was ascended by a rope ladder. Dacripiicn 
The piles, though they iiave stood for so many years, bnildiny. 
look very insecure ; they arc .-^et upright in the rock 
and have a few props on one side to resist the greatest 
force of tiie wa\es. The upper part consists of a sort 
of platform, on which provisions and stores are 
placed, which are not easily damaged by water ; 
above that is a wooden barrack, an octagon cabin 
in which the workmen employed about the new 
building sleep in berths like tho,se of a ship, and they 
sleep on the floor if there are too many; above that 
is the light-keeper's sleeping room and kitchen in one 
which is entered by a trapdoor ; above that is the 
h'.ntern. In heavy weather, when the sea is dashing 



about the lower room, workmen and all congregate in 
the upper room. The whole structure trembles and 
sways about, aud it has been known to lean nine 
inches from the perpendicular. The whole was as 
neat as was possible under such circumstances, and the 
lantern, especially, and all belonging to it was in 
excellent order. 

A coppery reflection whicli had been observed on 
the silver of the reflectors in other lighthouses, both 
by day and night, was here found to proceed from the 
bright copper backs of the reflectors shining through 
the hole for the chimney. 
hw Light- On descending from this old lighthouse the party 

oitse. ascended the new one bj' the help of a chain, and the 

courses of the lower masonry, which form narrow 
steps. A ladder will be fixed when the building is 
oompletcd. The lowest room is now nearly ready, 
and the lower part of the building is filled with fresh 
water and acts as a well, which proves the excellence 
of the workmanship. 

The stones are all prepared and carefully fitted on 
shore, — the lighthouse is, in fact, actually built there. 
Each stone has a square hollow on each edge and a 
square hole in the centre ; when placed, a wedge of 
slate, called a "joggle," fits into the square opening 
formed by joining the two upper stones. The joint 
is placed exactly over the centre of the stone below, 
into which the joggle is wedged before the two upper 
stones are placed. The result is that each set of 
three stones is fastened together by a fourth, wliich 
acts as a pin to keep the tiers from sliding on each 
other. The base of the structure is solid. Two iron 
cranes slide up an iron pillar in the centre of the 
building, and are fixed by pins at the required posi- 
tion as the work advances. The two are used together 
so as to obviate any unequal strain. 

This excellent workmanship, aud its progress 
beside the old lighthouse, was striking and instructive. 
The foreman had been engaged in building the Scilly 
Bishops, and said that this station was less exposed 
though not much. No stone has been moved from its 
place since the work began, but, as a proof of the force 
of the sea, an iron bar about two inches thick and 
three feet long was shown ; it was fixed in the rock 
and had been bent like a wire. The tools of the 
workmen, coals, and such like, are kept in places 
quarried in the rock and covered with wooden doors 
which slope from the ofiing : these are often 30 feet 
under water. 

This inspection of a lighthouse in construction on 
such a spot gives a fair idea of the difficulties overcome 
in constructing such an edifice as the Scilly Bishops. 
The foreman cauglit and presented to the Commission 
'^"'i- a fine rock fish ; he added that no one ever fished 

there for amusement for the fish were too valuable 
and might be scared away. 

On leaving the Smalls steamed for the Irish coast, 
and boarded the 

Vol. II. 2GG. 


off Saltees Rocks. 

Boarded the vessel, which is coloured black with 
a white stripe to distinguish her from the floating 
lights on the English coast, which are red. 

She had three masts with black halls and two 
lights ; she appeared to ride very easily, and the 
master said she rode " beautifully." She is moored 
in 32 fathoms, and rides by 170 fathoms of chain. 
One spare chain is 1| inches, the other l\. The 
chain is hove in quite short once a month, and runs 
on a roller low down in the hause outside. 

There are 200 fathoms in each chain, made in 
lengths of 20 fathoms, with a swivel at each 10, and 
with a mushroom anchor. 170 fathoms are generally 
out, the shackles are countersunk. There is a fojr 
gong on board, but no gun ; the gong is sounded 
every ten minutes in fogs. 

This is said to be the best Irish lightvessel. The 
Kish to be the oldest and the worst. The sea is 
•worst at the Kish. " It is short." " Here, though much 

exposed, the sea is long, and less difficult to ride in." Cruize of the 
Here, then, the statement of the master agrees with ^"'"'• 
the statements of those on board other lightvessels. 

The Longships and the Couingbeg lightships, though Waves. 
the most exposed in the kingdom, seem to ride 
easier than vessels in much more sheltered positions, 
and the master of the floating light in the Humber 
complained of the sea in the river as the worst he 
had ever encountered. 

The men were mustered and inspected. The 
master is Scotch, the rest Irish. They were all fine 
men, well dressed, and clean. Inspected the medicine 
chest; salts and castoroilonly had been used. Inspected 
the log, which was regularly kept, but has no printed 
beading as elsewhere. Inspected the oil ; it looked 
thick, but the master said " it burns well.'' 

There is no local agent, but the superintendent. 
Captain Roberts, visits once a month in a store tender, 
which brings off supplies on the 1st, 10th, and 20th 
of every mouth. The corporation visit once a year, 
" weather permitting." 

The men have 21. lis. a month. Is. Sd. a day to 
find themselves ; they complain that the allowance 
for food is insutficient, and only allows of meat twice 
a week. No beer or spirits are allowed on board. 
The master has 71. a month, and the same allowance 
as the men ; he has been 26 years in the service, and 
has never had occasion to dismiss a man. He has 
been in various lightships. 

He showed a contrivance for making the trimming 
of lamps, when hoisted, safer. A man was killed 
last year by falling ofl' the Jacob's ladder, while 
trimming the lamps in a heavy sea. 

Inspected the reflectors. They were not very 
bright, and, in common with most others seen on 
board of lightships, they were scratched. The vessel 
appeared to be in first-rate order, and has not been 
adrift within the last two yeai's. 

At 9 p.m. left the vessel, and observed the lights 
which were then hoisted. They did not appear to be 
very bright. 

Steamed into Waterford ILiirbour, to take in a 
pilot at Dunmore, failed in obtaining one, so inspected 
the Harbour light. 

22. DUNMORE. Vol. II. 418 

There are three large reflectors : two covered with * °' ' 
red glass, showing to seaward ; one clear, showing up 
the river. These were in very tolerable order, but 
not so brightly polished as those in the first-class 
lighthouses which have been visited. The keeper 
spoke favourably of the oil, and showed a glass of it. 
His log, or oil account, was made up to the end of 
May in form, and kept in a rough book up to the 
present time. He stated that he had written for a 
new book on the 30th of May, and that he had 
received no answer, and that Mr. Halpin, the super- 
intendent, visited him about once a month. 

Embarked about lOi^ p.m., and observed the Har- 
bour lights at Waterford and Duncannon burning 
clear. Steamed past 

23. THE HOOK.— No. 135. 

Did not land, as the Commissioners wished to see 
Tuskar alight. The Hook light was burning well, 
but could not be seen at Coningbeg, ten miles 

The Coningbeg light was passed at midnight, and 
was also burning well, but could not be seen at any 
great distance. There was some haze in the atmo- 
sphere, but the night was fine. There was a little 
sea on, and the light appeared to "wink" as the 
vessel moved. July 12, passed 

24. THE TUSKAR— No. 134. 

at about 2 a.m. Two white lights, and a red ; re- 
volving, intermittent, burning satisfactorily. Weather 



Cruize of the 

Vol. II. 265. 

Vol. II. 229, 

Liglitning von 
iluctor wanted. 

Comparison of 
Dioptric with 

rather hazy. Having no pilot, and heavy swell on, 
did not land. At 3 a.m. boarded the 


No. 36. 

The vessel is so named on the Admiralty charts; 
in the Admiralty list of lights she is called the 
Blackwater, and that name is painted on her sides. 
This caused some hesitation, and might cause some 

The vessel has three masts, with tvro lights, one 
revolving. The lights were lowered at sunrise, as 
the vessel was boarded. 

The reflectors were bright and well polished, but 
a little scratched : they were fully as well kept as 
any yet seen, except those at the Seven Stones, which 
were peculiarly good. 

This vessel came on the station in 1857. The 
master is an Englishman ; he stated that the master 
of the next vessel to the northward was a Welshman, 
and the next an Irishman. The crew are Irish. 

There is no service on board on Sundays, the crew 
being of various persuasions. 

The vessel was built at Cork. The machine for 
the revolving light was contracted for by Chance 
of Birmingham, and is supposed to have been made 
by j\Iilne of Edinburgh. The master says the vessel 
rides very well ; he has a fog gong which is sounded, 
a bell which is not used in fogs, but no gun ; he has 
rockets and blue lights. No meteorological instru- 
ments are kept on board. In summer the vessel is 
moored by 120 fathoms of chain, in winter 200. 
The only books kept are the log and oil books ; these 
were regularly kept, and entered up to Monday. 
There are no observations taken of neighbouring 
lights. The Tuskar is only seen occasionally, before 
or after rains (distant 18 miles). The allowance of 
Is. 3d. for food is considered insufficient. There are 
no fire buckets. The vessel was roomy and very 
clean ; the oil room was a model of cleanliness. The 
master said "he had. never taken in a sea." That 
the vessel, in his opinion, was properly placed. He 
could not account for the wreck of the Pomona, close 
to this station, but by a mistake in the reckoning. 
The wreck was seen from the deck. There was a 
library on board, and the master had a turning lathe, 
which he had taught himself to use. lie was bred 
to the sea. Steamed in to 

26-27. WICKLOW HEAD— Nos. 132-133. 

and anchored for some hours to visit the lights there. 
Landed and walked about a mile to the upper light. 
It is fixed, has fifteen 24-inch reflectors in two rows. 
They were well polished, but dented in many places. 
They were first placed in 1818. The keeper has 
been many years on this station. The old light tower 
was struck by lightning some years ago. 

It had no conductor. The new tower has no con- 
ductor either, and the keeper says that in thunder- 
storms the lightning is " fearful,'' " it appears to play 
through and about the whole lantern." There are no 
meteorological instruments ; the clock had stopped 
the printed regulations were missing at first, and on 
being found were nearly illegible, and without date. 
The lower light is close to the sea, and the two are 
so placed that when the upper is hid by a hill, it ia 
time to keep off shore. 

There are 15 24-inch reflectors fixed in two tiers. 
They were well kept, but more scratched than reflec- 
tors in other first-class lighthouses. Only one 
reflector and the half of anotlier can be seen at the 
same time by passing vessels. At the Tuskar, where 
this keeper had been, there are seven reflectors in each 
of three faces. At Lundy there were nine reflectors 
on the same face, which only produced as much effect 
as one-eighth part of the light of one lamp placed in 
a lens. It follows then that a fixed light on this 
catoptric principle, showing only one ninth of the 
light shown at Lundy, cannot be so good as a lens. 

There is neither bell, gong, nor gun. The clock was Clocks wantei 

wrong, but the keeper made up for that "by taking Railway iimr. 

the time from tlie passage of a railway train along 

shore, at a distance of about three miles." There was 

a barometer and a register ; but the instrument was 

old, and of bad quality. The fog settles more about 

the upper light, and still more about the old tower, 

which is still higher. The spray strikes the windows 

of the lanterns. There is no medicine chest. There 

is no lightning conductor. 

The keeper has been 35 years in the service. The 
under-keeper died some time ago, and the upper 
keeper's son, aged 17, is assistant, at 40/., in the 
meantime. The corporation have not visited for two 
years. The inspector was there "two years ago 
last June." There is no visitors' book, and very 
few people visit the place. 

Embarked and stood for 

28. THE KISH.— No.34. 

Vol. II. 

Boarded that vessel at half past 12. She is a three 
master, with one ball and three lights of 8 reflectors 
each, 140 tons burden. There are six spare reflectors ; 
the}' were in good order, but, as is usual in vessels, 
scratched. The lamplighter, the oldest man in the 
service, said that these reflectors, made by Wilkins, 
were very badly silvered. He said that it was 
'•exceeding difficult to kee|) reflectors in order at 
sea." ■' The ironwork of the lamps is also peculiarly 
difficult to keep clean." Called his attention to the 
scratches. He could only account for them by the 
sea water. The oil room was a model of cleanliness. 
The mate in charge has been 15 years in the service, 
and four in this vessel. The new vessel has never 
been adrift. The old vessels, which were shorter, and 
not so fine in the bows, were often adrift, oftener here 
than on any other station. The vessel rides in nine 
fiithoms, V. .ill 140 fathoms of IJ-inch chain. The mate 
stated that on heaving in the cable after the heaviest 
gale, the 90 fathoms next the anchor have never been 
raised from the bottom. This is ascertained by finding 
barnacles on tlie upper part and none on the lower 
part of the chain. This argument must be taken for 
what it is worth. There is a gong, as usual, and a gun, 
also rockets and blue lights. There is a medicine chest. 
The commonest complaint " dysentery." No meteoro- 
logical instruments. Gales are foretold by observing 
a heavy .sea, which comes in sometimes 12 hours 
before the gale. Tliere are two boats, which have 
never been used to pick up wrecked men. A wrecked 
crew did come on board in their own boat some time 
ago. The crew, seven, were mustered, and wei'e fine 
looking men. They consider their victualling allow- ^y^^ ^^^^j^j ^. 
ance, \s. 3d., insufficient. They are allowed neither Lightvessel. 
spirits nor beer on board. They think the new 
vessels a great improvement on the old. One of the 
old vessels was subsequently seen laid up at the wharf 
at Dublin, and was evidently an inferior craft in 
every way. 

Landed at Kingston at 2.30, and went by rail to \q\ jj 40( 
Dublin. Called at the office of the Port of Dublin personal 
Corporation, and saw the whole staff of tlie office, observation. 
They exhibited portions of the work entailed on them 
by the questions of the Commissioners. Tlie cal- Preparation t 
culations required to extract the financial statements Financial 
were most intricate and voluminous, principally in R^i"r"s. 4'<-". 
consequence of the present system of charging so 
many one-sixteenths of a penny for every light 

The questions asked, viz. "What is the income 
derived from each light ?" appears a simple one, but 
to answer it the wliolo income of the corporation 
derived from lights has to be broken up into one- 
sixteenths of a penny, and allotted to each lighthouse 
passed in each voyage of each ship that has entered 
each port in Ireland during the period, and in some 
instances a I'eduction has to be made on every sum 
throughout, in consequence of some alterations in the 
rote of dues. 



The Commissioners, accompanied by several gentle- 
men connected with the office, visited the buoy 
establishment. Captain Eyder made the following 

Visited the buoy wharf at the end of the North 
Walk. Saw buoys of various descriptions. The 
Dublin Board have a few Herbert's buoys, but 
consider that Mr. Bindon B. Stoney has invented 
an improvement on Herbert's. The inventor calls 
it the " keel buoy." ,The keel consists of an 
iron rim about 18 inches in depth, perforated with 
a few holes to let the air escape. '■ The enclosed 
water," he said, " steadied the buoy by its inertia." 
■' The pressure of the tide on the lips or keel keeps 
" the buoy upright, provided the point of attachment 
" of the chain is rightly placed, and the keel acts as 
•' ballast." The buoy is made in Dublin for half the 
price of a "Herbert." A 16-feet buoy shows 12 feet 
out of water. Mr. Stoney said Mr. Herbert had 
partially abandoned his theory, " and lowered his 
" point of attachment from the centre of gravity and 
" floatation to half way between that point and the 
" centre of the base." 3Ir. Herbert subsequentli/ took 
legal proceedings against Mr. Stoney for infringing his 

Captain Roberts, in charge of the marine establish- 
ment, stated that he used stone sinkers on sand, and 
iron sinkers on rock, because the stone sinkers 
did not sink so deep in the sand, or oppose so 
muc'a resistance to the weighing ; also that chains 
wear more on a sandy bottom than on rocks ; that 
there is no oscillating motion in water 15 feet below 
the surface. 

The spare buoys are kept at the lighthouses, and 
the head-keepers have orders whenever a buoy is 
displaced to employ boatmen to replace it. (^Note. — 
July 19. No buoys have yet been seen at any light- 

He is not aware of any site requiring a lighthouse 
in Ireland besides those already agreed on. 

The pay of the floating light men was raised in 
England 10 per cent, when the provisions were high 
a few years since, and was never lowered. The 
Irish pay was never raised. The great advantage of 
rollers in hawse-pipes is tliat they not only ease the 
" heaving in, but can easily be shifted when worn, 
" whereas the hawse-pipe, which often suffers in a 
" heavy gale, must be shifted, which is a long and 
" expensive proceeding." 

The Dublin Board had accumulated 100,000/. to 
enable them to pay expenses of staff out of the in- 
terest, and then to lower or abolish the light dues, 
but the Board of Trade preferred to take 100,000/. 
into their own keeping. 

The chains are carefully tested, but Capt. Roberts 
considered that the screw steam tender, lately pur- 
chased by a grant from the Board of Trade of 4,000/., 
is too small to lay out heavy buoys on the NW. coast 
of Ireland. In this the Commissioners entirely 
concur, having seen the vessel, and the buoys she is 
intended to carry. She only goes seven knots. 
? system. Captain Roberts visits all lightvessels and buoys 
at short intervals. The channels at Dublin are 
buoyed on a system, but he does not think it can be 
applied to passages among banks, as on the east coast 
of Ireland. The system is red on port hand, on 
coming in, black on starboard hand. 
At sunset steamed for 

the board. A similar bell is used on Kingston Pier. Cruize of the 

The keeper said that the machine was easily wound nvid. 

up (it was tried and found to be so) and worked well, 

and that the bell was heard 14 miles down wind, -^"^ *'3'"''- 

though but a short distance to windward. It was 

sounded for an experiment as the " Vivid " started, 

and was heard off the deck about half a mile to 

windward against a slight breeze. It was the largest 

bell and the best yet seen or heard at a lighthouse. 

There is no sun. 

At 11 p.m":five liahts, all burning brightly, were ^^M^lf 
I ii 7^- 1 o T i_i -n ■, -r? . ,. 1 in 36 hours 

seen, namely, — the Kish, 3 lights, Baily Houth, fixed, 

Kingston Pier, revolving, the Pigeon House, and the 

light at the Buoy Wharf on the Litfey. This makes 

ten lights inspected, and seven ot!iers seen, within 

36 hours since leaving MiUbrd. 

July 13th. At anchor in Holyhead Harbour. 

Landed at 7i a.m. ; drove to the 

32. SOHTH STACK.— No. 77-78. 

Vol. II. \0i. 

It is on an island, under a cliff, and joined to land 

by a bridge. The sea birds are preserved as a 

natural fog signal, and are tame. Gulls sit on Fog signal, 

the walls and close to the lighthouse, and scream birds. 

continually ; a few white rabbits sat amongst the 

young gulls, and seemed on terms of perfect 

intimacy. A boat is suspended some 20 feet above 

the sea at the end of a long rope. The light 

is revolving, 21 reflectors, which are 50 years 

old but in perfect condition except where 

damaged by bits of glass from broken chimneys 

falling on them. There is not a scratch to be seen 

that seems new ; the reflectors are set on three faces 

of seven each ; the system revolves in six minutes, 

and shows a blight light every two minutes. 

There is a fog light which is lowered on a railroad to 
within 50 feet of the water. It has three reflectors 
and revolves. The keeper was formerly at the Smalls 
for 14 years, and "liked it well." His father was 
there before him ; he spoke of it with regret. He 
keeps,lst, oil and store book, 2,meteorological register, 
3, journal of observations on lights visible, 4, visitors' 
book, 5, order book ; all in order. He has, 1, clock, 
2, sun dial, 3, barometer, 4, thermometer, all in good 
order. For his own amusement, he draws, photo- 
graphs, makes models, keeps duplicates of meteorolo- 
gical observations. The assistant had hurt his arm 
badly, so that the upper man bad to do all the work. 
There is a large fog bell inverted which is rung by 
machinery. There are no guns used here, but guns are poq signal gun 
fired from the mountain above in thick weather every 
half hour, and oftener when the mails are expected; 
and the birds are preserved as a natural warning to 
ships, and have proved useful in fogs. The guns are 
heard in all weathers nine miles off at the Skerries. 
The bell never. It seems desirable that the water 
supply Laid on during the building should be con- 
tinued, and repaired for the keepers, so as to save them 
the great labour and loss of time consequent on as- 
cending the steps and going to a considerable distance 
for water. 

The Commissioners have heard with regret that 
this intelligent keeper has since been killed, as ia 
supposed by the fall of a stone from the cliff. 

Returned to Holyhead. Breakfastedand steamed to 

^ol. II. 262. 

29. BAILEY HOWTH.— No. 197. 

Landed on the rocks, and ascended by steps cut in 
them. The pier light at Kingston was not lit till 
some time after sunset. Houtti light is a very fine 
establishment, and in very good order. It is a fixed 
catoptric light of 17 reflectors, which were well kept, 
but were dusty, in consequence " of the work of the 
painters, who had been in the light room all day." 

There is a very powerful bell attached to this light, 
sounded by machinery, -which goes while winding, 
invented by Mr. O'Reilly, the assistant secretary of 

C 2 

33. THE SKERRIES.— No. 79. ,, , „ ,„. 

\ ol. II 104. 

This is built on a low island of some extent, p^g ^innat, 
covered with birds, mostly terns, which are preserved birds. ' 
No other fog signals are used here, but mariners 
can determine their position by distinguishing the 
noise of the birds which frequent these two stations. 
The keeper has known fogs to last 48 hours, 
and a wreck has taken place on the mainland 
after six hours' fog. There is a sound two miles 
broad within the island which is dangerous, but which 
is passed occasionally. One ship, the " Regulas," was 



Cruise of the 

Catoptric anil 
Dioptric appi 
ratus romparvi 

Vol. II. 326 

Liverpool^ 8 
hghts seen. 

wrecked on llic island four years ago. Ka(s escaped 
from her : they have bred on the ishind, and are 
gradually dc-troyinpr the birds. A cat has been fried, 
but she preferred birds to rats. A man at Holyhead 
undertakes to kill tliem all. The lischt is D. 1st order, 
fixed, and is in excellent order. The same books and 
instruments are kept as at the South Stack, all in good 

Mr. Baily, who lives at ililford, is the agent for 
this and all" intervening lights ; ho visits two or three 
times a year. 

This lighthouse has a tender, which comes off, 
weather permitting, once a fortnight ; she is under 
charge of a Holyhead pilot. The keeper stated that 
large glass cliimueys were less liable to break than 
small ones ; that the supjjly was unequal in quality, 
many were useless (because too narrow below). He 
has reported this fact to Jlr. Baily. He has plenty 
on hand, but this should be remedied. Sometimes of 
those which he could use three would break in one 
night ; sometimes one would last for a year. He 
has been on this station for four years, and has never 
/• known his lamp to go out. He was formerly at a 
reflecting light. He says there is much more labour 
about cleaning reflectors, but much more watching 
about a lens light. One of many lamps may go 
wrong without serious injury to the light; but a single 
lamp requires constant watching and great care. 
(This statement is incorrect as regards a fixed catoptric 
light, for if one of a circle of lights is extinguished, 
so much of the horizon will be dark.) He thinks that 
darkened metal fittings similar to those in the lantern 
would not diminish the usefulness of the light in any 
way, and woidd save labour and avoid the risk of 
damaging the glass of the lens, which is inseparable 
from cleaning bright metal fittings close to the angles 
of the prisms. His lighthouse was in beautiful order, 
but he apologized for its condition, and explained that 
it was not so clean as it should he "because 250 school 
children and their teachers visited the island yester- 
day from Holyhead in a steamer." They drank half 
a butt of water (which is scarce), and would put 
their fingers " on the brass work." The birds vrhich 
kill themselves against the lantern arc starlings, 
thrushes, blackbirds, larks, linnets in flocks, and ducks 

The glass of the upper prisms in this lens is of 
English manufacture ; it is streaky and far inferior 
to the rest of the lens. This establishment was con- 
sidered to be the best, as a whole, that has yet been 
seen, and it was kept in exceedingly good order. The 
five glasses used for testing neighbouring lights are 
here insufiicient. " The light at South Stack could 
often be seen through six or seven such glasses." 

On lea\'ing this light the vessel ran into Liverpool. 
The observations of the Commission on the lights 
under the authority of the Corporation ivill be found 
amongst the returns from local authorities under the 
heading " Liverpool." 

On leaving Liverpool the "Vivid " ran for the Isle 
of Man. 

Vol. II. 173. 

42. THE CALF LIGHT— Xo. 83. 

was observed from a distance of about 20 miles. 

Vol. II. 3-Jl. 

Vol. II. 256. 


For remarks on Douglas Head and other lights 
visited in the Isle of Man, sec the returns from the 
local authorities under the head "Isle of Man," and 
page 44 below. 

The light has latch/ been transferred to the Com- 
missioners of 2Cortliern Lighthouses. 

July 16lh. — Steamed for 

44. SOUTH ROCK— No. 186. 

Tins is a low tower built on a rock ; the sea covers 
it at high water, and comes 18 feet up the tower at 

high tides. It shakes very much in heavy weather, 
and the spray goes over the house. 

The Iiead-keeper was on shore on leave with his 
sick wife wife, leaving a substitute, who is paid " a 
shilling a night and his meat," and the under keeper 
in charge. His name is Stapleton, a powerful man, 
who said that the only thing he has to find fault with 
is, that the boat comes only mce a week. The pro- 
visions are often stale, and all the keepers suffer in 
health. They have no medicine chest. They have 
a library, which is changed once a year. 

There are 10 reflectors set in two faces. They 
were in good order, but were not yet cleaned up. 
The cleaning leathers and boxes for materials were 
not in a very cleanh' condition ; but generally the 
lantern was in good order. There is no ventilation, 
and the keeper says that the glass inside " fogs," and 
has to be cleaned daily. The bars of the lantern are 
very thick. There is no lightning conductor, and 
" the lightning plays round the tower fearfully." i,y,(,„„, 
They thought that it broke a pane of glass below du'ctor tea,. 
some time ago, "it seems to go all round and through 
" the lantern." There has been some talk of putting 
a conductor, and mending the outside rail (which is 
of iron, and much corroded and broken in many 
]ilaces) for some years past, but it has not been done. 
There is a thermometer and a clock, going. There 
are two fog bells, but they are " no use unless quite 
" close." The Calf of Man, and ]Mull of Gialloway 
lights are seen from this station. No observations 
of them are taken. This light v.'as extinguished 
this morning at 3:^. It was visited on May 
12, by the Lighthouse Board. They come twice 
a year in a steamer. There is but one wooden 
ladder for mounting this tower ; if it were broken 
or lost, it would be hard for the men to descend. 
jMetal steps should be fixed in the stone as elsewhere. 
The Commissioners had some difficulty in gaining an 
entrance, as the men, having extinguished the light, 
had gone to sleep, and the ladder was hauled up. 
It was only after much shouting that the keepers 
were aroused, and the ladder let down. They have 
flag signals, and a tender is attached to the lights. 

The birds killed against the glass are blackbirds, Birds. 
stares, thrushes, larks, linnets, woodcocks. The 
keepers catch a few fish off the rocks. Steamed to 

COPELAND.— No. 184. 

Vol. II. 2S 

It has 27 reflectors, in two rows, in very good 
order, well cleaned, no scratches to speak of, though 
about 40 years old. The keepers are, John Doyle, 
aged 57, 24 years in the service, formerly a stone 
ma.son ; he has been 10 years at Eagle Island, some 
time at Houth, and Pier Head, Kingston : not in good Medicine ch 
health ; has no medicine ; he has some children. 

John Kelly, 27, six j-ears in service, sailor. He 
also complains that he is " bound up," and would 
like to take medicine sometimes. There is no light- 
ning conductor, and the lightning "plays all round 
the lantern." There is a thermometer and a clock clocks and 
(out of order) ; they take their time by the sun and dials. 
the almanack; they have no dial. They are generally 
visited twice a year by the authorities, the superin- 
tendent comes at the same time. They have a very 
large fog bell worked by machinery. It has been 
heard about 13 miles off at Carrickfergus. The es- 
tablishment is on an island of considerable size on 
which cows graze. There is a well of fresh water, 
an excellent garden and some flowers. The wife of 
the head keeper lives with her husband, she is from 
Dublin, and the whole establishment was in a very 
good state both of cleanliness and efficiency. Birds Birds. 
killed, — blackbirds, thrushes, stares, larks, linnets, 
ducks, widgeons. On leaving the island steamed for 

46, 47. MAIDENS— No. 181, 182. vol. II. 2t 

These are built on two rocks about half a mile 
apart, and eight from the shore. Landed at the 



AghiniiKJ con- 


^&g siijnah. 

lloclti wanted. 

Yaler had. 

{edirine c/wst 

M. II. 253. 

'!ohur nf build- 

'og sli/nals 

soutliern light. There is a dark red stripe painted 
round the^e lighthouses. This change is praised in 
tlio " Sailing Directions." There arc 26 reflectors in 
two rows, they are 30 years old, and are beginning to 
wear through ; they were in very good order, so 
were all the cleaning boxes and leathers, each mate™ 
rial kept separate from the others ; they break from 
three to five chimnics a week. There is no conductor. 
The lightning is " very heavy." There are no fog 
signals, no signals of any kind. The clock is out of 
order, " it was sent to be mended and made worse." 

There have been no accidents at this establishment. 
The keepers saved a ship's crew who were wrecked, 
by giving them ropes to get on to the island. 

Head keeper, Alexander Power, 52, has seven chil- 
dren ; served 16 years, was a farmer, has been at 
Wicklow Head ; appointed by Mr. Halpin, through 
influence of Col. Latouche ; has good food and good 
health. Gets water from shore ; it is stored in 
barrels and tasted bad ; has no medicine ; has a 
library ; " has not seen clergy for four years ;" " has a 
boat of his own" for the use of the boys to catch fish." 
They catch fish also off the rock. The under keeper 
is Charles Page, born on the northern rock, has good 
health, has served on the north west coast. 

A few duck and teal are killed, but seldom. This 
establishment (tower and both dwelling houses) is a 
model of cleanliness. It is well kept and efficient. 
It was noticed that the thick bars of the lantern were 
opposite to the lamps of the upper tier of reflectors, 
which must stop a considerable quantity of light. 

Did not visit the other rock, time and coals begin- 
ning to run short. It was thought that a buoy was 
wanted on Allen rock. 

48, '19. EATHLIN.— No. 179, 180. 

Anchored in Church Bay, and crossed the island to 
the new lighthouse. It is built of grey stone and 
coloured dark red near the top. 

The American returns received at Liverpool, men- 
tion ihat lighthouses there are coloured zcith reference 
to the back ground, those projected against the sky 
being coloured dark. The evidence of iMr. Maclvor's 
captains is in fiivour of this system ; so is the evi- 
dence of the 793 mariners, the majority of whom 
state that they can best discern black and red 
buoys on the water. (See table of experimer-ts, 
page 10.) The illurajnating apparatus consists of two 
first class dioptric lights, one below, level with the 
ground, fixed ; the other above on the tower, inter- 
mitting. The upper light is obscured by a metal 
tube, which closes round the light for 10 seconds, 
and remains open for 50 seconds. 

The keeper considers the machinery too compli- 
acted for so simple an object ; it has been out of 
order -, it goes for five houl's and a half, and is easily 
and quickly wound up. The ventilation of the lower 
lantern is defective, the glasses are apt to become 
clouded at night. The frame work is bright, and the 
keeper considers that it would be an advantage if it 
were dark metal. In cleaning the metal, it is diffi- 
cult to avoid soiling the glass of the lenses. The 
glass was made by Chance. The colour is good, but 
it is somewhat streaky. The keeper thinks a lens 
light much easier to manage than a reflecting light, 
much less troublesome. The American lights are now 
all dioptric. (See American return, and the reasons 
there given.) 

There are no meteorological instruments. There 
is a clock. There are no fog signals. No observa- 
tions are taken of the lights visible, namely, — Ceantire 
13 miles, Islay 30, and Instra Hull. The fog seldom 
settles on the island. The head lighthouse keeper 
complained that when the change of currency took 
place, no alteration was made in their salary, which 
was measured by guineas ; that they thereby lost 
Is. 8d. in the pound. He thought the English light- 
keepers were better paid, although their provisions 
■were no dearer. 

The head keeper had served at Fastnett, &c., in Cru!:e of the 
both catoptric and dioptric lights. There are three V'"'"- 
keepers, one of whom is on leave. The under keeper """■ 
has been at Fastnett, South Rock, Eagle Island, Tory 
Island ; he is the son of a lighthouse-keeper, and was 
appointed by the superintendent of lighthouses with- 
out any influence. Both are married; each has his 
own dwelling ; everything was in excellent order, 
neat, clean, and in a high state of efficiency. It was 
not ascertained whether there was a lightning con- 
ductor, or a medicine chest, the two articles generally 
deficient in Irish lighthouses, and which seem to be 
most required. 

This light has been exhibited since 1856, and no i^'rds. 
birds have been killed against it since this keeper 
came, eight or nine months ago. Called on the pro- 
prietor, Mr. Gage, re-embarked and steamed past the 
Giant's Causeway, took a pilot at Innishovven, and 
ran up Lough Foyle to Londonderry, anchored at a 
quarter to nine. The observations made on the 
lights. &c. in Lough Foyle will be found under the 
head Londonderry, Irish Local Returns. 

The following evidence was obtained July 18. After V°'- H. 412. 
the minutes were read and signed, and while the secre- Two lights 
tary despatched correspondence, Ihe Commissioners seen, 
went ashore. On board the " Rose," a steamer 
belonging to the Glasgow and Derry Company, was 
found the commander, Mr. Michel j\IcLaughlin; he Oral evidence 
stated that great difiiculty ia experienced in distin- 
guishing the two lights at Innishowen, which arc 
under the Ballast Board ; the inner light should be 
raised 20 feet, or the outer one lowered the same 
distance. A light on the west end of Rathlin Island 
would be serviceable, but one on Sheep Island would 
be better. A light on the south side of Rathliu 
would be useful. He considers the Clyde well lit 
and buoyed, but the red light on Sanda Island very 

Mr. AV. Johnson, commanding the " Enniskillin,'' 
a Liverpool and Derry steamer. He agreed with the 
preceding as to the change required in the Innishowen 
light ; he thought a light on the Sheep Island most 
desirable for ships navigating the Rathlin Sound ; 
also that the lighthouse should stand on the North 
instead of the South Rock, and that there should be 
something to mark the Highland Rock among the 
Maidens. He always makes the north-west light- 
ship in approaching Liverpool, and sees the Bidston 
light afterwards. Bidston light ought to be as good 
a light as can be made. A lightvessel outside, 
where the Bell beacon buoy now is, leaving the buoy 
in its place, would be of the greatest possible service. 
No greater improvement to the Liverpool navigation 
could be devised. The Formby light is very bad. 
The lighthouse should be on the Chickens instead of 
the Calf of Man. (See Liverpool return.) 

Captain S. A. Bedford, R. N., commanding the 
survey of the north west Coast of Ireland, was sent 
for, confirmed general statement, that the inner 
light at Innishowen should be rai.sed ; that Arron- 
more light should be relighted. He referred the 
Commissioners to his evidence published in the 
small volume of the report of the Royal Light- 
house Commissioners. Had addressed Ballast Board 
on subjects connected with improvement of navi- 
gation, but received no answer, and is never com- 
monly seen by them when they visit the coast, nor is 
liis advice asked although his experience extends over 
so many years. He stated that at a very small ex- 
pense many of the harbours might be made accessible 
at night (see his answer. Mariner's Evidence, to 13, 
15, 16, 23, 19, his own index number 13), decided in 
favour of lighthouses varying in colour according to 
the background. 

Mr. Richard Hoskyn, Master R.N. — N.E. survey 
of Ireland, confirmed statement that inner Innishowen 
light should be raised, as also great value of lights on 
Sheep Island. See his answer. Is never consulted 
by Ballast Board. Says many of the buoys ai-e 
inaccurately placed, in some cases tcithin the dangers 




( ruize of the they are meant to warn navigators oti". Says there are 
Vivid. ' many inaccnracies or ambignities in the Admiralty's 

book of lightlionses. Considered that iron buoys otT 

Colour or Loch Foyle should be under the Ballast Board. Con- 

biiildtngs. firmed general view that the colour of a lighthouse 

should depend upon background. Expressed a strong 
opinion against too numerous variations in the exhi- 
bitions of lights stating that the common run of 
seamen will be puzzled. Objected to the " tixed and 
flashing," stated that the fixed portion is only seen 
when close to. Lighthouse book should always state 
when there are two lights whether they arc in the 
same tower or not. 

At the oflice of the Londonderry Harbour Com- 
missioners were seen Mr. Abraham Stewart and 
Mr. Jas. McGce, the harbour master. The "Tuns " 
buoy goes adrift about once a year, and it has some- 
times been a month before it could be replaced. 
There is no spare " Tuns" buoy, but when adrift it 
is replaced temporarily by a smaller one ; it is indeed 
in contemplation to substitute permanently a smaller 
buoy on account of the immense strain on the cable. 
"No lightship oould ride at the place of the " Tuns" 
buoy." They agreed in the opinion given above of 
the Innishowen lights ; the small third light was 
added because complaints were frequently made, 
whereupon they wrote repeatedly to the Dublin 
Board, and at last the third light was added, but it 
is of little use. 

July 20th. — Got under weigh about 3 a.m., and at 
5-30 landed at 

mile from the main land, 
lighthouse. Steamed for 
Landed at 

Sighted Fannet Point 
the Rhinns of Islay. 

Vol. XL 252. 52, 53. INNISHOWEN— No. 177, 178. 

This lighthouse was built about 1824. There are 
two towers, which are exactly on the same level. 
The lights are therefore seen as one by vessels 
running in for the harbour. 
Two totoer'> This has been much complained of, and a single 

ohjecHonable. lamp and reflector has been placed in a window in the 
outer tower. The light being on the same level is 
doubly objectionable, for vessels, when they open the 
lights, cannot be sure whether they open from the one 
side or the other. (See evidence above.) 

The inner tower has three reflectors. These and 
the cleaning boxes were in good condition. The 
lamps have no iron chimnies. There is no conductor. 
The keeper's name is Anthony Hicks who has been 
here 22 years, he has been 34 in the service, he is 
married "and has grown up daughters. He was a 
printer in Dublin. He has been at Eagle Island and 
Cape Clear. There is but one keeper at each tower. 
This one says he is getting old and would willingly 
resign. His place was all in good order, very neat 
and clean. His family help him in the duties. 

The outer tower has nine reflectors fixed. The 
main bar of the lantern is placed nearly opposite to 
the reflectors in one row, and must stop a great deal 
of the light. The lamps in both lights are on a 
diff"erent principle from those common elsewhere, they 
have a button in the centre of the wick called a 
" deflector" for throwing air into the flame. 

Reflectors and cleaning boxes all in very good 
order ; dwelling house the same ; all metal work 
polished brightly. Powders and leathers in their 
proper places. The keeper's name is Hugh Redman, 
70 years old, .56 in the service, has been all round 
the kingdom, has never been a day sick, he has 
raised 13 or 14 children. The reflector in the lower 
window was in good order. It seemed that three 
would be of more service, and these could be easily 
added by enlarging the window. 

The wife remembers the loss of the Rambler on 
Allen Rock when she was at the Maidens. Steamed for 

Vol. 11.251. 54. INSTRAHIJLL.— No. 176. 

Found the surf too heavy to land. The light is 
built on an island of considerable size, at about a 


No. 93. 

Vol. II. 17<: 
and inspected the lighthouse. There are 24 re- 
flectors revolving, showing a flash from three reflectors 
every five seconds, built about 1825 or 6. The lamps 
have no iron chimnies. Reflectors, cleaning boxes 
aEtl lantern generally iu good order. Clock going well Clocks. 
iu the lantern. Thei-e are three keepers, and there is 
a lignal bell which rings in each dwelling by blowing 
into a tube in the lantern. There is an answering Sit/'io/io/ic^/t 
bell in the lantern which was rung and was efiicient. 
The oil burned is colza, and is stored in a cellar 
underground. The oil is run in from outside through 
a tube which has a cock opposite to each vessel. 

The instruments kept are, clock, barometer, ther- insirumenis. 
mometer, thermometer in oil cellar, rain gauge, (five,) 
all in a state of efficiency. 

The books kept are, — ilonthly Return, General Sooks, Jv. 
Order, Shipwreck Return, Inventory, Postage Book, 
Visitor's Book, (seven,) all in order. There is a book of 
regulations, and one on the barometer, and there are 
a number of religious books provided. The " Illus- 
trated London News" and the " Leisure Hour " are 
supplied to the keeper by the Board. It was remarked Colour of bu ■ 
from the sea that the colour of the lighthouse (a light ing. 
brown), rendered it diflicult to distinguish from the 
hills and rocks behind. There is no lightning con- So lightning 
ductor, and there are no fog signals. Each dwelling conductor. 
has a medicine chest. The head keeper is married Medicine chi 
and has 1 1 children who go to school on the main • 
land ; he has 47/. a year, cow's grass, 3/. for a policy 
of insurance, gardens, and a suit of clothes once in 
three years. The inspector, David Scott has been 
twice this year, in April and July. It was remarked 
that the lantern bars were properly placed, and that 
the blinds had spring rollers. 

Took in a Portnahaven fisherman as pilot, and 
steamed for 

D UBH-IARTACH.— (Black Western.) 

This rock has been thought a fit situation for a Abstract .y 
lighthouse, and a correspondence on the subject has corresponda 
been forwarded by the Commissioners of Northern 
lighthouses. It begins with a memorial dated October 
25th 1855, from Archibald MacDonald, Guide to the 
ruins of lona, in which mention is made of wrecks 
which are supposed to have taken place on the rock, 
and the fiicts on which the .supposition is founded. 
The Scotch Board directed their engineer to report 
on the subject, and in 1857 an unsuccessful attempt 
was made to visit the rock. On the 1st July 1857 
a report from Mr. Stevenson was read. Information 
as to wrecks is given, the position of the rock and 
the danger to navigation is pointed out, and it is 
stated that the engineer had in vain endeavoured to 
effect a landing even in calm weather. The reporters 
add, " We have no hesitation in reporting that the 
" erection of a lighthouse upon it would be a work 
" of no ordinary magnitude." 

The Skerry ^Mhore is pointed out as a parallel case. 
The Commissioners delayed further consideration of 
the subject till they should have an opportunity of 
visiting the rock on their annual voyage of inspection. 

On the 20th May 1859, Captain Bedford of the 
Admiralty Survey reported a case of supposed wreck 
on this rock, and the report of the engineers in 1857, 
contains a list of 32 wrecks on the neighbouring 
coasts of Colonsay and lona, of which 29 took place 
since 1803. 

On the 20th June 1859, the Commissioner, landed 
on the rock without much difiiculty ; but though the 
weather was fine there was a considerable swell on, 
and probably a landing cannot often be efi"ected so 
easily. The rock is of considerable size and always 



above the level of high vrater. The boatman stated 
that in a moderate gale the waves break over it, he 
has landed there three times and has seen the waves 
breaking over the rock on other occasions when 
passing to or from Barra. He says that every spring 
the people of Mull go out to Dubh-Iartach and pick 
up sucli articles as silver spoons, ship's chains, and 
other heavy things, proving that wrecks have taken 
place. There is a reef which is dry at low water 
spring tides, and which runs out to seaward for a 
considerable distance. The outer end of this reef is 
low, but is generally out of water. It is presumed 
that vessels strike on the outer end of the reef, and 
when broken up, that heavy articles are thrown over 
and lodge in the holes in the lower part of the reef, 
where they are found almost every year. Similar 
stories were told of the Skerry Mhore. The rock is 
better as a foundation for a lighthouse than those on 
which the Scilly Bishops, and Smalls are built. It 
is evidently a very dangerous reef. Specimens of 
the rock were taken. It is an igneous rock, hard 
and compact. 

On leaving, steamed for Oban. Observed the 
lighthouse at 

56. RHU VAAL— No. 94. 
showing over the outer end of Oronsoy for a con- 
siderable distance from the point. Read the corre- 
spondence on this subject forwarded by the Commis- 
sioners of Northern lighthouses, and studied the chart 
so as to understand the question which has been the 
subject of much correspondence. 

The following is an abstract. It comprises 68 
letters and 191 MS. pages, and extends from 1853 to 
June 1st, 1859. It begins with an excerpt from the 
engineer's report of 1834. 

The proposed light is there described as one of a series of lii^hts 
intended to open up the sheltered passage along the coast of 
Scotland inside the islands. 

The Commissioners, in November 1853, reported in compliance 
with a letter from the Board of Trade, from which the following 
quotation is made, — " 24th August 1853," 

" with regard to new works, it will be necessary that a detailed 
" statement should be made of those works which the Commis- 
" sioners consider to be most pressing, with an estimate of the 
" whole cost of the works."' 

In this report the Commissioners mention " a first-class light 
" near Portaskaig, in the sound of Islay, so placed as to open the 
" sound fully both to north and south, cost 11,000?." 

Together with their report the Commissioners forwarded excerpts 
of their proceedings, and of the reports of their engineers on each 
of the sites named. 

On the 1st day of December 1858 the Commissioners informed 
the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House of the resolutions to which 
they had come, and mentioned the light at Portaskaig. And, on 
the same day forwarded a copy of their letter to the Board of 
Trade, together with further documents. 

On the 14th of December, the Trinity House acknowledge the 
receipt of this communication, and asked to be informed of the 
amount of tonnage which was calculated to derive benefit in each 
case from the proposed lights. 

Tile calculations were furnished as requested. 
On the 11th of January 1854, the Trinity Hotise replied, and 
on this point said "That' the light at or near Portaskaig, in the 
" sound of Islay, would only be useful to vessels passing through 
" that sound, aiid should therefore be considered as a local light, 
" and the toll to be imposed be chargeable accordingly." 

The Elder Brethren, having stated their opinion, added, that 
" in the event of the intended erections, or any portion of them, 
" meeting the sanction and concurrence of the Board of Trade," 
they would take an early opportunity of visiting the localities, for 
the purpose of forming an opinion as to each site. 

So far then the Trinity House offered no objection to the site, 
or to the nature of the proposed light near Portaskaig, and their 
views as to the charges agreed also with those of the Commis- 
sioners of Northern Lighthouses. 

On the 27th of January 1854, the views of the Trinity House 
were stated to the Board of Trade by the Commissioners of Northern 
Light Houses, and their views were stated also. It was pointed out 
that under the 16 & 17 Victoria c. 131, the Trinity House had onlv 
to consider the usefulness of the proposed lights, and not this 
question of tolls. 

On the 11th of April 1854, the Board of Trade transmitted to 
the Commissioners a report forwarded to them bv the Admiralty, 
and sont to the Admiralty by Commander Bedford, the survevin<' 
officer in the district, relative to the establishment of a lighthouse 
in the sound of Islay, "upon that point called Carraig Mhoret 
" situated about half a mile southward of Portaskaig," which site, 
Commander Bedford considered to be the best, as beino- visible 
from the greatest distance north and south, and iVir other reasons. 

And on the 11th of May. the letter of Commander Bedford 
sent to the Admiralty, and by the Admiralty to the Board of Trade, 
aiid by the Board of Trade' to the Commissioners of Northern 
Lighthouses, was communicated by the Commissioiiers to the 


Trinity House, and it was pointed out that as regards the Lio-hi- Cruhc of the 
house the matter awaited the sanction of the Board of Traded to Vwid 

whom it was referred on the 1st of December, five months before. 

Their Lordships were reminded on the lath of April, and, 
On the 11th of May the Commissioners of Northern Light- 
houses expressed a wish that in the event of their proposals bein<f 
sanctioned their Lordships would cause them to be iiifomicd within 
a short time, so that steps might be taken for proceeding with the 
work in tlie course of 1855. 

On the 23rd Jlay their Lordships concur in the opinion expressed 
by the Commissioners that no time should be lost in makino- such 
preparations as would not interfere with any changes in the "selec- 
tion of the sites, which, after the visit of the JElder Brethren, it mio-hl 
appear expedient to make. * 

And on the 25th of August 1S54, the Trinity House com- 
municated to the Commission the result of the obs'ervations made 
by a Committee who had visited the proposed sites. 

As respects the proposed light at Portaskaig, the Committee 
did not approve of the site chosen bv the Commissioners, and 
suggested by the surveying officer on the station in his letter to 
the Admiralty. They stated their objeclions, and suggested Rhu 
Vaal, at the north end of the sound as a better position in the 
rneantime, and reference was made to the use of the proposed 
light for the sound to the westward. 

On the 8th of August 1854, the engineer of the Commissioners 
reported on the letter of the Trinity House, and with reference to 
liglit at Portaskaig pointed out that the objections of the Elder 
Brethren to the site selected by him and by Captain Bedford in- 
dependently, were well grounded, as it seemed impossible to li<rht 
the sound efficiently with a single central light. That a light°at 
Rhu Vaal would open up the northern entrance to the sound of 
Islay, but that it was doubtful whether it should be used to lio-ht 
the intricate and dangerous passage between Oronsay and Islay." 

It was also pointed out that the question of a' light for the 
southern extremity of the sound of Islay had not been decided. 

On the 11th of August, the Trinity House were informed that 
orders had been given for the necessary surveys of all the proposed 

On the 11th of October, Captain Bedford wrote to the Commis- 
sioners, urging on them a reconsideration of the choice of Rhu 
Jlhaol, and again recommending the site near Portaskaig as the 
most eligible, on the supposition that only one light was to be 
establislied in the district. Captain Bedford's views were st.ated at 
length, and with respect to the west, the danger of making the 
light visible in that direction was stated. The engineer, on reading 
tills letter, had nothing to add to his former report, but 

On the 2nd of November 1854, the Commissioners directed a copy 
of Captain Bedford's letter to be sent to the Trinity House. 

On the Sth of November the Elder Brethren called attention to 
their former letter as explaining their views. 

On the loth of November, the engineer reported on several 
sites, including Rhu Vaal. 

On the l4th the Board of Trade requested that plans, &c. 
should be sent. 

On the 29th the secretary to the Commissioners stated to a 
meeting that he had forwarded a copy of Captain Bedford's letter 
to the Board of Trade, and read the reply, dated 18th November 
1854, in which their Lordships pointed out that they saw no reason 
to depart I'rom the view taken by the Elder Brethren. 

On the 29th November Captain Bedford was so informed. 
On the 14th of December 1854 the Trinity House returned the 
plans sent the Commissioners by the Board of Trade and by that 
department to the Trinity House, with a letter, in which is the 
following passage, ** together w-ith a memorandum containing- 
" their Lordships' approval of these plans, subject to the observa^ 
" tions contained in the said memorandum, and their Lordships 
" having requested that, since any suggestions to be made to the 
" Commissioners should in accordance with the Act 16 & n 
" Victoria, c. 131, sec. 21, be made through this Board, the Elder 
" Brethren will, if they agree with their Lordships' suggestions, 
" cause the said plans and memorandum to be transmitted to the 
" Commissioners, to which request their Lordships add the remark 
" that they take this step in the present instance in preference to 
" the obvious course of having the plans sent for the observations 
" of this Board in the first instance, and before their Lordships 
*' express their opinion, because tbe plans are already in their 
" Lordships' hands, and because it is of great importance to avoid 
" unnecessary delay, and the Elder Brethren, having adopted their 
" Lordships' suggestion, and having given the plans and memo- 
" randum due consideration, I am directed in transmitting them 
" to you for the Commissioners' information the views of the Elder 
*' Brethren in relation to these respective sites, as follows: — 

The Elder Brethren reserved the "character of Rhu Vaal and 
" other lights for future consideration ; the memorandum of the 
" Board of Trade," suggested to the Trinity House, and adopted by 
them, has this passage: 

"No. 9. Rhu Vaal, Sound of Islay. North end site approved. 
" The light should be made to serve as a clearing mark for the 
" Neva Rocks. Initialed, P. H. F. 

So far then it appears that all parties except the surveying officer 
were agreed as to the propriety of building a lighthouse on Rhu 
Vaal, and that the Board of Trade, in the case of the lighthouses 
referred to in their memorandum, originated suggestions which 
were adopted by the Elder Brethren, and approved of by the Com- 
missioners for Northern Lighthouses, in particular a suggestion as 
to the light now under consideration, which was directly opposed 
to the opinion of Captain Bedford, considered of doubtful advan- 
tage by the engineer, Mr. Stevenson, and referred to by the 
Committee of the Elder Brethren who visited the locality, in their 
letter of the and August 1854, in these terms : 

" It remains further to notice in connection with this subject, 
" the channel between Oronsay and islay for which a light on 
" Rhu Vaal might be in some degree useful, but it is bound on 
" both sides with rocks, which extend considerably from the shore 
" and a light on Rhu Vaal could not be sufficiently screened to 
" guide vessels clear of those dangers. 

On the 24th of January 1855, a correspondence relative to the 
sites commenced, and the result was communicated to the Board of 



Trade, and their Lordships communicated their views as to 

On the 11th of April 1855 plans were transmitted to their 

Un the Ist of June their Lordships requested that the Northern 
Lighthouse Commissioners might he informed that, " after con- 
" suiting; with Mr. Stevenson, and obtaining accurate information 
" on the subject, they were satisfied that if the proposed light at 
" the Sound of Islay'is intended to show in the direction of the 
" Neva or Balach rocks a tower 100 feet high, as shown in the 
" working plans, must be provided for, it will be sufficient for 
** the light to show as far as W.X. W. only." 

Their Lordships also suggested that a window might be provided 
low down in the tower, in case it should hereafter be found pos- 
sible to render the channel to the Sound of Islay navigable to 

On the 25th of June the engineer sent in the tenders received, 
and pointing out that the increase in the height of the tower would 
cause increased expense. 

On the 2Sth the Commissioners caused their Lordships to be 
Informed that the engineer had intended, " in consequence of 
" the determination of their Lords to cause the light of 
" Rhu Vaal Islay to he shown towards the westward, as far as 
" direction of the Neva Rocks, it was found necessary to design 
" a tower UK) feet in height, which was not in the contemplation 
" of the engineers, and therefore a further sum would be necessary, 
and on the .trdof July their Lordships sanctioned the extra expense. 
On the liilh of February the engineers reported that the pro- 
priety of lighting tlie passage of Colensay, and exhibiting the 
lightin a western direction, required further consideration. 

On tlie 7th of May ISSii, the Commissioners had under their con- 
sideration a copy of a report sent by Captain Bedford to the Admi- 
raltv, and decided not to ansiver it till officiallv brought to their 
notice. They also considered a memorandum from certain ship- 
owners and others interested in the matter, stating their objections 
to the site on which they observed the lighthouse in progress. 

Ou the ISth of October 1S56 tliis memorial was forwarded to the 
Board of Trade. 

On the 29th it acknowledged. 

On the 3rd of November, the subject of the character of the light 
was referred to in a letter from the ISoard of Trade to the Commis- 
sioners, and they were requested to furnish plans. 

On the 5th the engineers repeated their great doubt as to the 
propriety of attempting to render the light on Rhu Vaal available 
in lighting the channel between Oronsay and Islay, and tiheir 
opinions that the light showing to the westward should be a danger 
light to warn vessels off. 

From this period up to the exhibition of the light a corre- 
spondence W.1S carried on amongst the authorities relative to the 
character of the light. 

The Commissioners wished that it should be revolving, and show- 
red to the westward as a warning light. 

On the 15th of Januarj' 1857 their Lordships staled their view 
that a fixed light, so coloured as to lead vessels through the 
channel between Islay and Colensay, would be better and directed 
the Commissioners to communicate with the Trinity House. 

The Commissioners again stated their opinion to the Board of 
Trade, and were again desired to state them to the Trinity House. 

The correspondence was sent to the Trinity House on the 12th 
February 1857. 

On the 25th of February the Trinity House concurred with the 
view of their Lordships that the light should be lixed, and remon- 
strated with the Commissioners on the irregularity of correspond- 
ing direct with the Board of Trade. But the Elder Brethren 
reser\'ed the consideration of the masking and colour of the light. 

On the 20th of July 1857 their Lordships "approved of the cha- 
" racter of the light proposed by the Elder Brethren, and con- 
•• sidered that the red shade should extend from North to N. 480. 
" west true, as shown on the chart sent therewith." 

So far then, the governing authority appears to have been the 
Board of Trade, and the object, contending for the opening of the 
chaiuiel from the westward, to which Captain Bedford and the 
Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses were opposed. 

On the 15th of July the Trinity House communicated their view- 
to the Ciimmissioners, " That the light should be a fixed white light 
" visible to the northward and eastward, and to the southward as 
*' a guide to vessels navigating the Sound of Islay, visible also to 
" the w-estward as a warning to vessels to keep off from the 
*' dangers abreat of Colensay and Oronsay, and coloured red only 
" in the direction of the east coasts of Colensay and Oronsay, 
*' and w-ith a view of warning vessels approaching too near these 
" inlands, when bound through the Sound of Islay." 

The Elder Brethren also stated that they were not prepared to 
recommend that mariners should be encouraged to navigate the 
dangerous channel between Islay and Oronsay by night. 

The Trinity House then appear to have felt that the proposed 
measure was not desirable. 

The Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, on the 1st of 
October 1858, communicated to the Board of Trade as to the 
sailing directions, and again states their opinions that the arrange- 
ment would not prove satisfactory. 

Several letters p.issed on this subject, and on the 27ih of Octo- 
ber the Trinity House stated their view. Their secretary was 
directed to inform the Secretary of the Marine Department for their 
Lordships infonnation, 

*' That the Elder Brethren having given renewed consideration 
*' to the purposes for which this light is to be exhibited, concur in 
*' the first jiart of the jiaragraph proposed by Captain Sullivan, but 
" thcv saw no reason to alter the opinion communicated in the 
" letter of the 15th of July 1857, viz., that should it be found 
" hereafter, upon further survey of the passage, (viz., that be- 
" tween Islay and Oronsay) that it is capable of being rendered 
" navigable with safety during the night, by giving the light a 
" distinctive character to the westward, the adoption of such a 
** measure may then be considered, 

and, considering the dangers which are mentioned, " the Elder 
" Brethren were not prepared, in the absence of such distinctive 
" character, to recommend that masters of vessels should, undes 
" any circumstances, take a course defined by compass bearings 

" alone between the Islands of Islay and Oronsay during the night 
** season." 

On the Sth of November the engineer pointed out that from 
certain positions the red light might be seen over the island of 
Oronsay, and suggested that the sailing directions should be altered. 

On the 4th November 1858 the Coumiissioners informed the 
Board of Trade, and further remonstrated against the exhibition of 
a white light as a danger light, as being contrary to the well 
understood principle. 

( )n the i'Oth of November 1858 their Lordships informed the Com- 
missioi'ers that they agreed with the alteration proposed by the Elder 
Bretbi'en to be rnade in the paragraph to be inserted in the Notice to 
Ma-.-iners, and also as " to the use of a white light as a warning|light." 

On the 20th November 1858 the Elder Brethren had explained 
that their reason for advising the use of a w-hite light as a warning 
in that position w-as *' the light of coloured red to the westward, 
" as proposed by the Commissioners," would not be visible at a 
" sufficient distance. 

On the 14th of December 1858 their Lordships intimated that 
it would have been better if the sailing directions had been stated 
to have been " proposed by the Trinity House, and approved by 
** the Board of Trade." The light was exhibited on the 1st of 
January 1859. 

On the 20th the Commissioners called the attention of the 
Board of Trade to ail article in the Nautical Jlagazine, in which 
the Commissioners were blamed, and pointed out that the attack 
made upon them, in fact advocated the view-s entertained by them 
and expressed to my Lords. 

On the 29th of January 1859 a reply was sent in which this pas- 
sage occurs ; " My Lords see nothing in the article in question to 
" make them alter their opinion deliberately formed after careful 
" inspection of the spot by the Elder Brethren of the Trinity 
" House and Captiin Sullivan, on grounds which my Lords believe 
" are well known to the Commissioners." 

It appears then from this correspondence that the Commissioners 
of Northern Lighthouses were overruled, and that the character of 
this light, and the height of the tower, and the sailing directions, 
were all in accordance w-ith suggestions originating at the Board of 
Trade, only partially adopted by the Trinity House, and directly 
opposed to the view-s of the surveying officer on the station, and 
the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses. 

On the 20th of May 1859 Captain Bedford made the following 
communication to the Commissioners : 

*' My third, and most important item of information, has refer- 
*' ence to the Islay light, and the infonnation I obtained from the 
" master of the Colensay mail boat. He says the blending lights 
" are distinctly seen by vessels passing to the westward of Oronsay, 
" that about six weeks since he received information at Portaskaig 
*' that two vessels in the above direction, following (1 presume) a 
*^ general understanding, bore up for the Sound of Islay, on passing 
" out of the red into the bright light, and only discovered their 
*' error in time to prevent fatal consequences; this should be evi- 
" deuce enough that tw-o vessels, in so short a space of time, on a 
" coast frequented by few, should have been nearly wrecked, by 
'* following the usual course indicated by distinguishing colours." 

On the 24th of May the Commissioners informed the Board of 
Trade, with this observation : 

*' The Commissioners have already represented this matter so 
'* strongly to my Lords, that they have no further observation to 
" offer." 

On the 1st of June 1859 their Lordships acknowledged the 
receipt of the letter of the 24th. 

The Lighthouse Commissioners after reading this Remarhs 0, 1: 
correspondence, and having seen the lighthouse o\ev case of lili 
the land of Oronsay from the -westward.-*, having studied ^ '"''■ 
the chart of the locality, and having seen the sea break- 
ing heavily on rocks in the channel between Islay 
and Oronsay, came to the conclusion that the views of 
the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses on this 
question were just. And they were confirmed in their g^^ oral <l 
opinion on examining Captain Bedford subsequently dence. 
while in the neighbourhood. 

Ran for Oban and anchored. 

July 2l3t. While the "Vivid" coaled, steamed round 
Mull in the " Pioneer," questioned the pilots on board, 
and the fishermen at lona, and had the account of the 
Islay Pilot and of Captain Bedford fully confirmed 
as to the fact that vessels have been lost on Dubh- 
lartach. One man at lona stated that ho had himself 
picked up cannon, which he had taken to Oban some 
years ago. Called for Captain Bedford at Carsaie, 
and finding that he was absent left a note for him. 
On arriving at Oban heard the views of Jlr. Hutcheson, 
owner of many Highland steamers, as to the building 
of a lighthouse in the Sound of Jura, he was much in 
favour of tlie Iron Rock as a site for a lighthouse. Mr. 
McArthur also expressed a very strong opinion as 
to the necessity of a lighthouse on the Sgeir Mhaol 
(Iron Rock). Mr. Hutcheson stated his belief that 
the present cause of delay in building the lighthouse 
on the Iron Rock is a question of the expenditure of 
3,000/. which the authorities at the Board of Trade 
refuse to sanction. The Scotch engineer estimates 
the expense at 9,000/. including a shore light ; Mr. H. 
was owner of the " Chevalier " lost on this rock. 



There are two black buoys in the harbour at Oban, 
two spare buoys are kept on the beach, and it was 
stated that these buoys are changed and overhauled 
every three months. Observed the Lismore light- 
house from the hill above Oban burning brightly, and 
lit at the proper time. 

57. SKERRY MHORE.— No. 101. 

Picked up Captain Bedford at Carsaic and steamed 
to Skerry Mhore passing through the Torren Rocks 
at the end of the Ross of Mull ; landed at the light- 
house ; it is built on a reef of low rocks larger than 
the Scilly Bishops. The stone is granite from the 
Ross of Mull, and the building -was pronounced the 
finest yet seen ; a red flag was hoisted to indicate 
that it was safe to land. It was suggested that this 
should be altered, as red usually indicates danger. 
The landing is by an iron ladder, and there are iron 
ways fixed in the rock fi'om the landing place to the 
foot of the building. These have withstood the sea, 
and enable the keepers and persons bringing stores to 
move about the rock much more easily than elsewhere, 
where these ways are wanting. The ascent to the 
door is by a gun-metal ladder instead of by metal 
steps let into the stone as at the Scilly Bishops, or a 
loose wooden ladder as at the South Rock in Ireland. 
The first story of the building contains water 
tanks for 1,300 gallons, the second coal tanks for 13 
tons, the third is a workshop used for carpentering 
and other occupations. The fourth story is a store- 
room ; the fifth, a kitchen ; the sixth and seventh, 
bedrooms ; the eighth, a library; the ninth, an oil 
store containing 1 ,038 gallons ; and the lantern makes 
the eleventh story. The bedrooms are divided into 
two cabins each, there is a lamp which stands outside 
and gives light to each through windows. The 
cabins are fitted with oak, and have large looking- 
glasses a foot square set in pannels ; the beds and 
everything about the rooms were remarkably clean 
and neat. The library is well furnished with hand- 
some chairs, one from the Bell Rock. The lantern is 
very lofty, and is surrounded by a gallery with gun 
metal rail ; a dial is fixed on the outside. There is a 
clock in the light room, and another below, all in excel- 
lent order. There is a ladder of gun metal, and a light 
rail outside the lantern for cleaning the glass ; there is 
a lightning conductor. The illuminating apparatus is 
revolving, fixed, prisms below, eight pannels of lenses 
revolving, and eight smaller pannels also revolving 
above, to concentrate the upper rays; these are thrown 
on eight plane mirrors, which deflect them to the horizon 
parallel to the rest of the beam. The light is, there- 
fore, a fixed light of low power, varied by strong 
revolving flashes ; the lamp has four wicks, and is 
worked by pumps which ring a small bell while in 
action. The lamp machinery is woupd up every 
hour and a half, and the keepers wind the revolving 
machinery at the same time, though it will go for 
tliree hours. The superintendent was at the light- 
house the day before to inspect the machinery. 

The oil is hoisted up to the top of the tower by a 
moveable crane. The water is pumped up by a force 
pump ; the kitchen and all the rooms have bell signals 
worked by blowing tubes, so that the keepers can call 
each other without leaving the lantern. 

There are two fog bells ringing every half minute. 
These are supposed to be too near the gallery, they are 
not heard at any great distance, but they were heard 
on board the Vivid, distant about a mile. 

There is a signal ball hoisted every morning to 
indicate all's well ; there are other signals for shore, 
and a book is kept showing them. There is a table cal- 
culated for the latitude, giving theiours of lighting and 
extinguishing for every day, and a picture of the flame 
at its best, framed and glazed. There are three keepers 
on duty, and one on shore, James Wallace, married, he 
has six children ; John W. Hall, married, has nine 
children ; William Mail, married, four children. Their 
families live on shore in Tyree ; they have dwelling, 
and cow's grass, and the chilrden go to school. The men 

I. D 

say that they are healthy, they have a medicine chest, Cndze of the 
and use mostly salts and castor oil, but of these they take T'^"-'"'- 
little. Wallace has been at Point of Ayre, Barra Head, 
and he saw Skerry Mhore Light from Barra Head. 
He pointed out that the granite, where exposed, is 
going ; on rubbing the fingers on the stone, small 
particles like sand crumbled away. Where the stone 
has been oiled it is hai-d, and no sand can be rubbed 
off". This was particularly shewn in the place whore 
the weight goes up and down, and where contiguous 
portions of the stone are oiled, and left in the natural 
condition. The books kept are log book, visitors' 
book, journal, return of shipwrecks (blank), store 
book, inventory, (six,) all in good order. There is a 
barometer and a thermometer ; no wind gauge, no 
rain gauge. There was a machine for measuring tho 
force of the waves, but it was abandoned as giving 
unsatisfactory results. There is no life buoy, and 
some of the keepers are unable to swim ; in fine 
weather something of the kind might possibly save 
life. The keepers catch a few fish, such as little cod ■'^'^''• 
and rockfish. They occasionally see seals, and when Seats. 
they come about the rock no fish are to be got. The Birds. 
birds that kill themselves are blackbirds, thrushes, 
starlings, and once a woodcock ; few are killed here. 
The whole establishment was in a state of complete 
efliciency, the men clean and dressed in their 
uniforms, and everything under their charge in first- 
rate order. 

Vol. II, 177. 

MULL.— No. 96. 

Steamed into the Sound of Mull, and inspected the 
lighthouse at the entrance. It is built on a point of 
columnar basalt containing agates. The house of 
brick whitened with stone mouldings. The keepers' 
houses are at a considerable distance, and there is a 
roadway over the rocks. 

The light, dioptric holophotal, two wicks, red to 
seaward, so as to distinguish it from the neighbouring 
light of Ard na Murchan, green towards the opposite 
shore, and white towards the Sound of Mull. The Azimuthat con- 
beams to seaward and towards the sound are deiumig appa- 
strengthened by a series of reflecting prisms which '"''"'• 
deflect the light which would otherwise shine towards 
the land and be lost. By this contrivance a light of 
the fourth order is made equal to one of much greater 
power, and a greater saving of oil is eilected. The 
keepers are well lodged ; the tower is furnished with 
the usual instruments, viz., clock, dial, telescope, 
barometer, thermometer, rain gauge, lightning con- Instruments. 
ductor. There is a workroom furnished with tools, 
and the keepers are provided with a medicine chest, 
though close to Tobarmoray. There is the usual 
blow tube from the lantern to the dwelling houses ; 
everything in first-rate order. Captain Bedford stated 
that the green light did not appear sufliciently green 
from the opposite shore. 

59. ARD NA MURCHAN.— No. 97. 

Landed Captain Bedford and steamed to Ard na 
Murchan, landed on the rocks, and siu-prised the 
keeper who had not observed the Vivid. The tower 
is of granite and a beautiful building. The dwelling Kccvcrs 
houses are at the foot, and are exceedingly comfort- d-eiUngs. 
able ; there were the usual instruments, and every- 
thing was in excellent order ready for lighting. Tho 
light is dioptric, first order, with a mechanical lamp 
fitted with the warning bell. Two large reflectors of 
silvered glass turn all the light from the landward 
side towards the sea. The metal fittings were inten- 
tionally dark ; the bars of the lantern were thin and 
set diagonally. There are two keepers, Henry 
Murdoch and William Crouth, both married, the first 
has no children, and was a f;irmer, the other has one 
child, but he has been married only one year. 

They stated that the large glass chimnies were not Glass chimnks. 
all of one gauge. This has been remarked in all the 
principal first-order lights visited iu England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland. The tower was struck by light- ligktniiw. 

Vol. II. U 



CruUeofthc uintr some time ago, but no damage was done. The 

Vivid. keepers see the light at Skerry Mliore occasionally ; 

• ~ aecordi^n'T to calculation from the heights of the two 

licrht* and tlie distance, 38 nautical miles, this should 

be impossible, unless in consequence of some peculiar 


Vol. II. 17S 60. ISLE ORONSAY.— No. 98. 

Steamed to Isle Oronsay and observed the light in 
the Sound of Mull. The beam which is projected down 
the Sound of the Skye is very brilliant ; on entering 
the beam, which projected northwards towards 
Glenelg the increase of power was very marked, and 
on entering the harbour the light disappeared sud- 
denly at the point indicated by the drawings in 
Azimuhal j^jj. Stevenson's Book. At 5 .a..m. landed at the bght- 

ZvZTl house. It is the same in principle as that in the 
'^^ ' ■ sound of Mull. The illuminating apparatus is of the 
same description. Tiie onlv variety is m the number 
of prisms and size of the lenses for the additional 
beam which are calculated according to the distance 
at which it is desirable to see the light. There are 
seven prisms to the north, and twelve to the south. 
This liglit and Ard na Murchan can be seen together. 
Both keepers are married, the one has four children 
the other six. Both have been in the service for a 
lono- time. The whole establishment appeared to be 
in a state of complete efficiency, and there were the 
usual books, instruments and furnishing 
Birds. The birds killed here are larks and starlings— very 

few, not nearly so many as at Pladda, where numbers 
were killed. 

of the lisht. The keeper intends some night to take 
out a couple of the lenses and watch the revolutions 
from a neighbouring hill so as to judge of the differ- 
ence, he was requested to communicate the result of 
his experiment to the secretary. The reflectors in 
this lighthouse were particularly bright and well 
polishell. Both keepers are married, one has ten 
children, the other two. One is from Caithness, the 
other a native of Skye. 

63. STOENOWAY.— No. 105. 

Vol. II. 178. 

61. KYLE AKINI.--N0. 99. 

Steamed throu£li the narrows to Kyle Akm. It 
was remarked tha't some buoys or beacons, or perhaps 
a smaU light similar to those in Loch Foyle, would be 
an improvement, as the narrows are dark for a con- 
siderable distance. 

Landed at the lighthouse at Kyle Akin, where the 
keepers were all in bed ; roused them and found 
everythino- according to the regulations ; lamp ready 
for lighting, blinds down, and everything cleaned 
up- tie usual instruments, &c. provided and in 
o-ood order. This light has a set of totally reflect- 
fno- pT-i^ms to economise the light and reflect a 
portion of it to seaward. Towards the sound the 
li<Tht is masked, all but a narrow beam, which acts 
as" a leading light, and clears all shoals. To seaward 
the lio-ht is red, and is masked from dangers and Irom 
the shore. It was observed that the bars of the 
lantern were so placed as to stop a considerable por- 
tion of the light, and it was thought desireable, 
that in future the lens and the lantern should be 
made and set up together before they are finaUy placed 
so as to avoid such imperfections. 

The keeper stated that this light gave great satis- 
faction, and enabled vessels to run in in bad weather, 
instead of remaining outside, as they formerly used to 
do, exposed to the hea^y sea which sets m from the 
north. The house is of brick, whitewashed, with 
stone foundation and mouldings; a bridge joins it to 
the land. It was well kept. 

Vol. II. 17t<- 

62. RONA.— No. 100. 

Vol. 11. U 

Steamed for Rona ; landed outside the island and 
walked up the rocks. There is a reflecting revolving 
liglit situated at the north end of Rona. The house 
and the dwelling houses near to each other, and pro- 
vided with the same conveniences, instruments, &c. 
as the other lighthouses of the Commissioners of 
Northern lights. The reflectors have been altered so 
JJohphfinl ^_, j^ economise the light. The small end of the para- 
apparaius ^^^.^ reflectors has been cut off, and a hemispherical 

reflector substituted : a small lens is placed so as to 
intercept the rays which would otherwise diverge 
part the edge of the reflectors. The result is said to 
be a very considerable improvement in the intensity 

Steamed round the north end for Stornoway. 
Stopped opposite to the harbour lighthouse, and ex- 
amined the " apparent light " on the rock at the 
entrance to the harbour. The light itself is revolving 
catadioptric. holophotal, on the same principle as 
Rona, but with fewer reflectors. There are two 
keepers. The house is of iron, lined with wood, all 
but the upper part below the lantern, which is not 
lined, and consequently is very cold in winter. The 
reflectors were beautifully kept, and the brasswork 
everywhere as clean as it could be made. The keeper 
was observed to interpose the sleeve of his jacket 
between his hand and the brass handle of the box in 
which the revolving machinery is placed. In aU Beacon u-'d, 
other respects the house was furnished, and fitted like apparent /i; 
the others, and in equally good order. The peculiarity 
of this light is the " apparent light," which consists 
of a holophotal catadioptric single lamp placed in a 
window .at the foot of the tower as to project a power- 
ful beam on a mirror placed on the top of a beacon 
in the sea. The light is reflected to seawards, and 
dispersed by a lens placed in front of the mirror, so as 
to five the effect of a light burning on the beacon. 
The deception is so perfect that the fishermen will 
not believe that there is not a light there. 

The pilot on board has often seen it, but thinks it 
is hardly powerful enough, though very useful. 

People on shore at Stornoway stated that it was 
very useful. The reflector behind the light is made 
of zinc, and the keepers said that it was impossible 
to keep it as bright as sUver. It was dark, and an 
attempt to rub it brighter failed entirely. It is 
not stated in Mr. Stevenson's account of the light 
why the reflector is made of zinc. It appears to be 
inferior to silver, but it is probably less expensive. 
The keepers were dressed in their uniforms ; one was 
formerly a veterinary surgeon, the other a joiner. 
Both married. Both with considerable families. 
After leaving, steamed out for Orkney, observed the 
lights at the entrance, both were very brilliant ; made 
a'turn to try to pick up the beacon light, but failed to 
see it. There was some light still in the sky, but the 
reflected light cannot have much power. 

This light was subsequently observed by the secre- 
tary on a very dark night from the steamer, leaving 
Stornoway. It was visible at a distance of perhaps 
half a mile, but the light was feeble ; it seemed about 
equal to a single candle. There is a considerable 
divergence in the beam thrown by the lower reflector, 
for the light was seen for a considerable distance on 
both sides^of the beacon in passing outside of it. The 
arrangement might therefore be improved consider- 
ably, but the principle is established. The beacon is 
illuminated by a lamp on shore, at a considerable 
distance, and the apparent light was actually seen at 
a dist,ance sufficient to enable vessels to clear the 
danger. ^^j /,n^f 

Observed the Cape Wrath light at 30 miles. The 
red and the white flashes were brilliantly visible and 
easily distinguished from each other. The night was 
very clear. The land of the Cape seen in the evening J 

on entering Stornoway. I 

July 24th, Sunday at j 

64, 65. STROMNESS.— No. 114, 115. Vol. if < 

25th, 3.30 a.m., landed at the large lighthouse. It 
is of uncoloured stone. There is a smaller lighthouse 


to the westward, and both ai'e intended to open Hoy 
Sound. The larger lighthouse resembles that on 
Ard na Murchan, and is a beautiful building. The 
illuminating apparatus consists of three fixed reflec- 
tors; one "holophotal" as large as a small herring 
barrel, with a red glass in front showing in one 
direction ; the other, a reflector of ordinary size, 
showing in the other direction ; the third, a section 
of a lens, with a section of a reflector behind it, 
showing towards the harbour of Stromness, and across 
the channel. There is no lightning conductor at 
this house. There are no fog signals. The keeper 
stated that he had never seen vessels near the light- 
house when fog cleared away. There are the usual 
books and instruments, and fittings, all in good order. 
The head keeper's name is Peter Ure. He is married 
and has one child. The assistant is unmarried. The 
principal has been at Cape Wrath, Lismore, and Calf 
of Man. He stated that the red light at Cape Wrath, 
is produced by ordinary reflectors and red glasses. 
Steamed through Hoy Sound, passed the Pentland 
Skerries; it was considered too rough to attempt a 
landing. Sighted Kinnaird lighthouse. Steamed for 
Buchan Ness, and landed at 1 .20 p.m. 

67. BUCHAN NESS.— No. 124. 

The house is situated on a promontory, and sur- 
rounded by a plot of ground belonging to the Com- 
missioners. The light has been much praised by 
witnesses. The apparatus consists of 24 reflectors, 
fixed, three on a face. There is nothing peculiar in 
their construction. They were extremely well 
polished, and had not a scratch. The keepers' names 
are Alexander Wallace, married, two children ; James 
Tennant, married, five children. The principal has 
served at the Bell Rock, Inchkeith, Cape Wrath, 
Start Point. There are no fog signals. The keeper 
had never seen vessels near in a fog. He has heard 
the steam whistles of passing steamers. There were 
the usual fittings, instruments, and books, all in order 
and well kept. The dwelling houses were also 
extremely neat, but it was thought that the colour of 
the building was objectionable. The birds killed 
here are starlings and blackbirds. 

68. GIRDLE NESS.— No. 125. 

Steamed for Aberdeen, and landed at Girdleness. 
This has two lights in one tower. The lower light 
consists of 13 lamps and reflectors, fixed in a gallery 
round the outside of the tower, about half way up. 
Each cleaning powder has a separate box, beautifully 
cleaned, with the name of the material marked 
outside. There is the usual box for holding chira- 
nies. The reflectors were in excellent order. The 
upper is a lens light, iii-st order, with a mechanical 
lamp, and four wicks. A portion of the light is lost, 
for want of a reflector on the landward side. The 
machinery of the mechanical lamp appeared to be 
slightly out of order, it worked with a jerk. There 
are four keepers to this light. They are lodged in 
houses originally intended for two. Three of the 
keepers are married, one unmarried, one has four 
children. They are obliged to make up a shelf for 
two of them in a box bed, where they sleep above 
others, and must sufler for want of air. There are 
no fog signals here. In all other respects the house 
is fitted and furnished like the rest, and is in very 
good order. The keepers had not their unifoi-nis and 
did not hoist their flag as others have done. It was 
remarked that the colour of this lighthouse is not 
clearly distinguished against the land. 

Ran to Aberdeen to coal. Admiral Hamilton 
and Mr. Gladstone landed and proceeded by rail to 

Landed, and examined sundry witnesses. 

The manager of the London and Aberdeen Steam 
Company states that he had been manager for eight 
years. He had never heard a complaint of the lights 

and had never known anything wrong with them Cmize of the 
during that time. Vivid 

Mr. Kellasy of the Local Marine Board, has dis- 

tributed 16 mariners' questions amongst the persons 
who were considered best able to give information on 

Mr. Rose, a large shipowner, has never heard any 

Mr. Campbell, master of a London steamer, has 
sent in a return. He thinks that a light is wanted 
on Thieves Holme, ofi^ Kirkwall, a masking on the 
lights at Kinnaird Head and Buchan Ness, to indicate 
the approach to Rattray shoal, and one at the East 
Neuk of Fife. 

The Harbour Commissioners had not begun to fill 
up the returns sent in by the Lighthouse Commis- 
sioners. They consist of 12 members elected annually 
by householders and shipowners, and 19 who com- 
pose the town council, and one ex officio Harbour 
Commissioner. The two leading lights under their 
charge are red when the harbour can be entered with 
safety, green when it is dangerous. Formerly the lights 
were extinguished when the harbour was dangerous. 
Both these arrangements were sanctioned by the Com- 
missioners of Northern Lighthouses, and the Harbour 
Commissioners do not consider themselves responsible. 
The former arrangement was much complained of. 
The latter is approved of by the persons most in- 
terested, but there seems to be no good reason for 
departing from the rule that red indicates danger. 

Mr. Reid, the Treasurer, has not heard any com- 
plaints of lights. There are some complaints of 
Rattray shoal. 

69, 70. ABERDEEN. Vol. II. 3/2. 

(Dr. Gladstone revisited these lights. See 

Visited the two leading lights. They are of iron, 
with one light and reflector in each. The colour is 
produced by coloured glass placed in front of the 
reflectors. The signal for changing the colours is 
given from the end of the pier by showing a light. 

There are no boxes for keeping the cleaning 
materials separate. All are consequently stowed 
away together in small wooden ]3resses. The light- 
keeper is paralytic ; his son looks after the lights. 
He was never taught to clean the reflectors. He has 
never been sent to Girdleness (within a mile) to see how 
they are cleaned there. He was a carpenter, and the 
reflectors under his charge and everything about the 
place was in a condition far inferior to the lighthouse 
under the Northern Lighthouse Commissioners. 
(No returns have been furnished, they have been 
repeatedly ashed for.) Embarked, and steamed for 
Bell Rock. 

71. BELL ROCK.— No. 126. Voi. II. 18". 

On sighting the lighthouse, the day being grey, n^j^^j. gf 
and hazy, the lower part of the house, which is dark, luiUing. 
and the lantern, which was in shadow, were much 
more easily seen than the central part of the building, 
which is coloured white, and could hardly be seen at 
all against the sky. 

Observed a large boat leaving the lighthouse. 

The rocks about the house were showing above 
water. There are iron ways for landing. The 
keeper stated that the sea rises 13 feet up the base of 
the house. There is an excellent gun-metal ladder 
fixed. The four keepers are married, and have six, 
seven, three, and four children respectively. The head 
keeper is John Sinclair. The first story is for coals, 
the second for water, the next for oil, the next for 
bed rooms, lighted as at Skerry Mhore, with berths 
for six persons. The next room is the kitchen, above 
that the sitting room, in which is a marble bust of 
Stevenson, the engineer, placed there by the Com- 
missioners, with a marble slab, on which their Minute 
is engraved. 

The light is revolving, five reflectors on each of , ,. , 
two faces, two red and two white. The red colour is '•'' 

produced by chimnies of red glass, which appear to 

T) 2 



Cruize of the \^ mucL more convenient and should be less expen- 
^''"'' sive than the large covers of coloured glass used 

elsewhere. The lantern and all in it was in very 
good order. The reflectors well cleaned, and the 
books properly and neatly kept. The visitors' book 
contained the names of a large party who had visited 
the light that afternoon, and had dined there. The 
manner of the head keeper gave rise to some doubts 
of his being sober; a correspondence followed with 
the Commissioners of Korthern Lighthouses, which 
ended in the man being continued in his post. 
Birds. There are very few birds killed here. Thrushes 

and blackbirds occasionally in winter. The keepers 
catch a few fish. It appeared that this house was 
not quite so clean as some of the other rock stations. 
Steamed in for 

Vol. II. .3S.1. '^2, 73, 74, 75. DUNDEE. 

July 27.— Landed at Dundee. Jlet Mr. Walsh, 
formerly master of the Trinity House, who stated 
that the secretary was absent. It subsequently 
appeared that the secretary was unwell. 
Oral ciidcnce. Captain John Speck, master of the pilots, said he 
had never had a complaint of anything. He had 
never heard of any irregularity in the Bell Eoek 
Light. It is a very good one. He has had con- 
siderable experience of the cast coast. He thinks 
that a light on the Carr Eock would be of advantage, 
• several vessels have been ou shore on it. He has 
often heard the bell on the Bell Eock. 

There is no uniform system of tide signals at the 
Scotch ports. 

Captain William Lee, commanding one of the 
London steamers, thinks something should be done 
to clear Eattray Eriggs to the North, where he 
formerly traded. 

Mr. James Simpson thinks the Carr rock wants a 
small light. Has no difficulty at the Cross sands. 
Thinks the harbour light very good. 

William Beattie thinks there should be a small 
light on the Carr rock. There is often a haze on the 
Isle of May. 

July 30 Visited the lights under the charge of 

this local authority. See Dcsdee Local Authoritie.s, 

Landed the master of the corporation, and steamed 
for the 

Vol. n. leg. 76. 77. ISLE OF MAY.— No. 127. 

Observed the beacon on the Carr rock. Landed 
at the Isle of May. There are tno lights ; the upper 
dioptric, first order,- the second on that principle sot 
up in Scotland. The lower and upper beams of light 
are directed by mirrors, which are much spoiled. 
The glass is very green. The house was built in 
1816. There are three keepers, two of whom are 
married. They have large families, who are educated 
by their parents, and are occasionally sent ashore for 
a time. 

They are very well lodged, and besides there is a 
large room and some bed rooms which have occasion- 
ally been occupied by gentlemen who had orders 
from the Commissioners of Northern Lights. The 
whole island is the propertj' of the Commissioners. 
It was purchased, with the lighthouse thereon, for 
60,000/. from the Duke of Portland. 

There are the usual fittings, instruments, and books, 
all in good order. 
liirds. The birds killed here are starlings, thru.shes, 

blackbirds, woodcocks, and small land birds. No sea 
birds ever kill themselves. The water is indiflcrent. 
The lower light is arranged for clearing the Carr 
rock. It has one reflector. A room below is occu- 
pied by one keeper, who goes to bed. The keeper 
in the upper light observes the lower through a pane 
of glass on the landward side, and if he sees anything 
wrong he has a bellows whistle, by means of which 
he can rouse tlic otlior at a distance of about three 
hundred yards, by sounding a large whistle at the 
head of the bed. He stated that he never had occa- 

sion to rouse the keeper, as he had never known the 
lower light to go wrong since it was first exhibited. 

July 27. — The mechanical lamp on the contrary 
requires careful watching and constant attention. 
The fishermen consider the lower light to be brighter 
than the upper when they are within its range. 
This may be accounted for by the inferior quality of 
the glass, the damaged condition of the mirrors, and 
the distribution of the light round the whole horizon. 
Perhaps also by the haze which frequently settles on 
the Isle of May. 

Steamed into the Firth of Forth, passing the Bass 
rock, and anchored at 8'20 opposite to Granton 

The result of this d.iy's observations is very much in 
favour of the lights of the Commissioners of Northern 
Lighthouses, as compared with the smaller autho- 
rities, and of the Dundee lights as compared with 

Admiral Hamilton and Mr. Gladstone visited the Edinburgh. 
office of the Northern Commissioners, and in the 
evening went to the establishment of Messrs. Milne 
and Son, Milton House, Canongate, in company with 
Messrs. Thomas and David Stevenson. Here they 
saw a new holophotal light in action. It gave a 
very good light as seen from Salisbury Crags, the 
distinction of the white and red colours being perfect. 
Amongst other explanations given by Mr. D. Steven- 
son in reference to the machinery at Messrs. Milnes, 
he stated that small lanterns are now made of cast 
iron, but large lanterns of gun metal, which they 
prefer to wrought iron. The astragals are now made 
to cross one another diagonall}". Although a silver 
reflector is doubtless the best, a comparative expe- 
riment made on Inchkeith with a silver, a zinc, and 
a brass reflector showed no great difterence in the 
light reflected, except as to its colour. The Northern 
Commissioners employ a very dark red glass, not the 

July 28th. — Among the pieces of information given 
by the Messrs. Stevenson in the course of conversation 
were the following : — Some samples of colza oil cor- 
rode brass work, but the pure substance does not. It 
is not known what is the corrosive ingredient. It is 
proposed to employ bricks in the erection of the Butt 
of Lewis Lighthouse ; specimens of these bricks were 
exhibited, having a conchoidal fracture, and exceed- 
ingly hard. The mortar to be used is composed of 
sand, lime, and '• mine dust," that is scalings of iron ; 
gneiss is considered preferable to granite for building 
purposes, as it does not disintegrate when exposed to 
the air and seawater, as many granites gradually do. 
It is difficult to mask a catoptric light sharply, for 
obvious reasons, and this constitutes one of the advan- 
tages of the dioptric system. Slate roofs have been 
adopted for many of the recently built keepers houses 
at the instance of the Board of Trade, but they let in 
wet, and are greatly inferior to the leaden roofs, which 
the Northern Commissioners prefer. 

29th. — Visited the Office of the Commissioners of 
Northern Lighthouses in Edinburgh, the Secretary 
and several of the members were absent on their 
annual tour of inspection ; Mr. L'rquhart, and the 
engineer of the Commissioners, Mr. Stevenson, and 
his brother were at the office. The papers in prepa- 
ration for the Commission were shown, the most 
difficult and tedious are those relating to the income 
of the various lights. They will still take a consider- 
able time to complete. After a long interview with 
the gentlemen of the Northern Lighthouse Office the 
Comiuissioners visited the establishment of Mr. !Milne, 
and inspected a new revolving light, constructed by 
Mr. ]Milne from the designs of Jlr. Stevenson, of glass, 
manufactured in Paris, for Newfoundland. The appa- 
ratus consists of 12 holophotcs, arranged on four faces, 
four on each of two siiles to show red, with red glass 
chimnies, two on the remainder to show white. 

The holophotal arrangement consists of a hemi- 
spherical reflector, with a lens and reflecting prisms 
placed in front. The lamp slides down to be cleaned, 
and can never be wholly removed from its frame. 



The reflectors lift out, but the glass remains fixed to 
the revolving frame. The whole rests on a series of 
rollers, and is moved hj a small toothed wheel, work- 
ing a largo one on the circuniforcnco of the frame, 
which is larger than usual. By these arrangements 
Mr. Stevenson secures great steadiness of motion, and 
solidity. The quantity of oil consumed was stated to 
bo considerably less than that burned in a large me- 
chanical lamp. 

A letter was written expressing the liope of the 
Commissioners that the man at the Bell Rock might 
not be punished, and praising the rest of the esta- 
blishments inspected in Scotland. 

The Commissioners inspected the storehouses at 
Granton. The superintendent of the buoy establish- 
ment stated that he had charge of the whole service. 
There are four depots for buoys, namely, at Granton, 
Corran Ferry, Campbelton, and Cromarty. 

As full particulars regarding this branch of the 
service will be furnished oflSciall}', it was not thought 
necessary to take notes of all that was said by this 

The establishment was in good order. The spare 
buoys newly painted were ranged under cover. The oil 
for the lighthouses was stored in the casks in which it 
is sent to tlie different stations, instead of tins as used 
by the Trinity House. Tlie oil is run out of the 
casks into .■stationary tins, and the empty casks arc 

Admiral Hamilton and Mr. Gladstone called on the 
Lord Provost, as one of the most influential members 
of the Board of Commissioners of Northern Lights, 
and had a short conversation with him. 

The Commissioners inspected the light at Granton 
Pier Head. It is a reflecting light, with an ordinary 
parabolic reflector, and shows through a window of 
red glass. Embarked on board the " Vivid," and 
steamed to 


Landed and inspected the lighthouse. There is a 
tide gauge here, a line moved by a floa* shows to the 
keeper inside the depth of water at Leith Docks, and 
indicates the signal to be hoisted. The signals for 
day are flags and a ball. The flags arc stifi'ened by 
wires so as to be visible in calms. At night the 
depth is indicated by coloured lights produced by 
sliding small panes of red and green glass in front of 
a gas burner, and behind a small buU's-eye lens, near 
the foot of the tower. The light is under the Leith 
Harbour Commissioners. The keeper is furnished 
with a clock, a barometer, thermometer, and speak- 
ing trumpet, all in good order. He keeps a register, 
also in good order. The upper light is a small holo- 
photal, made in Paris, on the principle of Mr. Stevenson. 
The light is gas, which occasionally goes out, and 
varies in intensity with the pressure on shore, as the 
shop lights, &c. are turned on and off. (This is one 
of the objections stated by Mr. Stevenson to the use 
of gas in lighthouses.) The reflector is of zinc, 
inferior to silver, but cheaper and sufficient for this 
position. The ventilation is said to be deficient 
The glass inside "fogs" easily, that is to say it con- 
denses the moisture produced by the combustion of 
the gas, which is not carried away with sufficient 
quickness. There is a spare oil lamp in case anything 
should go wrong with the gas, so p~s to render it 
useless. The fittings of the lens are bright. 
The engineer of the Northern Lighthouse Commis- 
sioners stated yesterday that the ])ractise of scouring 
the backs of the reflectors and metal fittings of lenses 
has been abandoned, as it increases the risk of injury 
to the optical portion of the apparatus, without adding 
to its efficiency. 

There are two keepers at Leith Light, one always 
in attendance. The establishment was in an etficieut 
condition, and very neatly kept. 


80. INCH KEITH,— No. 128. Cruize of the ■ 


Landed at Inch Keith. This is built on the top 

of the island. The building is a very handsome one. Vol. II. 188, 
and the dwelling houses very comfortable and very 
neatly kept. There is a room called the visiting 
officers room, very neatly furnished, and reserved for 
the use of the officers of the Commission. The island 
is the property of tlxo Duke of Buccleuch. The head 
keeper, formerly a sailor, has been at various stations, 
including the Bell Rock. The assistant and principal 
are both married. The light is furnished with the 
usual instruments, fittings, means of communication 
from the light room, &c. (It was explained by the 
engineer that the whistles were provided to obviate 
any necessity for leaving the lantern while the light is 
burning. Every keeper is bound to remain con- 
stantly at his post in the lantern during his watch.) 
The light is revolving, of" built " lenses on a revolving 
frame, and a set of stationary mirrors above, none 
below. The mirrors are much damaged, and the 
whole apparatus, like that .at the Isle of Man, is old 
and inferior to the more modern lights. (The en- 
gineer stated that the Commissioners had often 
thought of renewing the apparatus at these lights, 
but they were restrained by the anticipation of objec- 
tions to the expense). There is an experimental 
lantern close to the lighthouse, visible from Edin- 
burgh. Some experiments are to be tried with red 
glass shortly, meantime there is nothing in the 

Steamed past the Bass Rock and St. Abb's Head, 
failed to observe any indications of the new light- 
house in the latter place. 

81. BERWICK. Vol. H. 294 

Observed the light at Berwick Pier Head. See 
Berwick local authorities, Scotland, for the observa- 
tions on this light, which was mucli approved, and 
to which Mr. Stevenson specially directed the atten- 
tion of the Commissioners. 

July 30th. Anchored for some hours at Berwick. 
Observed the Longstone Light ; was informed that 
the Fern Island was hardly ever seen, distant 16 miles. 


82. FERN ISLAND.— No. 1. 

Landed at the Fern Island Lights at half past five 
a.m. There are two lights in separate buildings coloured 
white. The larger building has 7 reflectors, ordinary 
parabolic. They were very well cleaned, liut show 
only one on each face. The outer light on the Long- 
stone has three on each face. It seems then that one 
parabolic reflector very well cleaned can very rarely 
he seen at Berwick, distant 16 miles, but that three 
can generally be seen. This was the case when ob- 
served last night, the weather being clear and the 
night dark. The cleaning boxes and all within the 
keeper's department were iu good condition, but the 
revolving machinery was out of order, and was gene- 
rally of inferior workmanship to the lights lately 
seen. The Elder Brethren visited the light on the 
29th, and left orders for a man from London to visit 
the light and repair the machinery. The keeper is 
provided with a thermometer and a telescope, he has 
a medicine chest, and there is a lightning conductor. 
But there was no rain gauge ; no fog signal ; no 
blow tubes communicating with the lantern. The 
boolcs kept are an order book and a register. The iris,, Scotch 
other books kept at a Scotch lighthouse are not kept and English 
here. One diftbrence then in the services is that in LigMEstablish- 
tho Scotch Service, every lighthouse is provided with ""■"'« compared. 
the same instruments and fittings, and comforts and 
conveniences. That the English lights are variouslj' 
provided in various situations, and are rarely furnished 
with many articles, always provided in the Scotch 
lights, such as the call whistle. That the Irish 
lighthouses visited are not provided with meteorolo- 
gical instruments or medicine chests, or lightning 
conductors, or libraries, or call whistles, or printed 




Cruiieo/the framed regulations, or uniforms tor the men, or 
Hvid. clocks. DP dials, or with any thing not absolutely 

— required for keeping the light burning and the appa- 

ratus clean. 

Vol. II. ti5. 83. FERN LOWER LIGHT.— No. 2. 

The lower light has one reflector, and shows to 
the northward. The two lights in one indicate 
a passage, but they must show almost directly over 
a large rock iu the middle of it. 

There are three keepers. The one on watch 
attends to both lights, and has to walk a consider- 
able distance from house to house during the night. 
At Inch Keith, where there is a similar arrange- 
ment, one of the three keepers sleeps in the lower 
lighthouse, which the keeper on duty in the upper 
light observes from the lantern ; if anything goes 
wrong he can at once rouse the sleeping keeper 
without leaving his own post by working a hand 
bellows attached to a tube, which blows on and rings 
a bell at his ear. 
„^^j The birds killed at Fern Island are blackbirds, 

thrushes, and ducks, &c. not many. 

The island is columnar basalt. There are many 
rabbits on it. There is an old chapel restored, and a 
ruin converted into a dwelling, where clergymen from 
Durham occasionally reside for short periods. Ran 
out to the 

^■°'- "• *''' 84. LONGSTONE.— No. 3. 

buildiii "^^^ tower is painted red. Landed with some 

difficulty in consequence of the strong tide, which the 
boat could hardly make way against. The head 
keeper is William Darling, whose story is so well 
known. The assistant is his son. They complained 
of the smoke in the lower dwelling house. The 
apparatus is revolving, 12 parabolic reflectors showing 
three on each of four faces. All were in excellent 
condition, though old and getting worn out. The 
exterior of the lantern is cleaned by mounting move- 
able wooden steps, which rest on the external gallery. 
In all the Scotch lighthouses there is a fixed metal 
stair up to a light metal gallery, which runs all round, 
and handles to hold on by while cleaning the glass. 
The metal steps extend to the highest point in the 
roof. This arrangement is certainly preferable, 
though the moveable wooden ladder is less expensive. 

Gracf Darliny. The whole of this establishment is in excellent order, 
clean and neat, filled with memorials of Grace 
Darling. The father explained what had occurred 
on the occasion of the wreck of the Forfarshire, and 
pointed out the localities from the tower. He said 
that his daughter had died of a decline, and that in 
his opinion her end had been accelerated by anxiety 
of mind, which he explained by saying that so many 
ladie.s and gentleman came to see her, that she got no 
rest. Steamed to 

Vol. II. 66. 85. COQUET ISLAND.— No. 4. 

Colour of The nuilding is a square tower coloured white, with 

building. Castellated dwelling houses about it similarly coloured, 

(The Scotch lighthouses are nearly all left of the 
natural colour of the stone of which they are built, and 
in many cases it is exceedingly difficult to make out 
the building against the land. Here were three light- 
houses close to each other variously coloured. Red 
on the outer rock where the building must be .seen 
against the sea or sky, and white where it is to be 
sesu ai^ainst the hand. In this the Scotch system 
aj pears to be somewhat faulty.) The building is 
very handsome and very convenient, beautifully dean 
and neatly kept. The head keeper is Darling, brother 
of the renowiii'd Grace. The optical apparatus is 
one half of a first-rate dioptric light on the Fresnel 
system. A narrow strip of red glass on either side 
shews proximity to two rocks to the north and south. 
A dark patch on the glass masks the light from the 
dangers, and at the back a light shews into the road- 

stead from the lamp alone. This arrangement is Catoptric and 
verv simple, and gives satisfaction ; it illustrates the ^"V'^"' "ppa 
advantage of using lens lights for such situations as '■'"'""'™^''"' 
explained by Mr. Stevenson in his conversation with 
the Commissioners on this subject at Edinburgh. 
There is no arrangement of reflectors by which this 
variation in character could be so easily and so 
eftectively given, and nothing could more clearly 
demonstrate the evil that must result from the 
position of the bar on the window at Berwick Pier 
light, which acts precisely as the screen acts here. 

Ran into the Tyne and up to Newcastle. Called \o\ ii_ 34* 
at the Office of the Trinity Board, saw the secretary 
and ran out again. Found that the tide was falling . 
fast, so ran for Sunderland, and got into dock just in ^ °^' ^^- ^°" 

July 31. — Sunday. Remained in dock. 

Up to this point the Commissioners have inspected 
or have seen 80 light establishments. Many of the 
lights inspected were also seen alight. 

August 1. — The Commissioners landed at Sun- 
derland. The Vivid with the secretary on board 
started at 10 a.m.. and anchored at 8'30 p.m. at 

Captain Allen being anxious to get in before dark, 
none of the lighthouses passed were visited. Blowing 
hard and a considerable sea on at Flamborough Head. 

August 2. — Examined pilot master at Hull. 

He said the lights in the Humber are good, and did Vol. II. 31( 
not wish for any change. Orfordness, Cromer, and ■j lio-hts see 
Winterton are bad to see in fogs. I never could „ . _., 
mistake the floating lights for ships' lights. " Oh ! 
no, I never knew such a thing to happen." The 
floating lights are very good in the Humber, dioptric 
and catoptric lights. I don't know much about them. 
The South Foreland new (electric) light is the best I . 

ever saw. I saw it from Kentish Knock, about 40 
miles. I could not then see the lower (catoptric 
light), I thought it was a star. 

Examined Thomas Lewis, master of the Vigilant, 
at the hotel. He said all the lights on the east coast 
are good, Hazeborough is, perhaps, a little low. A 
light would be useful on the Cross Sand End. The 
river Humber is very well lighted and buoyed. They 
are as good as can be, I never heard a complaint. It 
is all good all the way to London. 

"Buoys would be of no use on the way to Goole. 
The sands alter every spring tide." 

Messrs. Kriiger and W. G. Martlett, commanders 
of steamers in the merchant service, bore unqualified 
testimony as to the equality of the British lights 
with those of any foreign country. The former men- 
tioned those in the Gulf of Finland, and the latter, 
that at Dunkirl; as equal to the English. Mr. 
Kriiger had frequently observed the revolving light 
on Flamborough Head at a considerable distance when J^cd liyht. 
the red flashes are not seen, but the light presents the 
appearance of two white flashes separated by rather a 
long interval from two similar flashes. The Humber 
is well buoyed and lighted but a light on the Haile 
would be valuable. Some of the Commissioners then 
visited the enclosed dock and inspected theSp.ire Light 
ship. The rest questioned several other captains and 
pilots. For remarks on the Humber Lights see Hui.L. y^^j jj 3J 

93, 94. SPURN.— Nos. 9, 10. 

Vol. II. I 

August 3. — At 7 a.m. landed at Spurn. The Colour of 
larger tower is of brick, coloured red, enclosed within budding. 
a circular wall, which also encloses the dwellings, and 
a paved court with small gardens. The smaller tower 
is coloured white, and stands within high water mark 
on a foundation of piles and concrete. Both are 
situated on a long spit of land with bent growing on 
it, and to seaward there is a chalk wall with piles to 
keep off" the encroachment of the sea. Everything 
about this establishment, which is under the Trinity 
House of London, is in excellent condition. The 
houses are large, roomy, well found, and very neatly 
kept. The lighthouses scrui)ukiusly clean, and every 



Call whistles. 



with photometer. 

Vol. II. 110. 

Colour of 

Catoptric (I lid 

Dioptric appa 
ratut afloat. 

bit of metal, even the bars of the lantern, scoured 
bright. The usual meteorological instruments and 
registers are kept. There is a medicine chest ; a 
lightning conductor ; the upper light is dioptric, first 
order ; the same len.s that ^^■as shewn at the exhibition 
of 1851, fixed, with a fountain lamp. The lantern has 
the diagonal bars. The dome is white inside. The 
lantern is cleaned outside by niounting a moveable 
wooden ladder instead of the fixed stage aud steps 
used in Scotland. There are no communicating tubes 
from the rooms or from the lighthouse as in Scotland. 
There are three keepers, and the one on watch has to 
walk from lighthouse to lighthouse during the night. 
The plan pursued at Inch Keith and elsewhere in 
Scotland appears better. There one keeper watches 
both lights, and can summon a keeper who sleeps in 
the distant lighthouse without moving from his own 
post in the larger lantern. 

In these particulars this firsl-rate English establish- 
ment is inferior to the first-class Scotch stations. In 
other respects it would be difficult to find a better 
lighthouse better kept. 

The lower light is a small dioptric light, 5tli 
order, equally well kept. The house is joined to the 
sand by a wooden stage. On leaving these lights 
observed the red and white towers with the photo- 
meter, both showing against a cloudless sky a slight 
purple haze on the horizon, and the sun shining 
brightly from a point behind the observer, and not 
far from the horizon. The sky behind the red tower 
was lost, and that tower became invisible at 2'10. 
The white tower and the chalk wall at the edge of 
the sea were lost at 2-30. The white was, therefore, 
more clearly seen, because there was then more light 
reflected from it than from the sky beyond it. 
Boarded the 


The master has been thirty years on this station 
which is within a few miles of the Spurn lighthouses. 
He stated that in hazy or dark weather he can often 
see the red lighthouse when he cannot make out the 
white one at all. It seems that white is best seen in 
bright sunny weather, even against the sky, but that 
dark colours are best seen against the sky in dark or 
hazy weather. 

The master also stated that the light on Spurn 
Point had been very much improved by the change 
(from catoptric to dioptric), though he was quite 
ignorant of the nature of the change, having never 
visited the lighthouse. He stated that the small light 
did not show very well which he attributed to its 
proximity to the large and very powerful light beside 
it. The light-vessel also belongs to the London 
Trinity House. The crew were mostly below and 
were taken by surprise, but the vessel was scrupu- 
lously clean. The light is revolving. There are 
four reflectors, which with the lamp are hung upon 
gimbles. They were very well cleaned and had 
fewer scratches than are usually found on the reflec- 
tors of floating lights. The lamplighter explained 
that scratches are often produced by portions of the 
charred wick falling on the silver. These, as he 
expressed it, cut like a knife, and unless removed 
with great care, injure the reflector. He did not 
think that sand could get at them at sea ; he thought 
that salt water might, and might produce some injury. 
It was observed that the machinerj' for the revolving 
light worked very loosely, the cogs worked nearly 
out of gear by the motion of the vessel. Remarking 
on this, the master stated that the Elder Brethren, on 
their late visit had noticed the same, but a great diffi- 
culty occurs in rectifying this, for on tightening the 
cogs the machine, from its small power, would fail to 
work and interfere with the regular revolving of the 

It seems to be well worth consideration whether 
small dioptric apparatus could not be substituted for 
catoptric on board vessels, such a lamp as is used at 
the Lower Spurn Land Light would hardly weigh 

more than the apparatus hoisted by the lightships. Cruizaofihe 
It could be swung on gimbles, and it might be Vivid. 

lowered down a hollow mast like the funnel of a 

steamer. Salt water would not act on the glass, and 
unless broken to pieces the lens would be much less 
liable to injury than the reflectors which seem to be 
more or less injured on board of all the lightvessels, 
.and which, according to Mr. Wilkins, the manufac- 
turer, wear out much sooner afloat than on shore. 

The master stated that his vessel rides very easily, 
" she has the full long sea from the German Ocean." ,57-^^^ 
It seems then that the more exposed the station the 
easier it is for riding in, provided the water be deep. 
The master from the Hebbles far up the Humber, 
found a worse sea than he had ever found in his 60 
voyages across the Atlantic. The master at the Bull See Hull: 
complained more than than the master at the Spurn. Vol. II. 317. 
and the master at the Owers complained more of his 
station than did the master at the Seven Stones, who 
said that his vessel rode easily over the long seas of 
the Atlantic. The master at the Blackwater made 
a similar statement. Steamed for 

96. CROMER.— No. 12. 

Landed, and walked up to the lighthouse, on a high 
promontory. The old lighthouse is still .standing 
close to the edge of the cliff. It was abandoned 
because it was feared that the cliflT would fall. The 
new tower is built some distance inland, it is painted 
white and has comfortable dwellings attached. 

The light is revolving, ten reflectors on each of 
the three sides. There are the long tubes from above 
the lamps to carry off the smoke and other products 
of combustion. j?he dome is white inside. The re- 
flectors were in in good order, and the whole esta- 
blishment clean and neat except where the painters 
were at work. 

The Hazeburgh light, and the Leman and Ower 
floating light, are seen from here, distant about 1 2miles. 
In heavy^ weather, the keeper remarks, that the 
floating light dips, and disappears when 
the vessel rolls in the sea. The revolving machinery 
went out of order some years ago by the breaking of 
the rope. The keeper kept the lamps moving by hand 
till the rope was mended. The reflectors are wear- 
ing out, some are 37 years old, and are better than 
those which are 27. The copper is showing here and 
there through the silver. 

The glass chimneys break according to the 
weather, sometimes three or four dozen a mouth. 
They vary in size very much, some have to be re- 
turned as useless. The reflectors are moved from 
their frame when cleaned. This was considered ob- 
jectionable by Mr. Stevenson, who thinks that re- 
flectors should, if pos.sible, never be moved from their 
frames to avoid any change in their position. There 
is a lightning conductor, and the usual books (Trinity 
House), and instruments all in good order. There is 
no medicine chest, as the light is so near the town of 
Cromer. The agent resides at Cromer, and has 
charge of one lighthouse.' There are two keepers, 
both married. The head keeper was formerlv a car- 
penter, he has been 22 years in the .service. His 
grandfather used to keep a coal light at this station, 
and used to consider it very hard work. The outside 
of the lantern is cleaned by ascending a moveable 
ladder. The sand blows up, and that circumstance 
may in some measure account for sundry scratches 
on the reflector. Sighted HAZEBOROUGH, two 
towers, both white. 

97. COCKLE.— No. 7. 

Boarded the Cockle Lightship. She is of wood, 
painted red, shorter than the Irish light vessels, and 
sloping outward, flames above. No witnesses out 
of the first 500, have mentioned that this vessel has 
been adrift. The master stated that she had been 
twice adrift, in 1849 and November 1856 as nearly as 
he can remember. There was a very heavy gale from 

Vol. II. -0. 

n 4 



Uruize of the 


Model of vessel. 


the N.N.W. on. both occasions, and the ressel was 
brought up ahnost immediately with his spare anchor. 
She would otherwise have been lost on the sands. 
In similar weather and lee tide, the master and one 
man always remain on deck with axes handy, to cut 
the spare anchor adrift. On both the occasions the 
chain broke on deck. 

The master thinks the vessel would ride easier if 
she were longer. Tliis light is revolving, she has 
four reflectors which were in such good order that 
the lamplighter was requested to show his process of 
cleaning them; he first put on a canvas apron, he 
then selected from a particular box a clean white 
cloth with which he wiped the inside of the 
reflector, which he held against his breast carefully 
avoiding to touch the ' silver with his hand. He 
next dusted some rouge over the silver from a linen 
bag, which acted as a kind of sieve, and the cleaning 
was finished with a leather taken from another box 
used for that purpose only. There was nothing 
peculiar in the process, and the man could see no 
reason why reflectors should be more scratched at sea 
than on land. Everything on board this vessel, 
especially the place set apart for cleaning the reflectors, 
was scrupulously clean. The decks as white as those 
of a man-of-war. Many vessels run foul of the 
Cockle, one did last May. The master is a Yarmouth 
man. He says he often foresees a gale by noticing 
the sea coming in before the gale begins. This was 
stated by the keepers of the Irish light vessels, where 
barometers are not provided. This ship had the 
usual instruments, books, &c., all kept in good order. 
Ran in to Lowestoft, landed pilot and took in another 
4 lights seen, for Yarmouth at 8 p.m., observed Stamford Lightship, 
Lowestoft High Light, Lowestoft Low Light, and 
two PIER LIGHTS. All ill sight at the same time and 
all burning brightly. 

Vol. II. 73. 112. PAKEFIELD Xo. 18. 

Observed Pakefield red Light at 8.20 p.m. Ijright, 
it opened at the point indicated by the chart, and 
guided the vessel through a narrow passage. Shortly 
afterwards observed the lights on 

Vol. II. 74. 113, 114. ORFOEDNESS.— Nos. 19, 20. 

right a-head. The low light was decidedly much 

brighter than the light. The pilot on board 

said, '• We always see the low light first." One of these 

is dioptric, and the other catoptric. The pilot was 

unable to give any information as to which was the 

lens light, and stated that the diflerence between 

them was that one was to the castioard of the other. 

Calnptric and Stopped opposite the lights and endeavoured to test 

Dioptric appa- them with the photometer, but failed to get any 

ratus compared, pj.jiaijij, measurement, as the high light appeared to 

change in intensity as the vessel drifted. 

Steamed for Harwich and watched the Orfordiiess 
lights till the lower was lost beneath the horizon or 
behind the land, at about 13 miles at that distance, off 
Harwich ; both lights were verj" bright seen from the 
bridge, and the diflerence between them was much 
less marked than from the northward. The low 
light appeared to be whiter than the other, and was 
seen through a greater thickness of the photometer 
all along. Both these lights are excellent. The low 
light is clearly the best as seen from the nortli, and 
sliglitly the best as seen from tlie south at a distance 
of 13 miles and under. From the point where the 
Orfordness lights were last seen, eight lights were 
visible at once, each showing some particular channel, 
all burning brightly and easily distinguished from 
each other. These v.-eiv the Ship Wash and C'okk 
vessels, the Guxkleet revolving red, the distinctness 
of this light was very remarkable, showing at that 
range a brilliant red, the two Okfokdness lights, 
and three HAR^v^cH IIakuouu Lights. 

The changes of colour and position in these last, 
as the vessel ran iuto the harliour guided by them 
were remarkably rapid and distinct, a fourth light 

appeared on entering the harbour, which changed 
with equal rapidity from white to red, .and to white 
again as the vessel passed tlie shoal which it indi- 
cated. (From the returns it appears that the loteer 
Orfordness liglit is the dioptrie.) 

llo, 116, 117, ll'i. IIAKWICIL— Xos. 21, 22, 23. Vol. 11.75, Tf 

August 4. — Landed to inspect the harbour lights. 
Jlr. Yaux, a shipowner and builder, stated that the 
spit at the mouth of the harbour has extended so far 
as to make the present position of the lights somewhat 
objectionable. The lights have not been changed for 
nine years, and the spit has altered considerably. The 
two lights in one, formerly led clear of the spit, they 
now lead directly over it, and the rapid changes of 
colour observed last night are intended to guide 
vessels clear of the danger. He thinks that the 
position of the lights should be changed. The keeper 
subsequently stated that several plans had been 
talked of, one to remove the lights to another position 
altogether, another to make the outer light a moveable 
one on wheels, a third to construct a beacon on the 
spit and to illuminate it with an " apparent light.' 
This last proposal ori.£:inated in the town, the others 
were the schemes of the Trinity House who have 
charge of the lights. Inspected the H.'.nwicH High 
Light. It is in a white tower with comfortable 
dwellings attached and within it. There are two 
lights in the tower. The lower consists of a single 
Argand burner with a section of a large lens showing 
through a narrow opening towards the spit end. One 
strip of this lens is left clear and shows the passage, 
the rest is coloured red by a strip of glass, and shows 
the approach to the spit. When a vessel is inside 
the spit, another light on the opposite side of the 
harbour appears and leads in. A portion of the light 
of a lamp is deflected by a section of a silvered reflector 
and shows through a window when vessels reach a 
particular part of the harbour. By this arrangement 
a portion of the light is lost, but from observation 
enough is used. 

The U]iper light has nine lamps and reflectors set 
in a hollow curve as at Lynas, near Liverpool. The 
lamps have long chimneys to the ventilator. Some 
of these are forty years old. They are in very good 
condition and very well kept. Some marks were 
attributed either to old hammer marks nearly worn 
out, or to the points of glass from broken chimneys 
falling on the silver. The keeper stated that he could 
mark the silver with his nail. This remark shows 
the extreme care required to preserve reflectors in 
their present state of efiiciency. 

There are three keepers, all married. The head 
keeper is 74 years of age, and was attached to the 
light when it belonged to General Eebow. Tie Coal fres a 
remembers the burning of coal fires at this station (^""st lights. 
when he was a boy. The coals were burned in a 
grate, to which a pair of bellows were attached. 
The light-keeper was exposed to all weathers, and 
had to poke the fire, throw on coal, and blow the 
bellows when necessary all in the open air. Obser- 
vations are now taken and a register kept of the 
Gunfleet and Cork lightvessels through three glasses 
similar to those used at some of the lighthouses on 
the West Coast of England. The keeper stated that 
he could occasionally see the lights through more 
than three glasses, but that the Gunfleet had been 
invisililc from fogs for three weeks at a time. 

Harwich Low Light, at a short distance from the 
other tower and nearer the sea, has three reflectors 
outside a curve. The lamps have the usual long 
chininies. and in addition an apparatus for condensing 
the water produced by the combustion. The ventila- ' 

tion in these lighthouses is well attended to, and there 
are the usual books and instruments kept. The whole 
establishment is exceedingly well kept, the reflectors 
especially. The keeper could give no reason why 
reflectors at sea should be more scratched than on 
land. One keeper watches all night in the high 



tl towor. The other two watch half the night each 

II . at the lower tower. The Isle of May arraugcment 

would enable one to do all. 

Inspected buoy establishment. It was in good order. 
At quarter past six p.m. passed close to the Cork 
light vessel. The crew neatly dressed were mustered 
on the deck. 
Boarded the 

ol. II. 77. 119. GUNFLEET PILE LIGHT.— No. 23. 

This had been previously seen from a distance, burn- 
ing well. The illuminating apparatus was now found 
in very good order. It consists of nine reflectors with 
a red glass placed in front of each, fixed on a triangu- 
lar frame, and revolving. On leaving the light it was 
observed that the red was visible all round. This 
Is of light gives a good measure for the divergence and loss of 
t-n catoptric light inseparable from the use of parabolic reflectors, 
3'aratus. r^j^^ shows the value of the lens used in some Scotch 
Iperimeiit. lighthouses. 

The establishment was in process of painting. 
There is a fog bell, and the usual instruments are 
kept. The keeper stated that the sea never reached 
the lantern, not even spray in any quantity. On 
leaving the Gunfleet, observed the 

■)1. II. lU'. 120. SUNK LIGHT.— No. II. 

Raw Harwich light and passed the Gunfleet. Passed 
close to the 

121. MIDDLE SWIN.— No. 1.5. 

Revolving light, burning brightly, and anchored for 
the night, 
ol. II. 77. August 5th.— Sighted 122. The Maplin pile light, 
similar in its construction to the Gunfleet, No. 25. 
Boarded the 

123. MOUSE.— No. 1(3. 

Found all hands below except the look out. Every 
thing on board the vessel was in first rate order, clean 
and neat. The reflectors were quite equal to any 
that have been seen afloat. The gimbles worked well 
and easilv. The lamp room arranged on the same 
plan as all the other lamp rooms on board Trinity 
floating lights, remarkably clean, and the leathers, &e. 
all in their proper places. Books in order ; usual 
instruments kept. The master stated that he had 
once been adrift, wind N.N.W. 

Passed 124, 125, 126. Girdlek, Princes Channel Crui^eofthe 
and ToxGUE Lightvesscls, No. 20, 19, 18, and steamed Vivi'd. 

to Margate. Landed and drove to the 

Vol. II. 118, 

Vol. II. 79. 

127. NORTH FORELAND.— No. 20. 

The tower is in process of strengthening previous 
to the placing of a new and enlarged and a dioptric 
light. The present apparatus consists of 18 reflectors 
placed on the outside of a curve in two rows, each 
lamp and reflector having a separate iron pillar as a 
stand. This arrangement is different from any yet 
seen. The reflectors are in excellent order, and 
apparently very old. There were marks of old inju- 
ries nearly obliterated by careful cleaning. Each 
lamp lias a long metal chimney leading to the venti- 
lator in the top. There is a tube for condensing 
water, but never used. A coal fire was originally 
burned on this tower. It was then raised and the 
present apparatus placed on it. The interior of the 
tower was then used for a dwelling. The two keepers 
now occupy two neat dwellings at the foot of the 
tower, and when the new light is placed the tower is 
to remain empty. The keeper sees Grisnez and 
Calais on fine nights ; he has seen Dunkerque once. 
On that night there was a severe thunderstorm, and 
the light appeared as three lights, one above the other. 
Grisnez and Calais had the same appearance. The 
keeper had observed the electric light while exhibited 
at the South Foreland ; he was not favourably placed 
for seeing it. He said it was flickering. There is a 
sufficiency of evidence given by witnesses besides 
the personal observation of the Commission to prove 
that the light was far superior in brilliancy to any 
now exbibited on the coast. Embarked at Ramsgate Vol. II. 354. 
(see Local Returns), and rounded the Gull, No. 22. 
Observed the monster buoy on the Goodwin Sands Vol. II. 120, 
riding upright and showing like a vessel. Rounded 
close to the stern of the GooD^n^-, No. 21, light-- Vol II. 12(i. 
vessel. She is of iron, painted red, with three masts, >, 305. 
and apparently longer in proportion to her breadth 
than the other lightvessel of the Trinity House, and 
more like the Irish lightvessels. 

She was riding across both wind and tide which 
were against each other, to windward of her moorings. 
Steamed for Woolwich. 

The Commission had nov,' been afloat 32 days, 
bad almost clrcnmnavigated Great Britain, had seen, 
so as to be able to form an opinion of their efficiency, 
130 light establishments, of which 79 were per- 
sonally inspected. 




Oct. 19th, 1859.— Admiral Hamilton, Mr. Graves, 
Mr. Gladstone, and the Secretary, travelled from 
London to Paris. 

The captain of the steamer stated that in foggy 
weather he steams by the sound of a bell placed on 
Boulogne pier, and that the sound is quite sufficient 
to enable him to take the bearings and proceed 
under full steam. {A report on this bell will be 
found at -page 221.) On arriving at Paris the Com- 
mission met Captain Ryder, who had visited the 
Channel Islands and the South of France, and who 
had inspected several small harbour lights. {His 
account of his observations will be found at page 38.) 
In crossing observed the buoy on the Varne, watching 
well and very efficiently. The captain states that he 
had seen a vessel aground on the Colbart Bank, which 

has neither buoy nor beacon. (A Floating light has 
been placed on the Varne since the loss of the Bervie 

Oct. 20th, Paris. — Admiral Hamilton, Mr. Glad- 
stone, Mr. Graves, Captain Rj-der, and the Secre- 
tary called at the office of the Conseil General des 
Fonts et Chaussees, and were directed to the house 
of j\Ions. Reynaud, Directeur General des Pliares, 
96, Rue St. Dominique, where they waited on 
Mons. Reynaud, who received the Commission very 
cordially, presented the chairman with a map of 
the lighthouses under his charge, and promised to 
forward the views of the Commission as much as 
possible. An appointment was made for 3 p.m., at 
the establishment of the Commission des Phares, 
Quais du Billy, No. 56. At the hour agreed on 




t'rance. the Commission accordingly met Mons. Degrand and 

Mous. Rcynaud, and were shown the Museum and 

other objects of interest. 

The establisliment consists of a lofty tower, placed 
on a rising ground facing the Champ de Mars, with a 
number of buildings and workshops, &c. attached. 
On the top of the tower is a lantern, from which 
experiments are tried. The position of the experi- 
mental lighthouse is so chosen as to command a clear 
range of 1, 2, 8, 12 miles, as may be desired. 
Electric liqht. The Commission were shown some experiments 
now making on the electric light. 

The macliine is a modification of that used by 
Mr. Holmes at the South Foreland. It consists of eight 
gets of horseshoe magnets placed on the circumference 
of a long wheel, of the diameter of about four feet, 
instead of two wheels of a diameter of about eight 
feet, as used at the South Foreland. The magnets 
pass close to iron discs in the core of the wheel, and 
induce currents, which are conveyed along wires to 
the carbon points where the light is produced. The 
wheel is turned by a small steam engine ; but it 
might be made to revolve by any other sufficient 
mechanical power. One difference in the two 
machines is, that in this the currents are alternate ; 
whereas, in Holmes's, they are made continuous by a 
complicated arrangement on the axis of the wheels, 
which reverses the poles. 

It was stated that the alternation of the currents 
produced no sensible diii'erence in the light, and none 
was observed by the Commission. 

The light was exhibited in a large darkened room, 
and its intensity was remarkable. 

Tested against an Argand lamp, it was found to be 
equal to 94 burners. With a square lens of cast glass, 
and Holme's charcoal points, it was est imated at 55,000, ; 
with the improved charcoal points, and a much larger 
ground glass, at 220,000 ; with a red glass interposed 
it was reduced to 1,030. (Mons. Degrand stated 
that the red, as compared with white, improved as the 
distance increased.) And it was stated that the best 
lens, with the most powerful oil lamp, was only esti- 
mated at from 80 to 90. The light varied consider- 
ably as the charcoal points wore away ; it flickered, 
and occasionally went away altogether for an instant. 
This imperfection seemed to be caused by the char- 
coal; andif that could be remedied, either by the use 
of Professor Way's stream of mercury, or by any other 
means, the electric light produced by revolving 
magnets might be introduced into lighthouses. 

The intensity of the light was tested by looking at 
shadows projected by it on a screen of whitened 
glass placed at a distance of about 20 yards, and by 
comparing these with shadows thrown by a lamp 
placed at a distance of a few feet, or a few inches, as 
the case might be. The figures given arc the result 
of a calculation founded on the distances of the lights 
compared, from the glass screen, and cannot be 
taken as exact, though they express the difference 

The Museum consists of obsolete methods of 
illumination, and improvements now adopted or 

There are, Tin lamps with flat wicks, — The same 
with round wicks, — Concentric wicks now used. 
Reflectors of cast copper silvered ; The same, after 
twenty or thirty years of service, damaged, worn out, 
and condemned. 

These last appeared to have been very roughly 
handled, and it was stated that the keepers had never 
acquired the art of cleaning them properly. 

There were spherical reflectors joined together ou 
the same principle as the parabolic reflectors now 
used in the light ship at Liverpool. 

In the centre of the room is a trophy of condemned 
lenses with mirrors, such as aro now used at the 
Skerry Mhore and Inch Keith lighthouses in Scotland. 
Built up lenses, such as the first lenses were; and beside 
them were the lenses now used in the best French, 
English, Scotch, and Irish lighthouses. In addition 
to these, plates were shown of glass moulded into the 

required angles in iron moulds. These are being 
introduced in French lights, and it was stated that 
their reduced cost would very greatly reduce the 
expense of illumination without diminishing the 
amount of light. Wliat is lost in the inferior polish 
of the surfaces is said to be gained in the reduced 
thickness of glass. 

Mous. Degrand considers that this improvement 
will be a great step in lighthouse illumination. 

Small lenses of moulded glass were seen by the 
Commission in use at Londonderry on the 18th of 
July. See Report on Lo)idonderry. \o\. 1 

Models of bell buoys, Herbert's, and other buoys 
were shown, and the Commission were invited to 
visit the workshops where the buoys are made. 

All lighthouses of any importance in France are 
now fitted with lenses, as it is considered beyond all 
question that lenses are superior to reflectors. All 
lights are under one superintendence, and one man is 
mainly responsible for their management. 

There are no independent local authorities as in 
England, and the system must be uniform. It 
remains to be seen whether the system works well. 

The Commission were (>xtremely gratified with the 
establishment, and with the politeness of the gentle- 
men who have charge of it. 

It was stated that a fog signal, consisting of a bell 
placed in the focus of a reflector built of masonry, is 
about to be tried. 

October 21st, Paris. — The Commission met Mons. 
Ecynaud and Mons. Degrand at the establishment 
of Mons. Le Peaute, manufacturer of lighthouse appa- 
ratus. The lenses are ground in rings on wheels 
which revolve horizontally, and the required angle is 
obtained by arms which are fixed to the axle, and 
have certain cushions at the end, by means of which . 
the prisms are reduced with sand. The final polish 
is given by hand with rouge. The glass was remark- 
able for its purity. The angles are all calculated to 
throw a parallel ray horizontally, and in the case of 
a light placed high, the pannels are slightly inclined 
so as to throw the rays downwards to the horizon. 
{On this point, see the Report on Messrs. Chance's 
Works, p. 43.) 

Proceeded thence by rail to Argenteuil, and in- 
spected the establishment of Mons. Joly, where there 
was a large bell buoy on the Herbert principle in- 
tended for the mouth of the Seine. The Secretary 
suggested a plau of ringing the bell, which was 
approved by the t'reneh engineers. 

The buoy is large — o"' 80. above water line, and 
is to be surmounted by a ball and mirrors. It is pro- 
vided ivith a fixed projection like a rudder to steady 
it and prevent it from turning. 

In the course of conversation the engineers stated 
that the light produced in the French lighthouses 
was more than that produced in English lighthouses 
of the same order; because the consumption of oil Measure q 
per hour was yreater. This conclusion can only be light. 
just if the oil is advantai/voush/ consumed. It was 
also stated that the flame of a lamp properly trimmed 
is larger and brighter than the flame of the same 
kind of lamp as used in the English lighthouses, ac- 
cording to the personal observation of Mons. Reynaud 
when in England. It was also stated that the light 
at Grisnez is by no means one of the first excellence, 
though it has been repeatedly praised by English 
mariners in their evidence as one of the best French 
lighthouses. {See Abstract of Mariners' Evidence 
p. 1 10.) This may arise (according to Mons. Rey- 
naud) from the comparison with the light on the 
opposite coast (Duugeuess), which is not one of the 
best in England. The keepers are generally said to 
be old soldiers, who take a great interest and pride 
in their lighthouses. There is an intelligent officer, 
generally an engineer, within reach of almost every 
lighthouse in France, charged with a superintendence 
of the light, and the whole system is under one man 
residing in Paris, who is a member of a council 
(Ponts and Chaussees) which forms a department of 
the Government. In short, so far as the frame 



^al Erulence. 

'■ench hirot/nge 

oi. II. W. 

id light. 

of the system goes, it appears to be peculiarly well 
adapted for securing efficient and uniform lighting. 
The buoyage of the coast is in like manner syste- 
matized, but it has not been carried out. " They are 
now about to improve that branch of the service." 

In the evening, Monsieur Roynaud brought letters 
to the Commis.sioners, giving them access to all the 
lighthouses, and to the registers kept there. 

Mr. Graves, Captain Ryder, and Dr. Gladstone 
started for Cherbourg next morning. Their report 
win be found at page 39. 

October 22nd. — Admiral Hamilton and the Secre- 
tary proceeded to Bordeaux via Tours, to inspect the 
Tour de Cordouan, and other lighthouses, indicated 
by Monsieur Reynaud as most worthy of attention. 

Left Paris at 9, arrived at Tours at 2, on Sunday. 

October 24th. — Left Tours at 2, arrived at Bor- 
deaux at 10 p.m. 

October 25th. — Called on the consul and presented 
letter from the ambassador. 

Bordeaux. — Went to the port and boarded the 
steamer "Tanolipaz," for Liverpool, the only English 
steam vessel in harbour. 

Captain Charles Baker stated that, in his opinion, 
after four years' expei'ience, the French lights were 
far superior to the English lights in brilliancy, but 
are not nearly so well placed ; that is to say, they are 
not generally far enough to seaward — for example, 
Ushant. The French buoys are inferior to the 
English ; they are few and tar between, and do not 
watch in tideways. They are very small ; " a man 
could carry them in a wheelbarrow." 

Captain Baker, in sailing between Liverpool and 
Bordeaux, sees many of the French and English lights. 

He sees the Longships, No. 52, and complains 
that it is very poor ; he has mistaken it for a 
ship's light. On referring to observations of the 
Commission it appears that the light is catoptric, 
20 re.'ectors, fixed, and when inspected by the 
Commission, July 8th, the reflectors were very 
bright. The boatmen in the neighbourhood 
stated that the light was " beautiful." Captain 
Baker's opinion is, therefore, formed on a frequent 
comparison of French dioptric lights with an English 
fixed catoptric in good order, and his testimony 
confirms the rest of the evidence, and is favourable 
to dioptric lights. With reference to red lights, 
Captain Baker says that in hazy weather he has 
seen the red flash of the lighthouse at Pontillac, 
when the white light at the same place, and that at 
Terre Negre (a lighthouse nearer to him), were not 
visible. Captain Baker has traded on the north coast 
of Spain, and thinks these lights equal to the French, 
and superior to the English. He also thinks that 
lights placed near high land are often obscured by 
the condensation of fogs near the land. 

Boarded a French steamer, and questioned the 
mate. He thinks the English lights as good as the 
French ; he trades to the north of Europe, and is well 
acquainted with the English lights ; when the wind is 
in certain quarters his vessel, to use his own words, 
" souvent tombe cr-r-rack sur le galloppare." 

October 26th. — Travelled by rail to Arcachon, a 
newly-built watering place on the basin ; hired a boat 
with some difficulty, as the wind and tide were both 
contrar}', and were pulled over by four Gascons to 
the lighthouse on 


The tower is white, and stands on a low promontory 
of land, which forms one side of the entrance to the 
basin. The channel is extremely narrow and intri- 
cate, and is not buoyed. The sea was breaking 
heavily on the sand banks, and on the Dunes out.side. 
The tower is white, a round column on a round 
base. The base contains the rooms of the keepers. 
The tower has no floors, and is ascended by a cork- 

screw stair. The gallery round the top is broad, and Fiance. 

the whole edifice is remarkably solid, and apparently 

well built. 

The illuminating apparatus is lenticular, but the 
upper and lower portions consist of rows of mercurial 
mirrors, instead of glass prisms, six rows above and three 
below. These are damaged, as they are in Scotland 
and elsewhere, where they have been in use for a long 
time. They are considered by the lighthouse autho- 
rities in Paris as out of date, and are included amongst 
the curiosities in the museum. To the landward side 
is a large silvered spherical reflector, intended to 
reflect the light to seaward. A portion of the light 
is seen above and below the mirror from the basin, 
and is useful to fishermen and others. Those re- 
flectors were clean, but decidedly inferior to English 
reflectors of the same kind. 

The lamp is a mechanical pumping lamp. The Instruction of 
guardian explained that he had been carefully in- keepers. 
structed in all that pertained to the machinery ; that 
he had been required to take it to pieces, and set it 
up again, before he was intrusted with the care of the 
light. He showed his manner of levelling the burner 
with spirit levels, and of adjusting the lamp in the 
focus of the lens, by means of a string attached to a Direction oj 
point on the framework, but there was no contrivance beam. 
for setting the lens or the lamp, so as to throw the 
light downwards to ttie horizon. It is manifest there- 
fore that here, as elsewhere, a considerable portion of 
the light must be thrown upwards above the horizon 
and lost. If the lens were set to throw a horizontal 
beam, the light would pass above the horizon at the 
height of the lighthouse ; but as the light is seen at a 
distance of a few miles, the beam must have a con- 
siderable divergence, and that must be as great 
upwards as downwards; consequently tha greater part 
of the light is thrown on the clouds. 


Ligiitlionse beam tlirowu at right angl 

The bars of the lantern are horizontal and ver- 
tical, instead of diagonal, as in Scotland ; and, in that 
respect, inferior, for horizontal bars cast shadows and 
obscure the light. {See Report on Bertcick.) 

The lantern is surrounded by a network of strong 
■wire, as the number of large wild fowl which &y Injunj by birds. 
against it is such as to endanger the strong glass. 
About 200 birds were so killed this year. 

There are three kee]5ers. No provision is made 
for lodging their families, but they have obtained 
permission and have built huts for themselves. One 
of these was also occupied by a party of sportsmen 
who had come for the purpose of shooting pigeons. 

The register was inspected, and was found in 
order ; made up to the last date. The keepers are 
required to consume a certain quantity of oil per Measure of 
hour, and the quantity consumed is taken as the mea- ^'9^'- 
sure of the light produced. The quantity is ascer- 
tained by sounding the oil in the reservoir, and esti- 
mating the weight consumed by a table provided for 
the purpose. (See Captain Ryder's remarks.) 

There is a lightning conductor ; no barometer ; 
no thermometer. The keepers would be glad to 
have both, and to keep the register. There is no 
dial ; they have often applied for one in vain. There 
is a clock. There are no means of communication 
between the lantern and the rooms below. The 
keeper on guard is allowed an arm chair, but no 
books. Arm chairs are forbidden in Clreat Britain, 
and books are provided. 




Sailed back to ArcacLoD, and slept at tlie Hotel 
de France. 

October 27.— TraTelled by rail to Bayonne, and 
thence three miles to 


Walked up to the lighthouse, and found one of the 
keepers engaged in lighting his lamp, and the other 
smoking a cigar and vratchiug the last rays of the 
sunset behind the Spanish mountains. 

Hailed the man in the balcony, told him of the 
order, and obtained permission to mount. The 
tower is built on a rock of considerable height, and 
is a very fine building. The keepers' dwellings are 
about the base, as at Cape Ferret ; but there is no 
provision for lodging the families of the keepers, 
who live in the tov.'u in their own lodgings. The 
building appeared to be rather extravagant than 
otherwise, but not to equal the British lighthouses in 
providing for the comfort of the keepers, though the 
accommodation is ample for single men. The tower, 
as at Cape Ferret, is mounted by a corkscrew stair. 
The floor is of coloured marbles. The illuminating 
apparatus is revolving, a system of 16 lenses showing 
a flash every ^ minute, and a system of 8 rows of 
plane mercurial mirrors above and below. The 
light shows all round, and a considerable portion 
(nearly one half) is lost on the landward side. The 
mirrors were damaged, and some displaced ; the 
■tvhole was inferior to many of the English light- 
houses of modern construction. The lamp was the 
same as at Cape Ferret, and the flame exceedingly 
bright and clear. The keeper seemed perfectly to 
understand his business, and to take a pride in it. 
He said that the flame "would be better when the oil 
got heated, and he varied it by moving the regulator 
in the iron chimne}-, so as to show tlie ill eflccts of 
too much or too little draught. 

The men consider themselves to be ill paid, on 
account of their responsibility. They have no allow- 
ances beyond their pay, and they find it hard to sub- 
sist on that. They are not changed from place to 
to place, as in England. The lighthouse was very 
clean, but inferior in that respect to many in Great 
Britain which the Commissioners have seen. 

The lights of Fontarabia and St. Sebastian were 
very clearly seen, distant many miles. 

On returning to the hotel tested the light with the 
dark prism from the window, distant about a mile. 
A wax candle, distant 21 feet, gave 4-20, light- 
house flash 3 • 50, fixed light, 2 • 80. At about half 
a mile inland the light was still brighter, and threw 
strong shadows from the trees on the road. As this 
point was above the lighthouse, and considerably 
above the level of the sea, it is evident that here, a3 
elsewhere, the greater portion of the light is thrown 
upwards, and never reaches the sea, while nearly ono 
half is thrown over the land, where it is not wanted 
at all. A small reflector, fixed inside the lenses on the 
land side, would be some economy, and could be placed 
without any diificulty. Very few birds are killed here. 

The result of these two comparisons is by no means 
unfavourable to the condition and eiRciency of English 
lights of the same class. 

October 28th. — Travelled by diligence to St. Sebas- 
tian, observed the light showing directly along the 
road ; it was very Ijright, but was certainly not 
wanted there. 

October 29tli Walked up to the lighthouse 


It 13 a white tower on the hill to the west of 
the port — a low tower with comfortable dwellings 
attached ; there is no ornament, but it is very 
neat and remarkably well kept. The apparatus 
is third class dioptric fixed with three flashes, pro- 

duced by a system of revolving cylindrical prisms Spain. 

made in Paris by Le Paute, the period of revolution 

■^ minute ; the lamp is mechanical, and has two 
wicks. About one fifch of the light is lost on the hill 
behind the house, and, though this light is about .500 or Direction of 
600 feet above the sea, it is set to throw a horizontal *'""'■ 
beam. This method of throwing a flash has uot been 
adopted iu any English lighthouse that has been 
visited, and the result is satisfactory, for the light 
with two wicks was clearly seen at Biarrittz, distant 
many miles. There are two guardians, whose pay 
is 5,000 reals. The one who showed the light 
seemed satisfied. There are no meteorological instru- 
ments. There is a lightning conductor. No books 
are provided ; there is a clock, but no dial. The 
keeper is a mechanic and a musician, and seemed to 
be a very intelligent man ; his light was remarkably 
well and neatly kept. The oil burned is olive oil, 
which costs 68 reals the aroba. The keepers are 
provided with arms, and the lower windows are 
barred. The court is covered with glass, and the 
rain water is collected and used. Returned to 
St. Sebastian direct, and drove in a carriage to 
Passages, a small town about three miles to the east- 
ward ; it is built on both sides of a very narrow 
entrance between two hills of about 1,000 feet. The 
passage leads from the sea into a considerable basin. 

Hired a boat and rowed same distance to seaward, 
landed, and walked up a very steep hill, and then 
along a sheep walk overhanging the sea to the light- 
house. It is built on a peak overhanging the sea, 
about 580 feet above the level. There is good 
accommodation for the two keepers, who were profuse 
in their offers of hospitality. One has a wooden leg, 
the other has his full complement of limbs, and both 
appeared to understand their business, and to be 
intelligent men ; one played several airs on a guitar. 
Their dwellings were not very clean, and their diet 
seemed to be spare ; everything belonging to the 
light was in extremely good order, and they seemed 
to take a pride in it. Here, as at St. Sebastian, there 
were spare lamps ready for use, and everything in 
order and in its proper place, as in well-kept light- 
houses elsewhere. 

The register is the same as in France, and has a 
column for recording the appearance of other lights 
visible. The light is fixed, 4th order dioptric, two 
wicks made in Paris ; set for horizontal beam, and a 
great part of the light lost on the hills behind. The 
keeper here, as at the other light, pointed out that a 
door to act as a reflector would materially improve 
the light. There are no meteorological instruments ; 
there is a clock, and the hours for lighting and extin- 
guishing are specified. Arms are provided, and the 
windows are barred. Keeper stated that these precau- 
tions were against " ladrones " (robbers), and that he 
was a little of a soldier. They see many ships passing 
sometimes close to the rocks, but there have been no 
wrecks. There are no fog signals at either of these 
lighthouses. Both are in excellent condition, and 
arc fully equal to lights of similar classes elsewhere, 
which was not anticipated. The keepers stated that 
the lights to the westward were of a larger class, and 
quite as well kept. 

Returned in a violent storm of wind and rain, 
rowed to Pasages, and drove to St. Sebastian, where 
three steamers were waiting to embark a number of 
soldiers for Morocco. In the night one of these was 
forced to put to sea, and a large coaster was driven on 
shore in the harbour. 

On the 28th gave a number of IMariners' Questions 
to the consul at Bilboa, who happened to be in the 

October 30th. — Travelled to Bayonne. 

October 31st. — Rail to Bordeaux. 

November 1st. — Steamed down the river to 

134. ROYAN; 

heavy sea and bad weather at the mouth of the river. 
The buoyage of this very difficult navigation was 



„ remarkably defective. The buoys were few and far 

J^*^' between, and small, but coloured on the usual French 
3uoyarje. System. Observed the floating lightvcssel, which 

■was small, and similar to the Ilumbcr lightvessel. 
On landing hired a carriage, and drove to Pontillac, 
where the sand was so heavy that the carriage 
was left. 


Walked in the dark to the lighthouse, -svliich the 
Commissioners had been advised to inspect as worthy 
of their attention. It is a lofty construction of 
wooden beams, forming a pyramid, with a stair, and 
an iron room on the top containing the light. The 
keepers (two) have their dwellings at a distance of 

I about 300 j-ards ; walked to tho door, got one of the 

keepers to accompany us, and ascended the tower. 

I It was blowing very hard : there was no one in the 

building, and the doors were unfastened. The light 

'Catoptric. is alternately red and bright, produced by three lamps 

ledliqat. in the focus of three large parabolic reflectors of cast 

copper, with galvanized silver. These were very 
dim, badly cleaned, and inferior in every respect to 
the worst reflectors seen in England, Their diameter 
is tliree feet, or rather more. The variation in colour 
is produced by two screens of red glass, which revolve 
horizontally on arms at right angles to an upright 
axle. On the top is a screen of metal, which masks 
the upper light when the two lower reflectors show 

Red light. bright. The upper reflector has a red glass chimney. 

Ttco bright lights are considered equal to three red ; 
but, according to the account of this light given by 
Captain Baker, page 35, the three red lights are better 
in haz)' weather than the two bright. This light is in- 
tended to be a leading light when seen in one with the 
light at Terre Negre, and is built of wood, as the banks 
are constantly changing, and it may be necessary 
to move it. Inspected the register, and found all in 
order. There are no instruments kept ; the keepers 
would be glad to have them. Both are married; 
their families live with them. The dwellings are 
neat and well kept ; the wives and daughters dressed 
in tall caps, the men in blouses. Observations are 
kept of neighbouring lights visible, six in number, — 
Cordovan, Terre Negre, La Courbe, Pointe de Graves, 
Eichard, and floating light. Of these, Cordouau, 
Terre Negre, Pointe de Graves, and La Courbe, were 
observed ; 138. the other two were invisible, in conse- 
quence of the haze. Cordouan shows red towards the 

November 2nd. — Visited Monsieur Botton, the 
district engineer, who gave a great deal of information 
as to the mode of conducting the lighthouse service, 
which will be given in detail by the authorities. 
Looked at Cordouan through a telescope, as it was 
quite inaccessible in consequence of the heavy sea- 
The tower is coloured white ; the sea was breaking 
heavily all round the lighthouse, and it was impossible 
to go oft'. It was stated that mirrors are still used as 
part of the illuminating apparatus. Travelled by 
diligence to Kochfort and by rail to La Rochelle. 

November 3rd. — Up at six, started at eight in a small 
steamer, and crossed to St. Martin, Isle de Rhe, in 1^ 
Lours; hired a carriage and drove 12 miles to the 
large lighthouse 


139 on tlie list of lights visited or seen alight. 

Observed in crossing a beacon tower built-on a reef ; 

it was coloured in horizontal stripes red and black. 

See ante with a white stripe close to the water. It was re- 

^eedlcs. marked that this produced the effect of a boat under 

?"'""'■ ''•^*'"'''' sail with the sky showing underneath, proving the 

j advantage of dark colours for objects intended to be 

seen against the sea or sky. A white lighthouse seen 


against the sky was not nearly so distinct as a France. 

neighbouring church steeple coloured black, as a 

sailing mark. The light was grey and the sky 
covered with clouds. 

The Tour de Balene is built on the '-''■orthera q^/^^^ ^y i^^^-^^ 
extremity of the island. It is of yellow stone, i„,j^ 
with ornaments of dark grey granite. The tower 
is octagonal, and rises from a set of buildings 
two stories high, which contain numerous rooms, 
some of which are retained for the use of the 
authorities who visit the lighthouse. They were 
plainly but well fitted and furnished. It reminded the . 
chairman of the lighthouses near Dublin and Edin- 
burgh. The ollroom and workroom were equally 
remarkable for their elegant fittings, pavements of 
coloured marbles, and tables of the same material, 
glass cases for the necessary tools, spare lamps, 
wicks, &c. Tho guardian stated that the work- 
room was not used for cleaning tho lamps, as it 
is at the bottom of the tower. Tho tower is 50 
metres in height, hollow like the rest, and ascended 
by a turning stair. Below the lantern is a room 
with a spare lamp ready for use, and a bed for a 
guardian. This room is wainscoated with flowered 
oak, and is extremely handsome. It was subsequently 
stated by Mens. Eeynaud, that he thought a little 
ornament of great practical use, as it makes the men 
more careful and more proud of their work. The 
lantern is also paved with coloured marble, and slabs Ornament. 
of the same material line the walls to the height of 
about sis feet. The guardian explained that this was 
intended to prevent dust. 

The gallery outside is broad and surrounded by a 
solid rail. The second lighthouse, built on a reef 
covered at high water, distant about a mile and a 
balf, vi^as observed. It was of grey granite, and 
appeared almost black, because wet. Two keepers 
live for a short period in this tower, and when re- 
lieved they are lodged on shore in neat houses built 
close to the largo tower, in a garden sheltered by 
tamarisks. Their wives arid families were seen. 
Also a system of spurs of brickwork projecting into 
the sea, intended to cause the sand to accumulate and 
prevent the damage which the sea might cause in 
heavy gales. A curious effect of a cross sea was 
pointed out by the keeper, who said that strangers 
generally remarked that they had never seen anything 
similar. It was sufficiently evident that the second 
light could not be visited, as the sea was breaking 
all about it in lines of breakers, moving at right 
angles to each other. 

The illuminating apparatus was constructed by 
Sautter and Co., Avenue Montaigne a Paris. 

It is dioptric, first order, and consists of a system 
of 16 revolving lenses, v/ith prisms above and below, 
to give the fixed light. It shows all round, and gives 
a flash every 30 seconds. The brass fittings are 
bright. The lamp is mechanical, with four wicks, and 
pump, carefully levelled and accurately set in the 
focus by the spirit level and string. The focus is at 
a distance of about an inch above the wick. The 
diameter of the apparatus is about six feet ; ventila- 
tion is obtained by doors opening below the glass of 
the lantern. These are used whenever the lantern 
is observed to be dim from condensation of vapour 
produced by combustion. Small birds are taken in Birds. 
numbers. The keeper described them as fluttering 
ao'ainst the glass till they rested on the stonework 
outside, always with their beaks against the glass. 
The guardians go outside, catch them and eat them. 
There are five guardians attached to these two light- 
houses, under the superintendence of a chief, who is a 
native of the island. This whole establishment is ex- 
tremely handsome and very well kept. Tho apparatus 
is equal to any in England, but not superior to Lundy 
Island, Eathlin, Skerry Mhore, and other first-class 
British lights which have been visited. There is a 
lightning conductor, an aneroid barometer, a clock ; 
but there are no means of communication between 
lantern and dwellings. No books are provided for 
the men. The register was well and neatly kept. 




Drove back to St. Martin's ; hired a fishing-boat, 
and sailed fo- La Rochelle, at 5 • 15, arrived at 10 • 25, 
head wind and considerable sea. Observed the lights 
of, 2, La Balene ; .3, St. Martin red harbour light ; 
4, La Flotte white ditto ; -i, Aiguillon ; 6, Chauvan ; 
7, Chasseron ; 8, Isle d'Aix ; 9, 10, harbour lights of 
La Rochelle. 149. These latter were very useful, and 
were greatly superior to lights of their class in Eng- 
land, such as Littlehampton, Aberdeen, Dunmore, 
near Waterford, &c. One is red, the other revolving 
bright, and when both are in one the harbour is open. 

November 4tli. — La Rochelle to Paris. 
November 5th. — Called on Mons. Reynaud, and 
finding that he was at the Atelier des Phares, followed 
him there ; found a Commission of members of the 
Government and scientific bodies engaged in an 
examination of the electric light. 

Mons. Revnaud stated that they had succeeded in 
increasing the power of the light, so as nearly to 
double its intensity, and that by dividing the machine 
into two parts they had avoided the danger of extinc- 
tion. The experiment under trial appeared to be a 
comparison between a single Argand burner, a four- 
wick lighthouse oil lamp, with a lens of the first order 
used to produce a flash, and the electric light in the 
focus of a cast lens on the new system for producing a 
fixed light ; that is to say, 1st, the light used in a 
single reliector ; 2nd, the most powerful light that 
is now produced in lighthouses, on the dioptric 
system, involving a first cost of about 1,000/. for appa- 
ratus, and a cost of 875 gallons of oil per year for 
fuel ; 3rd. The electric light in an apparatus about 
the size of a hat, costing about 20/. or 30/., intended to 
cast a horizontal disk of light, and produced at the 
cost of the motive power of the engine, wear and 
tear of the machine, and cost of engineer. 

The superiority of the electric light was beyond 
all comparison. According to the calculation of the 
engineers the figures were, at the former experi- 
ment : — 

Argand burner, 1. 

First order flash, 80 to 90. 

Electric light, 94. 

Electric light, cast glass flash, 55,000. 
Ditto first order flash, 220,000. 
Ditto doubled (2), 440,000. 
Ditto fixed light, small apparatus costing 
20/. or 30/., figures not given, but the light was so 
intense as to be painful to the eyes, and to obliterate 
the shadow cast by the first order flash with an oil 
lamp of four wicks placed near it, and at the same 
distance. The light was steady. A report will pro- 
bably be given, and should be obtained if possible. 

It does not appear that steam power is necessary 
to move the machine which produces the current of 
electricity. A weight and a system of wheels would 
probably give sutficient power and velocity. If this 
can be accomplished, the electric light seems to be far 
superior to any other artificial light known. 

Tuesday 8th. — Observed the harbour light Bou- 
logne, Grisnez, and South Foreland at .about 6 a.m., 
day breaking. The stars were nearly all invisible in 
the light, consequently the South Foj-eland electric 
light, fixed light apparatus, was then, at a distance of 
29 miles, superior in brilliancy to the stars. The 
fishermen all consider the new light an improvement, 
and remark that the colour is blue. The sailors on 
board the steamer remarked that tliey see the electric 
light about seven miies further than the other in thick 
hazy weather. 

The Commission crossed the Channel, and returned 
to London. 

(Signed) W. A. B. Hamilton. 

Captain Ryder visited France, and reported as Observations t\ 
follows : — Captain Byde. 


13th October. — Visited the pier lighthouse of the 
harbour of La Joliette. Catoptric, fourtb order. No 
fog or telegraph signals. Lamp very clean. Keeper 
absent at his trade. 

14th. — Visited the lighthouse at Cassis, and after- 
wards the two lighthouses at Ciotat. 

15th. — Had an interview with the Secretary of the 
Prefet Maritime at Toulon, who passed me on to the 
Engineer des Travaux, in the dockyard ; who passed 
me on to the assistant of the Engineer des Travaux 
Publiques, who gave me two orders for Lesset and 
La Porquerolles. 

16th. — -A very wet morning. Started for small 
steamer appointed to sail on that day at 7 a.m. for 
Porquerolles. Found that her machine had broken 
doivn, and she would not start until Tuesday in next 
week. Returned to Paris to meet Commissioners. 


The two lighthouses at Ciotat (a very valuable 
harbour, where are situated the buildings of the 
Messageries Imperiale), and the one lighthouse at 
Cassis (another small harbour), are good specimens of 
lights, which from their brilliancy must be useful as 
coast lights, although more accurately they would 
be considered only as harbour lights. They, like La 
Joliette, are 4th order ; but La Joliette alone had a 
reflector back. The houses are small, just room 
enough to turn up stairs. The lamps and lenses are 
always carefully covered in the daytime, and the 
blinds drawn. The keepers are in every case, as 
regards these harbour lights, allowed to follow a trade 
during the day, which permits of their receiving a 
low pay. 

There was only one point which caught my atten- 
tion, and which if valuable, may be adopted by us ; 
viz., a tin filter for the oil. In visiting our own Filter. 
lighthouses we occasionally noticed that the oil was 
thick and dull. This might probably be corrected 
by a filter. 

I made no inquiries as to management, &c., deem- 
ing that all such queries could be best answered at 

Examined at Marseilles, Captain Roberts, of the 
" Vectis," Peninsular and Oriental. 

He stated that he had answered our questions, and Oral EviJevci 
gave as his opinion that the French lights appeared 
to him to be more brilliant than the English ; but 
not being asked to give his reason why they were so, 
had not stated what was the reason of his opinion, 
viz. that the lights, from being in the Mediterranean, 
where the atmosphere was so clear, showed much 
further, and could therefore be placed at greater 
heights. He considered the Porquerolles a very good 
light ; he had seen it 25 miles ofi". The Sangunez, 
on the coast of Corsica, was also a very good light, 
and had seen it 30 miles off ; Genoa light also he 
had seen 30 miles off'. Where the atmosphere is 
clear the lights can of course be placed higher, and 
therefore can be seen further ofi'. 

The greater height and the clearness of the atmo- 
sphere are calculated to elicit a very favourable 
opinion of the French lighthouses, and to make the 
English lights — necessarily placed lower, and therefore 
not seen so far ofi" — owing to that cause and to the less 
clear atmosphere, compared with the French at a 
disadvantage. Note. — This is true when French 
lights in the Mediterranean or the south coast of 
France are compared with lights in England, but 
cannot apply to any comparison between lights that 
belong to the two countries, and are situated in the 
English Channel. 

He thinks Gozo light, in the island of Malta, as 
good as any French light. 

Captain Roberts thinks a good light at the east end 
of Malta would be a great advantage to 
coming from the eastward. 



Prefers revolving lights, as they cannot ho mistaken 
for ship's lights. 

The light at P^ort Tine, Quarantine Harbour, has 
been most unaccountably delayed. The lamp has 
been returned to England, and he hears it will not 
give satisfaction. Captains not been consulted about 

.SV. Allan's Head, eouth coast of England, ought 
to have a good light. 

Portland lighis atq not powerful enough. Was 
not aware of lightship being placed there. 

24th October. — Cherbourg visited by Captain A. 
P. Ryder, Mr. Graves, and Dr. Ghidstone. 


Dioptric, fourth order ; in the fort near Cherbourg. 

The lieeper and his wife botli intelligent people ; 
live in a house in the fort. They alluded to liaving 
moved in a higher sphere, and being reduced. 

He breaks, on an average, one chimney in about 
eight months. He says wlien they become perma- 
nently dull he breaks tliem purposely. 
7im wich. He eflccts an economy by stretching, and thus 

thinning the wick. It burns brighter with less oil. 
He considers that he effects a saving of one-sixth 
of the oil in this way. He cleans the glass with 
spirits of wne ; it was certainly very clean. A 
linen cover is kept over it all the day. 

His lighthouse is inspected twice a month by the 
local agent, one of the employes in the engineer 

He stated that he never had to touch the light 
during the night. 

The oil was kept in a double cistern. The cistern 
was lined with zinc, which colours the oil ; but he 
spoke of a superior description, lined with porcelain. 
There was a wooden scale in the cistern. He spoke 
of an improved scale, which was marked as the oil 
was poured in, and was therefore more accurate. 

He always empties his lamp every morning into 
the filter, and from thence the oil is transferred to 
the cistern. 

Every two mouths he washes the cloth at the 
bottom of the filter, and bakes the sand. 

He is very careful in cleaning his lamp, and has 
small brushes of his own whicli he passes through 
the oil pipe to clear the passage, into which pieces of 
burnt wick sometimes find their way. 

He uses burnt brick instead of rouge, as he says 
rouge gives a tinge to the brass which makes the 
light yellow. He considers it important to have all 
metal as bright as possible, so that every ray may be 

He stated that the last keeper very much neglected 
the light, and stole the oil. 
onsmiiption of Great precautions are taken to estimate the con- 
sumption. The lamp is weighed just before it is 
lighted, and also when extinguished ; ths difference 
is the weight of the oil. This is registered. Tlie 
sums of these weights during any interval ought 
evidently to equal the decrease in the weight of the 
oil in the cistern ; but no precaution of this kind can 
prevent a lighthouse keeper, where there is only 
one, from selling the oil, as it is evidently in his 
power to cook his accounts. There is tlm following 
danger in watching the consumption of oil too nar- 

The relative importance of the duties of a light- 
house keeper, viz., 

(1.) Keeping the most brilliant light possible, 

(2.) Honestly expending the oil, 
is evidently in the order given. If, therefore, there 
is a rogue in charge of a lighthouse, it is better 
that he should keep the most brilliant light possible, 
even though he sells some of the oil. Any very 
rigid and safe system of scrutiny would lead the 
rogues (who know that their chiefs are well awai-e 
wliat the maximum consumption should be), to 
obtain their surplus disposable oil by diminishing 


the brilliancy of the lamp whenever they thought 
they could safely do so, as in thick fogs, &c. 

The keeper at Querqueville evidently prided him- 
self very much on his lighthouse, and had made a 
special study and hobby of the duties connected 
with it. 


A first-class catadioptric with red flashes, caused 
by a revolving frame containing cylindrical converg- 
ing lenses and red panes. 

Lighthouse tower grey colour, although intended as 
a guiding mark for ships at sea. 

The lighthouse and buildings handsome, and grounds 
very nicely kept. There was a cafe close to the 
lighthouse, kept by some of the family. There were 
handsome apartments for the engineer, who only 
comes there for a few days. This lighthouse was con- 
sidered by Mr. Reynaud to be a very important light. 

We were much struck with the order and regularity 
of the arrangements. There was a very large assort- 
ment of tools in a glass press in the waiting room. 
Spare glasses, spare towels, wicks, &c., were all 
orderly arranged in the press. 

There was a framed list of everything in each room 
hung up for reference. The head keeper stated that 
the pumping machine made the flame burn irregu- 
larly. He preferred, he said, the moderator principle, 
which we saw afterwards at Honfleur. 

There was a reflector, but it was very dull. There 
was only one hole in the centre of the roof and no 
upper chimney. The soot was constantly falling, as if 
the consumption was imperfect. 

Tie keeper used rouge powder for reflector occa- 
sionally ; but ordinarily a white powder, called poudre 
d'Espagne ; it looked like whiting. He stated that 
Mr. Reynaud did not like the reflectors to be very 

The quantity of oil consumed every watch is mea- 
sured and registered by a steel scale being placed in 
the lamp. 

The machine for producing the rotatory motion 
appeared to be very perfect. It will go for 20 hours, 
but is wound up every night. The small machine 
for supplying oil is wound up every three hours. 

There are three keepers ; they may work in the 
day at a trade, but not sleep out at night without 

We saw here, and in all the larger lighthouses, an 
arm chair in the chamber immediately under the 
lamp, evidently intended for and most suggestive of 
a nap. The second keeper it was stated remained in 
bed while the one on guard was always in the lantern 
or the chair. The pay of the three keepers were 
respectively 800, 725, 600 francs, or 32/., 291., 2il., 
about half what they receive in our service. 

The families did not appear to reside in the light- 
house. House rent is probably, therefore, a charge 
which still further increases the disproportion between 
the salaries in the two countries. 

They receive free lighting and use of furniture. 

There was a barometer and thermometer, and eight 
observations were made in the 24 hours. 

A record is also kept of the strength of the wind, 
and the nature of the clouds. 

There were four rain gauges. 

The lighthouse is inspected twice a month by the 
conductor, twice a year by engineer, and once in two 
years by Mr. Degrand or Mr. Reynaud. The light- 
house keepers pay their own doctors generally ; but 
at some of the lighthouses the engineers allow them 
advice gratis ; it depends on the engineer. 

There is a superannuation after very long service. 

The keepers said new oil was always tried in a 
small lamp with a wick supplied for the purpose, and 
if it did not burn well, was returned. 

The rule for lighting was a quarter of an houi' 
before sunset, and for extinguishing, at daylight. 

Everything beautifully clean ; but not more so 



Oral Evuletwe. 


than in our first-class houses in England or Scotland, 
and some in Ireland. „ . -, u „,i 

Saw this light from Honfleur sis miles ofi ; red 
flashes very brilliant. 


An English resident at Harfleur, and accustomed 
to navigate the Channel in a yacht, expressed his 
opinion Uiat the English coast was better liglited than 
the French, because the lights were situated m more 
useful positions, and were better distinguished from 
one another. He said that the French navigated by 
the lead, and made comparatively little use ot the 
lights. , 

From the pier at Honfleur 1 1 diflerent lights, be- 
sides red lanterns on piers, were observed that night 
in different parts of the Seine, including those ot 
La Heve, which were very bright. 

The buoys in the Seine appeared few and small ; 
none on any of the sand banks. 

Visited the Phare de I'Hopital ; third order ; fixed ; 
two wicks. 

Moderator lamp ; no metal chimney running to 

roof. ^ , , 

The moderator has a small filter, to prevent dust 

beinf forced up by piston to the wick. 

The oil is measured with a steel measure every 

The' lishthousc keeper, Victor Helane, was an old 
soldier who had served in the Russian campaign ; 
lost his pension on coming into the lighthouse service. 
His pay was 650 francs, 26/. House said to no 
inconvenient ; no room. _ _ 

Fatouville is two leagues ofl' ; cannot see it in a tog. 

26th Oct. — Crossed the Seine to Havi'e. 

Two lighthouses ; very handsome, connected by _a 
well-built" row of dwellings. A permanent bazaar is 
established in the lower story. First class dioptric, 
fixed. . ^ „ ., 

Fresnel's upper and lower mirrors. Pumps lor oil 
very clean and in aood order. 

There were five" keepers. Tlie head keeper kept 
no niaht watch, but visited the houses occasionally. 
The oil is measured every hour. The consumption of 
oil appears to be considered as the measure of 
efficiency, and any keeper would be blamed as having 
neglected his duty if the consumption had not reached 
the required figure during his watch. 

The lighthouses are of the same height. Their 
being in one was said to mark the position of some 

This is said to be the site of the earhest light- 
house in France. A coal fire was burnt here till 1790. 

27th Oct.^-Proceeded to Dieppe, and visited at 
night the lighthouse at 

157. AILLY. 
This is considered by M. Reynaud to be one of the 
very best lights in France. 

1st order ; catadioptric, revolving. 

The flash is prolonged by the totally reflecting 
prisms of the upper part of the apparatus not being 
perfectly concentric witii the annular lenses. There 
are large reflectoi-s on the landward side, which, how- 
ever, were very dull. 

In very good order. Light very brilliant. The 
windows were very dirty. No novelty of any kind 
was elicited by our visit. 

(icnerul opiuinjts. — The interna] arrangements of 
the French lighthouses appear to be perfect. 

The dulness of their reflectors in the catadioptric 
lights appears the only exception to their uniform 

The lighthouses of the smaller orders are not so 
well provided with tools, &c., as the larger establish- 

The dioptric principle appears to be almost 
universal. The French when Frtsucl brought for- 

ward his principle were, unlike the English, almost 
without lighthouses. It was most economical, there- 
fore for them to place dioptric lights everywhere, the 
entire cost being soon covered by the economy in oil. 
The frequency of the French lights is also very 
marked compared with the lights in the English 
Channel. If there is no confusion occasioned by 
this, there can be no doubt but that frequent lights 
are a great boon to navigators in thick hazy weather. 
October 28th.— Captain Ryder and Mr. Graves 
crossed from Dieppe to Newhaven. _ 

Captain White, of the Newhaven packet mtormed 
them that the only two lights he used were Cap L'Ailly 
in France, and Beachy Head in England, and he was 
constantly seeing tliem, losing siglit of one shortly 
before he obtained sight of the other. He staled 
that the English was quite as good as the French. 

j\Ir Gladstone visited the lighthouse on the pier- ObscT^nf:..,, 

. , . Dr. Crladiii 

head at 

158. DIEPPE. 
It is a fourth order, dioptric. It appeared clean and 
in n-ood condition. The keeper lives in a house close 
by the pier, where he keeps his oil, stores,_ registers, 
&c. He complained tliat the zinc cisterns injure the Ti,hi!lial.t. 
oil, and said that the same had been remarked to him 
by'the keepers at the Cap deL'.iilly. The oil was 
m'uch better when kept in eartheru jars. The last 
keeper had been discharged for inattention. The 
lin-ht is only burnt for two hours at high water. 

°From the pier at Boulogne Jlr. Gladstone watched 
the li-rht at Cape Grisnez. It shone clearly, and the 
altcrmition of bright and dull light produced a good 

October 29th. — As he could not manage to reach 
Cape Grisnez on account of the distance, Mr. Glad- 
stone wrote to Admiral Hamilton to that eff'ect, in- 
forming him of the means of reaching that place should 
he deem it expedient to do so. He had previously 
visited the lighthouse at Cap d'Alpreche, and that on 
the western jetty at Boulogne. 

The establishment consists of a small tower con- 
taining a dioptric apparatus of the third order, a 
little house, and a garden, on the top of a very 
exposed cliff'. The keeper, who is an intelligent 
and civil man, and his wife both complained of 
the cold and wind from which they suflfer. The 
tower frequently sways to and fro with the wind, and 
the glass of the lantern is often cracked, and some- 
times blown in, so that storm panes are always kept 
ready. The place appeared clean, and well kept, and 
the ventilation good. The rope of the revolving 
apparatus is very thin, but strong, and the keeper 
seemed greatly astonished that in Great Brit.ain ropes 
sometimes l)reak ; he said that the rope ought to be 
examined from time to time, and changed if at all 
frayed. He is not furnished with proper means for 
weighing the oil. The conductor comes frequently, 
perhaps once a month ; the engineer occasionally. 
The South Foreland lights are seen from this tower. 

The tidal light establishment on the western jetty j-i,i„j /;,_,/,, 
at Boulogne comprises an iron tower, a wooden house 
for the keeper, and a zinc bell-house. _ The keeper 
is an ignorant man who cannot read ; his son-in-law 
keeps Uie registers. At dill'erent heights up the 
tower and facing the sea are two windows, each pro- 
vided with a very small dioptric apparatus. They 
were in a very sooty condition, apparently from the 
want of ventilation. The lighting of these indicate 
the state, of the tide, which is ascertained by a pole 
attached to a float, which rises and falls along a 
graduated scale on the wall of the keeper's house. 
There is an Argand lamp in a window towards the 
town, which is lighted merely to show that the keeper 
is there. Things looked badly cared for throughout the 
establishment, and the keeper did not know the time. 



The bell is in the centre of a large parabolic re- 
flector built into the house, and facing the sea. It seems 
to be of iron covered with some white composition. 
It is struck by three hamnaers alternately, which are 
worked by machinery, the motive power being a 
falling weight that has to be wound up every half 
hour. It has a clear sound, but did not give the im- 
pression of beitig very loud even when heard from the 
front of the reflector. 

There arc buoys on each side of the channel out- 
side Boulogne Harbour ; but they are small and do 
not watch well. 

dropping on the reflectors, injured their reflecting Lelaiul. 

powers. Small cups required to be fitted to catch 

the oil. 

The keeper stated that 1 argand lamp burnt about 
I pint in 12 hours. 

The keeper thinks the rocky point consisting of 
limestone is being blasted away too much, as in gales 
of wind the sea now breaks much higher than it used 
to do. 

Examined the oil account to see if there was Consmnytion oj 
any great difference between the expenditures in the <"V. 
different years. 1856, 812 gallons; 1857, 812 gallons; 
1858, 823 gallons. Again to compare months. 

September, 18-59. — Captain Ryder and 
Mr. Graves visited the followin"- lighthouses 

161. THE HOOK— No. 135. 

19th September 1859. 7 a.m. The illuminating ap- 
paratus is catoptric with twenty-one burners. The 
reflectors were very old. The head lighthouse keeper, 
Peter Page, appeared intelligent ; he had been twenty- 
nine years in the service of the Ballast Board. His 
previous profession had been bookbinding. His 
pay was 64/. 12*. 4d. per annum, and the assistant 
received 46/. 3s., but it cost them 21. a year to send 
for their provisions. 

There was no lightning conductor. It is remark- 
able that we find no record of lighthouses having been 
struck by lightning, although many of them have 
no conductors. There are two fog bells rung by 
machinery. The keeper thought that one, placed on 
the point, would be heard better. The sound from one 
bell appeared to be much obstructed by a portion 
of the wall which projected in front of it. There 
were no signals ; the keeper suggested, and we after- 
wards received evidence tending to show, that a tide 
signal at the Hook to indicate when the bar was 
passable for large vessels, would be much valued. 
The oil appeared to be clean and good. The chimneys 
are broken at the rate of about 150 to 200 in the year. 
The water consumed by the keepers is rain water 
collected in a cask. They are not supplied with filters. 
A cistern had been received some weeks prior to our 
visit, but no one had arrived to erect it. 

The lighthouse is inspected once a year by the 
Engineer and some of the Commissioners. Medicine 
chests are not supplied in Irish lighthouses. Each 
keeper is allowed an acre of land in which to grow 
vegetables. No wreck has taken place within sight 
of the lighthouse for 4 years. 

The paint was in fair order, but the tower, an 
edifice of very considerable age, appears to admit the 
damp readily, the walls being covered with damp 
marks. A barometer, thermometer, clock, and sun 
dial were on the premises. 

The ventilation appeared to be ^-ery imperfect, the 
smoke settling on the windows and top. 

The accommodation for the keepers who lived in 
the tower was very indifferent, two rooms only for 
each family. The time for lighting the lamps was 
sunset, and for extinguishing them sunrise, this by 
almanac if sun is not visible. They had a smaD 
number of books supplied to them, but they had not 
been changed in 6 years. 

There was a great deal of brassivork about the 
lamps and reflectors, which was kept highly polished. 
The reflectors were removed once in 6 months for 
the purpose of giving a thorough polishing to the 
silvering, but every week to polish the backs. In 
some lighthouses the brasswork is allowed to become 
a natural bronze coloui-, and is rarely cleaned. This 
saves much risk to the reflector. No tools of any 
kind are supplied. 

There appeared to be a great deal of rotten wood 
in the lantern framework. 

This lighthouse has been supplied with new 
patterned lamps, which, however, leaked, and the oil 

I. F 

































II. 231. 


Asked the keeper what was the largest amount 
of difference in gallons between the expenditures of 
two consecutive years which he thought would be 
allowed to pass unquestioned ; would 50 gallons ? Yes, 
he said. He should not expect any notice to be 
taken if his account one year was 50 gallons over his 
previous account, as there was a great difference 
between oils. The best oil burnt quickest. We then 
visited the 

162. FORT DUNCANNON.— No. 136. 

It has three argands, and is situated in a corner of 
the fort. When in one with an inshore lighthouse, 
the line is a leading mark for crossing the bar. The 
keeper succeeded his father ; as his presence is not 
required during the day, he receives only 21/. per 
annum. There are no lightning conductors. The 
paint was in good order, but the ventilation very in- 

163. NORTH DUNCANNON.— No. 137. Vol. II. 232 

The keeper here has 46/. a year. There was no 
lightning conductor. No water barrel or tank. The 
ventilation was very good, the house orderly, and lan- 
tern very clean. 

164. MINE HEAD.— No. 140. 

\o\. II. 233. 

Visited this lighthouse on 20th September, 5.45 p.m. 

The illuminating apparatus is dioptric of the first 
order. The head keeper had previously been at 
Tuskar. No lightning conductor. No fog or telegraph 
signals. About 4 chimneys are broken in 12 mouths. 
The keepers and their families have to drink rain 
water, they have no filter, and require a cistern. The Water. 
machinery revolves by aid of a rope, which has broken. 
It took 20 minutes to shift the rope working the 
lamp by hand all the time. No medicine chest was 
supplied, nearest medical man was 5 miles off. 

In the means used for communicating from the lan- 
tern to the house of the keeper off duty, there is a 
marked difference between the lighthouses in Scotland, 
(all of which are fitted with voice tubes), and the 
lighthouses in England and Ireland; in none of the two 
latter did we observe any such arrangement. It 
requires only two minutes to shift the lamp. 

Consumption of oil 400 gallons a year, less than qH 
half the quantity burnt at the Hook, where there are 
only 21 burners. 



Ireland. On the 20th September, at 9.1o p.m., visited the 

165. YOUGHAL.— No. 141 

Vol II -'a-i lio-ht. Its illuminating apparatus, is third order, 
fixed. The lighthouse keeper had been the butler 
of one of the Lighthouse Commissioners. He 
had apparently turned his experience in cleaning 
plate, &c. to good account. We were particularly 
sir lick with the neatness and polish of everything in 
an J. about the lighthouse. Receives 46?. a year. 
No lightning conductor, no signals of any kand. 
Breaks about 4 chimnies in 12 mouths. Burns 124 
gallons in the year. Has no cistern for water, only 
barrel. Has not been inspected for more than two 
years. . . 

The accommodation in his house and the ventilation 
of the lantern are very good. 

On the 21st September, at 10.30 a.m., visited 

Vol. II. 234. 166. BALLYCOTTIN— No. 142. 

Dioptric, 1st order, intermittent. There are two 
keepers, one at 64Z. the other at 46/. a year, and 
a foo- bell winder at 36/. No lightning conductor. 
Water Breaks 2 chimneys a month. There is no water on 

the island, it is brought in a boat that is paid for 
attendino- on the lighthouse. A cistern which had 
been sent from Dublin, was not fitted. There is no 
medicine chest, the doctor lives 7 miles off, and the 
island is sometimes inaccessible. 

The revolving machinery was very much out ot 
order, the weights had in consequence to be increased 
to 15 cwt., and in consequence a new rope rove, 
which was already slightly chafed. 

This had been reported at head quarters, but 
nothing was to be done until inspector made his visit. 
The weight of the machinery that rung the bell had 
a fall of only 12 feet, and required to be wound up 
every three quarters of an hour. 

On 21st September, at 3 p.m., visited 

Vol. 11. 235. 167. KOCHE POINT, QUEENSTOWN.-No. 143. 
The illuminating apparatus is catoptric, fixed; 
9 red chimnevs to seaward, 8 white towards harbour. 
There is only one keeper. He has 12 children. 
Eeceives 64/. a year. Has repeatedly asked lor an 
assistant. There are no signals. He breaks a chm- 
Water ney every night. There is no water cistern. The 

keeper complains of the hardship of having stone 
floors in his dwelling house. Everything at this 
lighthouse appeared to be in good order, all the re- 
flectors were covered with brown paper. The accom- 
Birds modation is good for a small family. The keeper 

informed us that on one occasion a duck got into 
the lantern through the cowl, and fluttering round 
broke nearlv all the chimneys, and put out the lamps. 
As there" are great complaints of this lighthouse 
not showin<r well beyond a short distance to seaward, 
we think it advisable to state that we saw no symptoms 
of neMect any where. If, however, lights require 
careful and constant attention to prevent them burn- 
ing dull, we deem it probable that where there is only 
one keeper, considerable intervals will elapse without 
any attention being paid to the lights. It is not 
possible that in a long winter night of fourteen hours, 
one keeper can keep his attention constantly alive, 
he v\'ill, we believe, inevitably go to sleep. 
21st September, 5 p.m.— Visited 

Vol. II. 235. 168. SPIT LIGHT, QUEENSTOWN.-No. 144. 
Dioptric, 4th order, on iron piles. One keeper and 
an assistant. The lamp was in fair order. The 
keeper thought that some piles should be driven 
round the light to keep vessels from fouling it. It 
was stated that a more jiowerful light was going to 
be substituted for the present one. 

23rd Septtmber, 3.20 p.m.— Visited the 

Vol II. 211. 169. BEEVES ROCK LIGHT.-No. 155. 

in the Shannon. 

Dioptric. There are two keepers, one at 46/. an Iceland am 
the other at 36/. There is no lightning conductor Scotland. 

nor are there any signals. One glass a mouth is 

broken. There are no cisterns for the water, it is 
brought from the shore in a boat that is paid for 
attending on the lighthouse, seven and sixpence a 
week for two trips. The keepers who wish to go to 
church must pay their own way, no Ijoat being pro- 

The accommodation was good, but there was a 
want of bedsteads. There was a small library which 
had never been changed. Not been inspected for 
2 years. 

23rd September, 6 p.m. — Visited the 

170. TAEBEET— No. 154. Vol. II. iM' 


Catoptric. 19 reflectors. One keeper at 64/. No 
lightniug conductors or signals. Breaks 12 chimneys 
a month. Burns about 650 gallons a year. The 
pump water was reported not to be good. There 
was no medicine chest ; the medical man charged 
the lighthouse keeper 1/. for every visit. 

23rd September, 9 p.m. — Visited 

171. KILCEEDINE— No. 156. Vol. II. Ji 


"Catoptric 2d order burners. Ventilation not good, 
four more holes required. Porches to the doors 
would be great comfort to keep the wind out. There 
was a small library which had been lately changed. 
The keeper had 2 acres of land, kept 9 sheep and a 
cow. Depended on rain water. 
24th September, 10 p.m.— Visited 

172. MUTTON ISLAND— No. 160. Vol. II. - 


"Catoptric. 13 burners (bright). Keeper receives 
64/. a year. Breaks 12 chimneys a month. Accom- 
modation sufficient. Ventilation might be improved. 
This light is complained of as being very often the 
reverse'of brilUant. There is only one keeper. 
29 September, 7-30 a.m. — Visited 

173. HOLYWOOD \o\. II. 3 

light. Belongs to Haibour Board, Belfast. 

"Dioptric (red). One keeper, who is also pilot 
master. Eeceives 21. a week. Has two gongs, but 
both are cracked and almost useless. Has only broke 
one chimney in five years, owing to great care in 
•Gradually heating and cooling them and keeping them 
quite upright. The pilots live in the lighthouse, 
which is on piles. The lighthouse is inspected by the 
engineer to the Harbour Board twice a year. There 
have been no accidents, but the lighthouse has 
narrowly escaped injury from collisions. A''entilatiou 
good, but the glass dull on inside in damp weather. 
Accommodation poor. The bedroom chimney smokes 
so much that the fire cannot be lighted, and it is 
therefore very cold in winter. 

There are four other lights, all of which were 
visited. Thev are called the Dekjiotle light ; the 
Michael E.uxr light, so named after a previous keeper; 

these TWO are on piles — and the two Cottage Island 

lighthouses. There is one argand in each of the foirr. 
The keepers are superannuated labourers. The 
rooms they live in are generally very dirty, and the 
lio-hts. which show through a cracked bull's eye, have 
a^verv neglected appearance, but the captains who 
na«« them constantly say they are quite sufficient. 
30th September, 8 a.m.— Visited the lighthouse on 

174. CUMBRAE TRUST .Scotl^). 

at the entrance of the Clyde. This lighthouse belongs ^^^ jj ^ 
to the Cumbrae Trust Commissioners. 

Catoptric. 15 reflectors 21^ inches in diameter. 
They are removed twice a year to clean their backs. 
There are two keepers, one has 60/. a year, the other 



50/., with £rarilen3. There are no fog signals, but 
there are 3 small guns used for saluting, charge 1 lb. 
The keeper thought that if the guns were used as fog 
signals there would be an echo amongst the hills 
which would deceive the mariner as to the where- 
abouts of the signal. There is a cistern for rain. 
The light is inspected occasionally by Commissioners 
and secretary. The watches are four hours long ; 
keeper rings a bell for relief; never leaves the lantern 
till relieved. The lamps are fitted to lower on a rod 
out of reflector, which admits of the latter being 
cleaned -ivithout removal. 

30th September, 10-15 a.m. — Visited 

175. TOWARD 
light, belonging to the Cumbrao Trust. 

Catoptric, holophotal, revolving. 3 reflectors, 25 
inches in diameter. The lenses were in front of, and 
attached to the reflectors. 

The assistant keeper is boarded by the head keeper, 
the latter receiving 201. a year for it, the former 6/. 

There is a lightning conductor. Head light keeper 
has seen a great deal of lightning, has known bell 
wires to melt. Breaks one chimney a month. 

Lighthouse is of iron, very damp. Lantern is to be 
lined with wood. There is an alarum in the light 
machinery, but neither spare lamp or bell for assistant. 
Accommodation fair. Ventilation good. The ma- 
chinery goes for 9 hours, but is wound up every 
4 hours. The rope is changed end for end every 
year till worn out ; has never broke. Has chamois 
leather in bottom of chimney boxes, and consider that 
it prevents the glass chimnies cooling too rapidly 
when they are taken off. 

30th September, 11 am. — Visited the 

176. CLOCH 
lighthouse belonging to the Cumbrae Trust. 

Catoptric, 9 reflectors. 

No lightning conductors, no fog signals ; only 
about 4 or 5 daj's fog in the year, about November. 
Breaks 20 chimnies a month. 

Ventilation indifferent ; obliged to keep door open, 
which causes a very unwholesome draft of air. The 
keeper had noticed that the Toward light since it had 
been made holophotal was much improved. 

A gunner at Dumbarton Castle, two boatmen, and 
the commander of the " Neptune," Kilmun steamer, 
bore testimony to the general efficiency of the lights. 
They said they knew of no complaints, but acknow- 
ledged that the Cloch was much brighter than any 
of the Clyde lights. 

'27th September 1859- — Mr. Gladstone 
visited the hghthouse on the 

177. COVESEA SKERRIES— No. 122. 
in the Moray Firth. It is a first-class Scotch light, 
fully provided and fitted up in the most approved 
manner. It has a revolving dioptric apparatus like 
that on the Skerry Vore. The astragals are upright, 
but properly placed. A description of course will be 
furnished by the Northern Board. The head keeper 
had gone into town, the second was on sick leave, so 
an occasional keeper was in charge, who seemed 
to know little about the lights : otherwise all seemed 
right. The fine large iron pile beacon on the Skerries 
was observed. 
1st October. The 

light on the Clyde was boarded, and it was discovered 
that Captain Ryder and Mr. Graves had been there 
the previous night. The keeper, who lives there with 
his wife, little son, dog, and cockatoo, said that he had 
had no relief whatever for the last 20 years. He has a 
boat. The lamp consists of a cistern with two arms 
placed at an angle, each provided with a straight 
wick. It does not swing, and hence on rough nights 
much oil is spilt and much smoke produced ; even 
then, after a calm night, there were dark patches on 
the glass of the lantern. There arc no reflectors or 

The Garmoyle light has sometimes broken adrift. 
As coals were being taken in at the time no opinion 
could be formed of its general cleanliness or tidiness. 

Visit to Glass Works, Birmingham. 

Dec. 23rd. — The Commissioners visited the works of Birmimjliam. 
the Messrs. Chance. They were accompanied by Mr. — — 

James Chance, who has special charge of the light- 
house works, and Mr. jMasselin, the engineer, a French 
gentleman. The glass is manufactured on tlic pre- 
mises. Specimens were shown, and the whole process 
explained. The glass is of a very superior quality, 
and seemed quite equal in colour to any that has 
been seen at home or abroad. It was superior to a 
specimen of French glass shown by the Messrs. 
Chance, which had a decided blue or green tinge. 
The glass is made in covered instead of open pots, 
and improved glass it is hoped will be produced. 

Besides clear glass, coloured glass of many shades 
is manufactured on the premises, where about 1,000 
hands are employed. 

The grinding of prisms and lenses is performed in 
a large building by the help of machinery of a 
superior description to any yet seen. The required 
curve on the reflecting surface is given by a rubber 
fixed at the end of an arm worked by steam power. 
Numerous contrivances have been introduced by 
Mr. James Chance, Avho took a high place aK 
wrangler at Cambridge, who calculates all the angles, 
and seems fully to understand the requirements of 
the manufacture of lenses, a most difficult and com- 
plicated process. 

Every lens and prism is tested when made, in a ji[odc of testing 
dark shed, with a very small gas flame placed in the apparatus. 
assumed conjugate focus for the eye of an observer 
placed at a considerable distance outside in the other 
focus The whole polygonal lens is in like manner 
tested when complete, and for that purpose it is fixed 
in a frame of brass. The Messrs. Chance consider 
that it is a mistake on the part of the Lighthouse 
Authorities to order the glass portion of a lens from 
one manufacturer, the brass work from a second, and 
the lantern which is to contain the lens, and the 
lamp which is to be used in it, from a third or 
fourth. They complain that they are not informed 
of the nature and size of the light which it is 
intended to place in the lens which they are instructed 
to make. They consider that the lens and all be- 
longing to it should be constructed as a whole ; and 
in this view the Commissioners agree, if any one 
manufacturer is able and willing to contract fur all 
parts of the illuminating apparatus at a reasonable 
price. The Messrs. Chance state that they have not 
been allowed to tender for the brass work of the 
lenses manufactured by them, though they have been 
obliged to make brass work in order to test the lens 
before it left the premises, as the fixing of the 
prisms is very important; this complaint appears 

With reference to coloured glass, it was stated that Direction of 
particular shades have been tested ; various shades ijeam. 
were shown ; the subject of placing panels with 
portions of the lenses complete, so as to alter the 
direction of a ray of light T\ath reference to the 
horizon and the altitude of the light was discussed. 
Mr. Chance held that it was impossible to alter the 
optical properties of a lens when once ground by 
placing it in any position with reference to the light, 
except the one for which it was intended and made ; 
but he admitted that which is equally clear that a 
great portion of the light produced is now thrown 
above the horizon, and the quantity lost is greater 
the greater the elevation of the light. The question 
of placing metal reflectors inside the glass of revolving 
lights on the side, which was not required, was also 
discussed. The engineer at first maintained that 

F 2 



this could not be done, but on being sbowu how, 
admtited tlie practibility. Small reflectors are now- 
placed close to the electric light at South Foreland, 
and work well. The subject of casting lenses was 
mentioned. Mr. Chance does not approve of the 
principle. It was decided by the Commission to 
examine Mr. Chance as a witness on some future 

23rd March 1860. 

Present : Admiral Hamilton, Captain Etder, 
Mr. Graves, and Mr. Gladstone. 

The Astronomer Royal called and conversed with 
the Commission on the subject of lighthouse appa- 
ratus. His views appeared to accord with those held 
by the Commission in many respects. It was pro- 
posed to visit a lighthouse for the purpose of testing 
the position of the lenses with reference to the hori- 
zon and the flame. Various plans for so testing 
the apparatus were discussed, including the erection 
of a mast outside the lighthouse, and various other 

The drawings of Mr. Stevenson were shown to the 
Astronomer Royal, and he was informed of the obser- 
vations made at Biarrits, and at some other places, 
with reference to the quantity of light now apparently 
lost on the sky. 

There are three large silvered reflectors with a bad y-j^^, ^^j^g,, 

surface. The light is produced in each reflector from ' 

three twisted cotton wicks placed in a square saucer 
of tin which goes through the back of the reflector, 
and is filled with oil. There is no glass chimney ; Old apparatus. 
in short the lamp is exactly the same as the common 
lamp hung in the poorest fisherman's cottage, and 
as old as the Italian tombs. The wicks were lighted 
and the three gave out clouds of dense black smoke. 
The whole building is as black as the inside of a 
chimney, and the old man who has managed this light 
for 40 years, stated that, on certain nights, the smoke is 
so dense inside the lantern that a man cannot be distin- 
guished at a distance of three or four feet. The upper 
part of the reflectors were covered with a coat of soot a 
good half inch thick. The tin reservoir prevents the 
light from falling on the lower part of it ; con- 
sequently the reflectors are almost useless. 

The head keeper from the outer lighthouse attended, 
and stated that he could only sec the light (distant 
about 400 yards) on windy nights, when the ventilation 
is best. A few pounds spent on three lamps to suit 
these three reflectors would make the light service- 
able. Meantime it appears to be the very worst that 
has been seen by the Commission at home or abroad. 

oth April. — "Walked from Ramsey to the 

181. POINT OF AYRE.— No. 84. 

Vol. II. 173 

3rd April. — The Secretary observed the 


in Victoria C'hannel. The conical buoys were rock- 
iiio- very considerably though there was not much 
sea on. 

The cones bent oyer till their sides wore perpendi- 
cular, or rather overhung the base ; the BpII buoy 
rocked very much. Supposing the Bell buoy to be a 
model of one of the proposed light towers, the oscilla- 
tion was much more than that of the mast of the 
lightship near it. Supposing the conical buoys to be 
the steadiest form of Herbert's principle, even then 
the oscillation of the top was more tlian that of the 
mast of the lightship,l)ut then the sea was much heavier 
in proportion to the size of the buoys. On landing, 
inspected the lighthouse at 

;. 179. THE HEAD, Douglas, Isle of Man. 
This is under the Commissioners for Northern Light- 
houses, and was handed over to them by the island 
authorities a short time ago. A new house for the 
keeper has been built. 

The reflectors were in the usual good order, but the 
lamps were not so good, being the old lamps. The 
whole establishment bore the appearance of an old 
inferior light, handed over to better keeping, and in 
process of '(■hange. The communicating whistles had 
been introduced, and other changes were in progress. 
The head keeper subsequently stated, tliat when he 
first came, the reflectors were no better than those at 
the end of the Douglas Pier. That is very bad. 
T'ricd a large plano-convex lens in the place tor the 
flame, and saw the horizon and a great deal of sky. 
Tried a smaller lens and saw no horizon, but all sky. 

«/ It follows that the lower part of the flame is all 
reflected on the sky, though these reflectors have 
been set by the keeper with a slight downward 
inclination, and though it is only 104 feet above the 
s-a level. 

4th April. — Inspected the 

180. PIER LIGHT at Douglas. 
Then! is a good tower and an excellent lightrooni. 

and inspected the lighthouse. It is a tower built in the 

middle of a sandy common, which has no road over it 

for the last mile or so. The keeper stated that it was 

very difficult to drive goods to the house. On one 

occasion the cart was upset, and a tram broken, and 

they had to gather up their provisions from a sand 

heap. The keeper states that there had been a great o,yj,p,;„„ ^y 

deal of correspondence on the subject of a road, j^^,,,^ 

Found the reflectors in very good condition. The 

lightroom well kept. There are four sets of lights, Expcrime,,!. 

of three reflectors each ; two sets being red. 

The colour is produced l)y the chimneys. Tried 

several plans for ascertaining whether the reflectors 

were properly placed, and whether the light of the 

lamp really falls in the largest proportion on the 

sea, or elsewhere. In the first place ascertained that 

all the lower tier of reflectors were placed on the 

same plane, by placing the head firmly against the 

glass of the lantern in such a position that the reflected 

image of one eye was seen in one reflector on the 

same level as the reflected image of the horizon. On 

making the machine revolve the horizon appeared as 

a continuous and nearly straight line in each successive 




emispherical Next placed two plano-convex lenses of diflercut 
t hicknesses on the lamp, Hat side downwards, and found 
that no rays from the horizon fell on the thinner one. 
lagc on iniiis- Next caused one of the lamps to be lighted, and cut 
rent screen, out the size of the tlame in thin paper foiled that, and 
.stuck it on to the glass chinuiey, and found that it 
entirely masked the flame from the back of the reflector ; 
and then extinguished the lamp. Then turning the 
jiaper to the outer side, by turning the chimnej', an 
inverted image of the horizon, and the landscape out- 
side was formed on the paper ; and the general posi- 
tion of the objects seen were marked on the paper 
with a pencil. 

Now, as a ray of light proceeding from A to B 

follows the same course as a ray proceeding from B 

to A, whatever be the optical arrangement traversed, 

this experiment seems to show fairly what parts of 

the landscape are illuminated by the lamp, and the 

lermil uhsn- i"esult is that of a piece of paper 2x1^ inches more 

lion. than one-half, which answers to the lower half of the 

flame, was covered by the image of the sky, and of 

the remaining half fully two thirds were covered by 

the image of the ground near the lighthouse, so that 

of the light of two inches of flame only about one 

suli. third of an inch was thrown on the sea by the 

reflector, and the lower and most luminous portions 

■\\'ere reflected above the horizon on the sky. 

The keeper stated that the light could be seen from 
the shore, that is, from one of the points seen on the 
paper inside. 

As the light shines on hills also, it is in a peculiarly 
favourable position for proving the truth of the 
/■/„.' ,,4sf,-- experiment. Accordingly sent for a lad at Ramsey, 
'«. who had been up at Prince Albert's tower " at fire- 

work time," and who said he had seen the light from 
that station " sometimes in, sometimes out, going all 
round." Now, North Barroole is 1,8-50 feet high, and 
Albert Tower about two-thirds, say, 1,200 feet. It 
is, therefore, proved that the light, at the Point of 
Aye, is iiot thrown in parallel beams on the horizon, 
but in widely diverging beams on the land, and on 
the sky, above and below the horizon, and that only a 
narrow band of the flame of each lamp is reflected on 
the sea where it is wanted. 

The experiment, therefore, taken eitlier way, is 
conclusive, and shows that only a very small portion 
of the light produced is used in the proper plane ; and 
because the' revolving light shows all round, so much 
of it as falls on the shore is wasted, even when it 
docs fall on the proper plane. 

Now, surely, there must be some optical arrange- 
ment by which this waste can be avoided. Taking a 
lamp shade as an illustration ; it would be easy to 
prevent the light from falling on the upper half b}' 
simply placing a reflector round the central band 
where the sea image was formed parallel to the horizon. 


That arrangraent would prevent the light from isle of Man. 

being cast on the sky and mountains, and a further ' 

arrangement of cylindrical lenses would surely gather 
up the rays so as to f\ill on the sea ; but at present it 
is quite certain that when the flame is too low, little 
or no light is thrown on the sea at all. 

The keeper at Point of Ayre sees in fine weather 
Bahama Bank, St. Bees, Little Ross, Mull of Gallo- 
way, and mentions in his book at 9 p.m. whether he 
sees them or not. 

6th April. — Inspected the harbour light at 

182. RAMSEY. 
The people had notice that the place was to be 
inspected ; the floor was sanded, and the walls 
tolerably clean. The house is a tower of loose 
masonry on the end of the pier. It overhangs the 
base very considerably, and when the sea dashes 
against it, the water passes through the walls. The 
keeper has made a hole at the door for the water to 
run away. The light is produced by an Argand 
burner with a red chimney placed in the focus of a 
reflector, which is constructed of four tiers of bits of 
common looking-glass, set about a centre of the same 
material. In short, the same kind of reflector which 
was lately shown by Professor Faraday as a curiosity 
at his lecture, and is preserved in the museum of the 
French lighthouse authorities in Paris. The lamp 
and reflector are fastened to a bar of iron, and revolv© 
about it for cleaning, but the bar slopes with the 
tower ; the oil flows from the lamp when it is on the 
lower side, and it must flow unevenly when the reflector 
is in the proper position for showing the light. The 
keeper gets 6/. a year, and he or his wife is ex- 
pected to visit the light three times on winter nights 
and twice in summer. He said there were complaints 
of the light, but there was no inducement to pay it 
attention. " The house was neither wind-tight nor 
water-tight." No other light is seen from the ancho- 
rage. The Point of Ayre is lost about two miles ofl^, 
consequently this is an important light. The keeper 
complained that ho had no means of cleaning the 
outside of the glass. 

The man was so sunburnt that he did not look like 
a keeper who spends most of his time in a lightroom. 
And it subsequently appeared that he had just 
returned from a successful run on board some vessel. 
This light is neither well provided nor well cared for. 
Gas is laid on close to the lighthouse, but oil is used 
in the pier light. 

7th April. — Inspected the harbour light at 

183. PEEL. 
It is a wooden building like a large sentrj' box, raised 
on four legs, about nine feet high, and placed on the 
end of the pier. A gas lamp stands close to it, and is 
masked from the sea. The buy who takes care of the 
light v/orks in a saw mill. Found him, and was told 
that he got 6/. a year ; as for the light, " he just lights 
it and leaves it." 

He said that "' the rain came through the house," and 
that "the wind blew through the ventilators." The 
illuminating apparatus consists of two Argand burners 
in the foci of two looking-glass reflectors, similar to 
the one at Ramse}' ; the light is shown through a 
window of common glass with small panes. 

Anything like the filth of the whole place has not 
been seen anywhere by the Commission. The walls, 
the backs of the reflectors, the mirrors, and even the 
windows were covered with a mixture of grease and 
soot, the products of combustion, which had not even 
been wiped for a very long time. 

The oil lay in a pool on the floor, and bits of old 
wick and scraps of dirt of every kind were littered 
about. Asked the boy if he spent much of his time 
in cleaning the place ; said " he just lighted it and 
left it." 

Walked to Port Erin and tried to get to the Calf 



lighthouse, failed for want of a boat, staid for a long 9tb ilay. — The same party visited the 

time at the Sound, but there was no one moving on 
the opposite side. 

1st May. 

Present : Admiral Hajultox and Mr. Gladstone. 

Colonel La Touche, a member of the Ballast Board, 
presented himself, and stated that a meeting of 
members of Parliament had signed a paper and 
passed a resolution as to the Ballast Board, and the 
refusal of the Board of Trade to sanction the expense 
of a steamboat, and that a question was to be asked 
of the Government in the House. 

It appeared that the Ballast Board formerly had a 
.steamer which cost 20,000/., and which the Board of 
Trade obliged the Ballast Board to hand over to the 
Trinity House. That Board sold the steamer for 
6,000/., and she was engaged in carrying stores to the 
Crimea. She was subsequently sold to the Sultan 
for 20,000/., and is now his yacht. 

The Ballast Board are now obliged to borrow a 
steamer from the Trinity House, and the vessel which 
is lent to them is said to be unfit for the sea on the 
west coast of Ireland. 

They are also obliged to send oil and stores to light- 
houses in sailing vessels, and the service often suifers 
from delay. 

A case was mentioned in which the Ballast Board 
had been obliged to take a low offer in a contract for 
houses at Tuskar, and had subsequently been obliged 
to take the offer which they had originally wished to 
take, as the contractor reported that his estimate was 
erroneously made and too low. 

18th April. 

Present : Admiral H.«irLTON, Mr. Graves. 
and Mr. Gladstone. 

Special inspcc- The specifications of the Lighthouse Boards were 
turns. looked over. 

4th May. — Admiral Hamilton and Captain Ryder 
Astronomer The Astronomer Royal looked over the specifications 

Jiot/al. sent by the Trinity House and the Commissioners of 

Northern Lighthouses, and compared the drawings and 
lithographs. ' Secretary read the paper drawn up by 
him ; showed part of the scientific returns ; Mr. 
Chance's answer, &c. 

8th May. — Admiral Hamilton, Capt. Ryder, ^Ir. 
Gladstone, and the Secretary, accompanied by the 
Astronomer Royal, proceeded by rail to Tt>tness and 
drove to Tor Cross. 
See icoodcui. The evening was wet, and a haze in the atmosphere. 

After dark observed the light on the Start Point dis- 
tant four miles from the beach in front of the hotel. 
The revolving beam could be made out after it had 
passed, and showed in the haze somewhat like the 
tail of a comet. 

From the sea the beam appeared to strike upwards, 
and it was determined to ascend the hill behind the 
inn, to observe whether the same appearance would 
continue, and to what elevation. 

The light was observed from various points, and 
was clearly seen at the highest point reached. It 
appeared to strike upwards at first, then at right 
angles to the light tower, and finally downwards. 

The point where the beam appeared to point down- 
wards, was estimated to be higher the light, and 
in daylight it appeared to be so. 
Direci'wn of The beam appeared to diverge. Tliis observation 

beam. ' confirms those previously made elsewhere, and proves 
that a considerable portion of this light is thrown on 
the sky, and lost to navigators. 

184. START LIGHTHOUSE.— Xo. 144. Vol. II. 86. 

The comparison of this light with foreign lights 
in the mariners' evidence is on the whole unfavour- 
able to it. Of seventeen comparisons ten are un- .Vi.r.'/iera' 
favourable. It is marked 1st order dioptric, fixed Evidence. 
and flashing, and the catoptric lights along the 
same coast are more favourably spoken of by the 
witnesses. One object of the visit then was to try to 
ascertain if any cause could be discovered in the 
lighthouse for the unfavorable notice of a first order 
dioptric light, which, in the ojiinion of the Commis- 
sioners, should in this position be of the very best 

On entering the lantern, the cause was sufiiciently 
evident, and the observations subsequently made 
confirmed the first impression. 

The apparatus is on the same principle as that at _\p„aratus. 
Inch Keith in Scotland, and Biarrits in France. 

The central band of revolving lenses consists of 
eight, which are " built up " on the plan originally 

The glass is green and full of flaws, the surfaces 
are not evenly ground, and the distance of the lenses 
from the central lamp varies considerably. The 
whole contrasts unfavourably with Lundy and similar 
modern lights. 

The fixed light is produced by a series of small 
curved mirrors placed above the lenses, but there arc 
nc such mirrors below ; and the light which falls in 
the direction of the land, is not used at all. On 
further investigation it appeared that the mirrors were 
intended to be set so as to cast parallel l)eams at risht 
angles to the tower, and consequently the greater 
part of these beams must be thrown above the sea 
when the mirrors are so adjusted, uut on examining 
them closely it was found that their positions varied 
materially, and that they varied from each other in 
their construction. On looking downwards on a large 
plano-couvex len?^ placed on the burner, the mirrors 
could be seen reflected in the place of the light ; 
and a reflected image was also seen of those parts of 
the landscape on which a beam of light, produced at 
the lamp: would fall, after it was reflected by each 

It was apparent that in some the horizon was not Direction oj 
seen at all ; in some the image was all sky, in others all *f ""> ; ""' 
sea ; and the place of the horizon varied sensibly 
Avhen it was seen. So far then as the fixed light 
was concerned, the appearance observed from Tor 
Cross was ex]dainod. 

The fixed light was very faint on the beach. On 
ascending the hill it was lost altogether, because 
there are no rain'ors at all iu that direction. 

Several attempts were made to obtain an image 
of the landscajie from the lenses, at the place of the 
lamp, as was done at the Point of Ayre (see Isle of 
Man minute), and at last by the following arrange- 
ment an image was seen on paper. All the glasses i.nisc.-: 
were taken out of a telescope, and a bit of oiled himiic of 
paper tied over the end of one of the sliding tubes, lau'lscape. 
The tubes were then drawn out so as to form a shade 
in front of the paper, and another behind it for the 
eve, and the telescope was placed on the burner with 
the paper screen in the ])lace of the centre of the 

The lamp had been previously lit, 'the flame /v./i/ie. 
measured, and then extinguished, and from the ex- 
periment it appeared that of a small flame, less tlian 
one half on either side of the focal plane, throws light 
on the sea through the lenses, while more than one half 
shines on the sky ; and that the revolving light seen 
by the mariner is mainly derived from the upper jiart 
of the third or central flame. 

The fou'-th wick is not used, and the flame was 



le and 'S JuV* 

\nage of ha d- j 
'■ape. \ 


'■ ' 




Flame at tlie Start Lighthouse, and position of the 
inverted image formed bj- the lens appearance of the light- 
liouse beams. 

according to the regulations of tlie Trinity House Special inspcc- 
(as stated by the keeper). '""'*■• 

Furtlier observations were made by the Astronomer Asironumer 
Royal, of ■srhich he subsequently communicated an ^".'/a'- 
account to the Commission. 

Dr. Gladstone took notes of several matters, Notes by 
among which were the following : — ^''- Gladstone. 

The lamp pedestal was not quite level. The outer 
flame was only 1 incli high, but the central flame 
rose to a height of 2 ' 75 inches. 

The panels bearing the lenses formed very nearly 
a circle ; 0*2 inch being the utmost divergence ; but 
the centre of this circle did not coincide with the 
centre of the lamp by 0' 5 or 0' 7 inch. The character 
of the several lenses is given in the following 
table : — 



Focus of 



vertical ? 



Bad, and be- 
hind lamp. 


Upper parts of annular seg- 
ments very defective. 


No. 2. 

Good - - 


3rd segment has two dif- 
ferent curvatures. 


No. 3. 



Flattening in centre of lens 


No. i. 

Good - 


Very variable 


No. 5. 



5th segment has a better 
curvatiire than any other. 


No. e. 

Good - 


Central lens badly shaped. 
2nd segment bad. 


No. 7. 

In front of 

Beliind lamp 


Kjiot in middle of lens 




1st segment bad ; the others 



There are 133 mirrors arranged in 7 rows of 19 
each. The keepers state that they readjust these 
twice a year ; but the adjustment was so various 
that when looked at in a semispherical mirror placed 
on the burner some showed sea, some all sky, and 
others gave broken images. 
The annexed drawing of 
the appearance of six con- 
secutive mirrors was made _^ _ 

at the time. The shaded S1!F^\^\ 
part represents the image ' 1 \0^' 

of the sea, the light part ■ ■ 

that of the sky, 

The chain for the revolving apparatus is a " Jack 
chain " not welded ; it has broken several times. 

The result of the visit seemed to be that the Hesult. 
evidence given by maiiners is accounted for by the 
apparatus, and that the view previously taken is 
sanctioned by the authority of the Astronomer Royal, 
who was of opinion that the centre of the ray should 
be directed not above the horizon, but to some point 
within it. 

On leaving tie lighthouse returned to Tor Cross 
and drove thence to Dartmouth. 

Inspected a harbour light, 185. It is placed in a 
tower of some size, with a large plate glass window, the Dartmouth. 
colour (red) is produced by a screen of red glass sus- 
pended in the window, the light is produced by the 
usual Argand lamp and silver reflector. There was 
no provision whatsoever for ventilation. 

The room was damp and the window fogged. 
The woman who keeps the light complained that she 
and all about her suflered from colds, and that the 
house leaked terribly. The roof is flat. There can 
be no doubt that the products of combustion account 
for a considerable part of the dampness. 

May 10th. — Returned to London. Admiral Hamil- 
ton and Captain Ryder proceeded to the Channel Vol. II.' 
Islands, and were joined at Southampton by Mr. 
Graves. {See Remarks — Jersey and Guernsey.) 6 
lights seen. 191. 

F 4 


Special inspec- 

Admiralty — 
Vol. II. i»9. 

May 31st. — Admiral Hamilton, Captain Ryder, 
Mr. Graves, and the Secretary went to Portsmouth, 
embarked on board the '' Sprightly,'' and examined 
the buoys in the Solent under the management of the 

On crossing one of the creeks near Portsmouth 
several boats used for the purpose of shooting wild 
fowl were observed from the train. They were 
painted white as a means of concealment. 

On leaving Portsmouth it was remarked that all 

Colour of buoys, the buoys on one side of the channel were painted 
white, and the advantage gained by duck shooters 
was well exemplified by the extreme difficulty of 
distinguishing the white buoys on the water. Those 
on the other side were painted black, and were much 
more clearly seen. Those from which the white 
paint had peeled off, leaving brown patches, were 
better seen than those on which tlie paint was fresh. 

Oral evidence. Qn landing at Cowes, and questioning cert.ain pilots 
they said, with reference to white buoys, "we cannot 
"■ make tliem out, we never see them at uight." The 
disadvantage of white on the water has been suffi- 
ciently proved elsewhere. 

The buoys were all small, conical, and moored by 
the apex. It was stated that during the ebb, at 
spring tides, and with particular winds there, buoys 

Buoys go under go under water for a time. 

water. j^ j^^^^, buoy on Peacock's principle was being 

placed at the Spit. The bell was sounding. The 
buov was coloured black, it was loftj- and clearly seen, 
but it was stated that a similar buoy moored outside 
the Xeedles had capsized frequently. 

The Commissioners were unanimously of opinion Cuik/u.m 
that the buoyage of the Solent was inferior to that of 
Liverpool and the Downs, where the buo3S are larger 
and more conspicuous, and where they are dark in 

The buoyage of Cowes harbour under a localautho- Cotres. 
rity was complained of by the pilots examined. 

These witnesses said that a buoy was wanted at 
Peddleton Spit. That they were well acquainted 
with the Solent, and did not care much about the 
buoyage. They were satisfied with the New Trinity 
House light at the Needles, and generally considered 
the British lights superior to the French lights, which 
they frequently saw. but Southsea Castle light under 
the Admiralty they considered to be " a poor light," 
though they " did not look after it much. " 

The Commissioners returned to Portsmouth and 
then to London. 

June 4th. — Admiral Hamilton and the Secretary 
proceeded to Dover. Embarked on board the "'Vivid " 
at nisrhtfall ; steamed to Dungeness and towards 

XoTlh Foreland. 


Inverted image 
formed by lens. 

^'i'^ . 



1 'I 

W, := 

, 'A K.;' 

' 3 cr 

\ \ ,!'■■ 

OS - 

1 V-' 



Grisnez, and returned to harbour at about 2 '30 in 
the morning. 

Observed the 

lights ; remarked that the upper light appeared very 
inferior to the electric light which was seen there 

Tlie lower light has never been changed, and gives 
a standard of comparison. It was remarked tliat the 
upper light (dioptric) showed less well from the moutli 
of the harbour, but that as the vessel receded it 
seemed to become brigliter as compared with the 
lower catoptric light. 

It was assumed, therefore, that the flame is placed 
with reference to the refracting apparatus rather 
lower than it ought to be, as at tlie Start, or tliat the 
flame itself was rather too low. 

was pronounced to be an inferior light ; on passing 
near, it was observed that the light varied very per 
ceptibly in various azimuths as the vessel passed 
the reflectors. This defect is inseparable from a 
fixed catoptric light on the present system, and does 
not exist in fixed dioptric lights. 

The " Yivid's " head was then put in the direction 
of 195, Grisnez, and run on a direct course towards 
the light till Dungeness entirely dipped. This it did 
after running 14 miles, the precise distance given in 
the Admiralty directions as that at whicli Dungeness 
is visible. Grisnez came in sight at about five miles 
from Dungeness, distant about 18 miles. The night 
was not clear. 

There could be no doubt that the light at Grisnez 
was more powerful and of a whiter colour than that 
at Dungeness. Tlie same difference in colour was also 
remarked in the upper and lower lights at Soutli 
Foreland. Grisnez is, however, a revolring light, 
and ought, therefore, to be more powerful than the 
South Foreland, which is Jixed dioptric. The latter 
was more powerful and of a better colour than 
Dungeness, whicli is fixed catoptric. The position, 
therefore, of Grisnez, with reference to other lights, 
may account in some degree for the preference given 
to it over other foreign lights. It is the most powerful 
form of dioptric apparatus contrasted with less power- 
ful dioptric apparatus, and with the least powerful 
form of catoptric apparatus placed at Dungeness. 

Observed that the harbour lights at Dover were 
very bad. 

June 5th. — Landed at Margate and drove to 
to see the new apparatus lately erected. (For a 
description of the old apparatus, see page 33.) The 
new lantern has diagonal bars, and is a well executed 
work. The new apparatus is dioptric, first order, 
fixed, the brass work bright. 

A square of ground glass cut to fit the supposed 
size of the flame, has been provided. It was placed 
in the centre of the burner, and it was ascertained 
that the image of the horizon, formed by the central 
band of lenses, occupied the same position all round. 
It was therefore proved that the lens was properly 
put together, and that it was set upright. 

The place of the horizon and of the shore, and of 
objects visible at sea, were then mai-ked on the 
ground glass with a pencil, and a drawing made. 
(See woodcut, page 48.) 

The upper prisms were examined, and the appear- 
ance of the landscape noted, and it was seen that the 
greater part of each ring was occupied by an image 
of the sea. The lower prisms were also examined 
and it was found that in these very little was to be 
seen but sky. 
(. The lamp was then lighted, and the appearance of 
the flame drawn on the ground glass. (<S'ee tvoodcut.) 
It appeared that the best part of the flame coin- 


cided with the image of the sea, and that very little Special in- 
of this light is needlessly thrown on the sky, except »P<^<^'"""- 
from the lower prisms, which should be raised a little to 
give their full effect. The lamp has four wicks, all used ; 
it is a moderator, worked by a weight, and the flame 
produced was rather too high for the supply of air^ 
for it smoked. The keeper said that he liad not yet 
acquired the art of regulating it, nnd that he thought 
some change should be made in the shape of the 
chimney or that it should be lowered. 

The part of the circle where light is not wanted is Itefieclois. 
occupied by two large metal reflectors, these were 
found to reflect a large quantity of light to the place 
of the flame, but their form was rather irregular, still 
on placing the eye near the flame the whole surface 
of the reflector was seen brilliantly illuminated. 

A narrow band of red glass placed outside the lens, lied liyht. 
causes the light to show red in a particular direction. 

This apparatus appeared to be very well con- Conclusions. 
structed and arranged. The lamp requires attention, 
and some person acquainted with its working, should 
be sent to instruct the keepers in this and in all cases 
where any novelty is introduced. 

It appeared as if this apparatus had been con- 
structed on the usual plan, to throw a parallel beam 
from the centre of the flame at right angles, and the 
lamp raised so as to bring the horizon near the wick. 
If this were done the light falling on the lower 
prisms would be thrown rather above the horizon, as 
was found to be the case. The same effect would 
also be produced on the light from the upper prisms, 
unless they were raised to suit the lamp, but it was 
not observed whether this had been done. 
On returning to 

197. MARGATE, 
examined the harbour light, in charge of a local 
authority. It is in a lofty well built tower, and con- 
sists of three common batswing gas burners, without 
any attempt at reflection or refraction. The red 
colour is produced by placing some small panes of red 
glass loose in the window of the lantern. The light 
may serve the purpose of a harbour light, but it 
cannot be powerful. 

Observed the buoys in the Thames and many Thames buoy- 
floating lights, which appeared to be efficient but age. 
which contrasted most unfavourably with the small 
dioptric shore lights seen in France, which consume 
but a small quantity of oil. It was again remarked 
that experiments should be tried to apply the dioptric 
system to floating lights. A hollow mast, like the ^"^f "^ *^*'^"' 
funnel of a steamer, to act as light tower, and the 
lamp to be balanced as a compass is, or some such 
plan might be tried so as to preserve a constant level. 
There do not seem to be any mechanical difficulties 
that could not be overcome. 

June 6th. — Returned to London. The chaii'man Astronomer 
and secretary called on the Astronomer Royal at the ■^''^°'- 
Observatory and showed him the sketch made at the 
North Foreland, and told him what had been done. 

Secretary attended at the office; wrote minutes, 
and sent out correspondence ; wrote to chairman 
suggesting certain points for the 'notice of Mr. Airy 
at the North Foreland. 

The keeper at the North Foreland having been Experiment; 
requested to make certain observations sent the sunlight. 
following letter and a card, which was left with him 
for the purpose of making an experiment on the appa- 

" North Foreland Light, 
" Gentlemen, '• 7th June 1860. 

" In obedience to your instructions I beg 
respectfully to present the enclosed, the result of two 
observations of the sun at rising. Should further 
information be necessary, I shall be happy to give. 
" I am, &c. 
" (Signed) Jas. Chapman, Keeper." 
'• To the Royal Lighthouse Commission." 

The Secretary was directed to send cards and a 
letter to certain lighthouses. 




Special Inspec- 


A number of lighthouses were selected for their 
elevation, ami cards were sent with the following 
letter accordinjily. 

" Royal Commission, Lights, Buoys, and Btacons, 
" 7 Millbank Street, S.W., London, 
„ g;p_ ' " 11th June 1860. 

"I AM directed to request that shortly before 
sunrise or at sunset you will place one of the enclosed 
cards upright across the centre of the burner in the 
dioptric apparatus, so as to rest on the metal, and 
present one side to tlic point on the sea horizon where 
the sun rises or sets, as the case may be. 

" In the case of a revolving apparatus one side ot 
the lens must be set opposite to the point of sunrise or 
sunset, previous to making the observation. 

" When the sun besins to appear above the horizon, 
or as it disappears, a bright light ought to appear on 
the card placed as directed. 

'• You are requested to mark on the card the exact 
position and form of that light. 

" If the heat be so great as to scorch the paper so 
much the better. . 

" You are also requested to note whether similar 
bright lights appear in more places than one, either 
on °the cards or on the metal work of the lamp, or 
elsewhere, at the time of the observation, and if so, 
you are requested to ascertain from what part of the 
apparatus these stray lights proceed. 

" Y'ou are also requested to draw on another card 
the general form of the flame when at its usual 

than in either. At North Ronaldshay (140 feet) 
it is rather lower. At AA"hitbj- (240 feet) the horizon 
was about the same as at Xortli and South Foreland. 
At Grisnez (194 feet"' the image is formed nearly 
half an inch Jiigher than at Calais (190 feet). Skerry 
Yore 1^1 50 feet) and the Start (204 feet) are the 
same. Lundy (o40 feet) is the loiccst of all. The 
positions of the images formed by the reflecting 
prisms and mirrors were found to be equally various 
in the lighthouses where the experiment was tried by 
the Commissioners, and where the cards sent by the 
keeper's give information. 

June 17th. — Admiral Hamilton and Mr. Gladstone, 
accompanied by the Astronomer Eoyal, went to 

They visited the red and green harbour lights, and x)oief. 
looked at them from distant parts of the harbour. 
The red appeared respectable ; the green light was 
only distinguishable as the dullest of the lights round 
the harbour, and by a greenish or bluelsh hue not 
ver)' discernible. 

June 18th. — Captain Ryder and the Secretary 
joined the other members of the Board and embarked 
for Calais. 

With reference to the electric light, now removed, jrjectric 
the captain of the steamer stated that he had often ecidence. 
" carried the electric light of the Upper South Fore- 
land Light into Calais harbour when he could not see 
the lower catoptric oil light at all." 

In fogs he has seen the rays of the upper light when 
he could not see the light itself. " It shone on the 
sea near Dover ; " the other, the oil light now used. 

It may be well to repeat the experiment at sunrise ^^^^ ^^^ ^^j^^ ^^ ^^^ ^_^^ ^J^^.]^ ^^ ^^^ °^^ ^^^^^^ j^^ ^^ 

or at sunset on difterent days so as to check the 

'• The object of the experiment is to ascertain the 
position of the dioptric apparatus with reference to 
the flame and the horizon, and to test the adjustment 
of the diflerent parts of the apparatus. 

" When the first experiment has been completed, on 
another morning or evening have the goodness to 

say, the divergence is less). The lower light does 
not shine on the sea near Dover at all. 

198. CALAIS. 

The Commissioners visited the lighthouse at Calais, Or 

The tower Is a handsome building, the entrance paved 

with black and white marble slabs, forming patterns ; 

and ornamented with busts of Fresnel and Beautemps 

place another card at right angles to the position Beaupre. All the metal work of the stairs was 
formerly occupied by the other, so that the light may beautifully polished 

fall on the edge of the card, and mark the direction of 
the lines of light which will appear on the sides of 
the card, and return the whole to me by post. 
"I am, &c. 

" J. F. Cajlpbell, 

" Secretary." 
Lighthouses to which a copy of this letter was sent : 

Dundrum Bay 
Scilly Bishops 
Korth Ronaldshay 
Skerry Vore 
I^orth Foreland 

t above the By whom 

ea level. 










Observed ; * 



the same. 






Observed; and 

Keeper's the 

the same. 














Whitby - 

Rathlin - 

Mine Head 

So'ith Foreland 

A number of these cards were subsequently returned, 
and from them, and from other observations made for 
and by the Commission, it appeared that the elevation 
of thelight above the sea does not regulate the position 
of the lamp with reference to the image formed bv the 
lens. The distance of the image of the horizon from 
the burner is the same by observation at South Fore- 
land (372 feet above the sea) and at North Foreland 
(203 feet). At the Scilly Bishops (110 feet) the 
iiua'^e of the sun was formed on the card rather AiV?/"/- 

* OiiSERVED by persons connected 
Aslror.omer Koyal, &c. 

vith the Ci>uiinissiGn, 

The tower has no floors, it is 57 metres high, and Buildm . 
is ascended by a corkscrew stair. The keepers' 
room and the lightroom were well furnished, and the 
lantern surrounded with slabs of coloured marble, 
polished. The building in this respect is similar to 
the Tour de Baleine ; and there is no lighthouse in 
the United Kingdom in which there is so much 

The illuminating apparatus is dioptric, first order, Appciatu 
fixed, with a flash, similar in plan to the small light 
at St. Sebastian in Spain. A fixed light apparatus 
with a series of three upright piano-cylindrical lenses, 
revolving outside. The eff'ect is to produce a fixed 
stead}' light, of the full power attained by the use of 
such apparatus, darkened for a short period, and the 
dark interval succeeded by a brilliant flash. 

The light was observed on the following evening obsen;at,t. 
from the South Foreland upper light, and was con- k 

sidered to be very powerful though less brilliant I 

than the light at Grisnez, as seen from the same spot * 

on the same night. The keeper at the South Foreland ' 

anrreed in the opinion formed from this observation. [ 

The same observation was made from Dover b}' 
the members of the Commission, and the same con- 
clusion arrived at. 

It was also remarked from Dover, that some of the 
flashes from Calais were brighter than others. (See 
letter from the Astronomer Royal on this point, dated 
June 2oth, 1860, which contains his remarks as to 
the French trip, and account of his subsequent pro- 
ceedings at North and South Foreland.) 

The lantern bars are upright, so are the divisions 
in the bands of glass. There are mirrors on the 
land-ward side ; but it was remarked that these were 
not so well polished as similar mirrors in England. 

The lamp has four wicks. The whole was in re- 
markably good order. The keeper stated that he 
cleaned the glass apparatus with spirits of wine and 
chamois leather. 



On examining the placing of the apparatus it 
appeared that the central bands and the upper prisms 
were well ]ilaced with reference to the light; but that 
nearly, if not quite all, the light reflected by the 
lower prisms is lost on the sky. 

The Astronomer Royal was requested to report on 
this and the other lights visited. 

In the evening the Commissioners returned, and the 
dimensions of the flame were accurately taken, with 
a view 10 comparison with flames elscwliere. It was 
better and steadier than anj' flame seen in England. 

It was remarked that the lantern was surrounded 
with a net of wire, and its use was exemplified by a 
museum of stuffed birds, all of which had been 
caught, or had killed themselves at this light. These 
included many rare small birds ; a bittern, some 
large cormorants, and a swan. 

The keeper stated that he was occupied in cleaning 
the glass when the swan flew against the lantern, 
just above his head, it broke the glass, and injured the 
lens so much that it cost some 3,000 or 4,000 francs 
to repair the damage. The man considered that the 
force was suflicient to have killed him, if he had not 
been seated at his work. 

The superintendent of the district, Monsieur de 
Lanois, accompanied the Commissioners in the evening 
and explained to them a system of ventilation of his 
own invention, which has been adopted in several 
French first-class lights. It consists of tubes, which 
are intended by the inventor to conduct cold air to 
the lamp down the same chimney in which the column 
of hot air ascends. 

The Commissioners were unable to ascertain that 
these currents were actually descending, and cannot 
understand why they should, but the lamp certainly 
burned well and ver}' steadih% 

The two lights at the South Foreland were observed 
from the French coast that same evening ; the upper 
one, that is the dioptric, was decidedly the brighter of 
the two. It was the opinion of the Commissioners 
that the Point de Walde light did not appear so bright, 
when viewed from Calais, as one of the 3rd order 
should have appeared. 

199. WALDE. 

On leaving Calais light in the morning, the Com- 
missioners drove along the sand to the lighthouse at 
Walde. This is a pile light, similar in construction 
to the JIaplin in the Thames, — iron piles on screws 
fixed in the sand. The illuminating apparatus is 
dioptric, third ordei-, made of cast glass on the new 
principle of manufacture, tried here as an experiment. 

The image of the landscape formed by this lens 
was inferior to the pictures formed by ground and 
polished lenses. Straight lines seemed crooked, the 
horizon indistinct, and generally the imperfect sur- 
faces evident to the touch must produce much disper- 
sion and loss of light. 

^ 200. GRISNEZ. 

iymrison of Compakisox of Grisxez, (which is mentioned by mariners, and 

ifUh and compared oftener than any other foreign light,) with 12 

•ingn liiihta. British lights. 


- 1 = 



1 1 s 


Name of Light. 




x's'i 1 


of Light. 

^ r" 



3 O " 





S"t o 






1. Smith Foreland - 

D. Filed 







2. Flamboroueh 

C. Flash 









S. Beachy Head - 

C. Flash 








4. Start 

D. Flash 









5. Lundy 

D. Flash 








6. South Stack 

C. Flash 









7. Cromer 

C. Flash 








8. St. Agnes, Scilly 

C. Flash 









9. Lizard 

C. Fixed 









10. Calf of Man 

C. Flash 









11. Dungeness - 

C. Flash 









12. North Foreland 

C. Fixed 

D. Flash 










Of the 12 lights compared with Griznez, 7 are Special Impcc- 
said to be better, 5 worse ; Majority, 2 for British thns. 

Of the 48 comparisons, 18 are for Grisnez, 30 
against, majority, 12 for British lights. 

June 19th. — The Commissioners started at 4 a.m. 
and drove to C4risnez. As this light has been much 
remarked by the mariners who have given evidence, 
and as it is so favourably compared with other foreign 
lights, it was important to discover if any reasons 
existed for the preference over other foreign lights. 

It was found to consist of an apparatus of the same 
description as that at the Start ; 16 faces of lenses 
revolving, 7 rows of mercurial curved glass mirrors 
above, and four below ; but inside the revolving 
portion of the apparatus, and on the landward side 
two large metallic reflectors are placed. 

On examining the position of the apparatus, the Direction of 
horizon was high, 1^ inches ; but on examining the ieain. 
mirrors they were all found to be set, so as to throw 
their reflected beams on the sea. 

The keeper stated that he set them without any 
instrument, by the horizon itself; he also pointed out 
the height of the flame, which was about the same as 
that used at Calais. 

According to sketches made by Dr. Gladstone at Observations Ay 
the time, the image of the sea horizon as reflected Dr. Gladstone. 
from the upper mirrors, generally cuts the flame 
in a plane considerably higher above the burner than 
was the case with the upper reflectors at Calais, and 
thus a larger quantity of light is thrown by them upon 
the sea, and, perhaps, also upon the horizon. Again, 
the image of the sea horizon, as reflected from the 
lower mirrors, generally cuts a very luminous portion 
of the flame, and does not impinge upon the burner 
itself, as was found to be the ease in many other 
lighthouses. Thus both the upper and lower series 
of reflectors are most efficiently adjusted. The lamp 
also was found to be perfectly central ; and the 
metallic reflectors were better polished than is usual 
in France. The lenses on the whole were well made, 
the annular segments especially being much better 
than at the Start. 

The following are the dimensions of the image Woodcuts 
formed by the lens in the place of the flame. ( See page 53. 
u-oodcut p. 53.) Focal length, three feet ; horizon, li Secretary. 
inches above the metal of the lamp, which corresponds 
with the brightest part of the Calais flame. A house 
at the edge of the cliff to the northward, 4 inches ; 
the edge of the clifi' to the westward, 8i inches ; 
height of flame about 5 inches. 

The reason therefore for the favourable mention 
of Grisnez appears sufficiently manifest. The flame 
and the optical apparatus are properly set with 
reference to each other, and to the horizon ; and the 
flame is of the right size for illuminating an angle 
extending from the horizon to within a short distance 
of the lighthouse. 

Whereas at the Start the mirrors are set so as to Start and 
throw nearly all their reflected light on the sky ; Grisnez. 
there are no mirrors on the landward side, and the 
flame produced is so low that nearly the whole of it 
is thrown on the sky by the lenses. 

The elevation of these two lights being the same 
within 10 feet, and their apparatus the same in 
principle, the comparison is unfavourable to the 
British light. 

One of the keepers had been in the French 
navy, and was very proud of a Crimean English 
medal which he showed. Few birds are killed at 
this station, and there were no wire screens round 
the lantern. 

G 2 



SpeM Inspec The Commissioners returned to Calais and thence 
tions. to Dover. The Secretary drove to the 

201. SOUTH FORELAXD— No. 30 

Woodculs, and compared the position of the image formed ^7 tj'® 

piwe sa. lenses. {See wood cuts on page opposite.) The 

flame was also compared with the drawing made at 
Calais, and it was found to be less steady. 
Flame. It had more sharp points ; it was lower, and gene- 

rally it appeared to be a worse flame ; there are but 
three wicks used. 

The observation made from the " \ ivid on t le 
last occasion was accounted for, as also the remarks 
of the Captain of the Dover steamer. 
Direction of The sea near Dover is illuminated by the narrow 

beam. points of the upper part of the flame, and the horizon 

and the parts of the sea near it. by the lower and 
brio-hter portions. No light at all falls on the sea 
below a point opposite to the base of the lower liglit- 
house ; none at all at the edge of the chff. Ihe 
experiment inside was verified by walking to the two 
points last named. 
Selthig prims. The keeper stated that the lower prisms had been 
carefully set to throw a le\'el beam very lately, by 
placing a red ball of about an inch diameter on the 
lamp, and looking through each prism in turn along 
a spirit level outside till the ball was seen. 

The result of this is, that the best of the light must 
be thrown here, as elsewhere, to the geometrical and 
not to the visible horizon, the elevation of the light 
being 372 feet, and the sea liorizou distant 25 miles ; 
the prisms are set to throw a beam from the place 
occupied by the red ball at a height of more than 
700 feet above a vessel on the horizon, while the 
mirrors at Grisnez are set by the keeper without any 
instrument, to throw their beams to the visible horizon 
itself, and on the sea below the horizon. 
Divergence Now it is sufiiciently evident that the flame placed 

electric light. in a dioptric apparatus of this size must be ot certain 
dimensions to cover a certain portion of the sea, 
namelv, about four inches, to reach in this case from 
the horizon (on which the electric light was seen 
from Boulogne) to near the place from which the 
electric lisht was seen from the Calais steamer. It 
was then sufiiciently intense to cast a marked shadow 
on one hand from the other. It was also stated 
by the keeper that the electric light was not more 
than one eighth of an inch in length, and that half 
an inch from point to point of the carbons extin- 
guished it. The light was equally weU seen m 
all directions, so it could not have been phiced 
out of the central focus, and it remained to be ex- 
plained how it had been made visible over such an 
an<'le. It was previously remarked that two small 
mirrors were placed on either side of the light, osten- 
sibly to clear the bars, but it seems that as these 
mirrors have a certain height as well as breadth, they 
and they only were the cause of this divergence. 
' Plane rejleclor To try this, a common mirror was placed behind 
' experiment. the flame of the oil lamp, and the keeper was directed 
to slope it downwards and move it about. The result 
was as had been anticipated, that an observer placed 
in a field within fifty yards of the lighthouse saw a 
brilliant light from the lens and lower prisms, when 
he could before only see the stray light reflected on 
I the roof of the lantern. 

and Mr. Chance were agreed as to the best method of 
remedying these defects, namely, by setting the lamp 
lower so as to suit the position of the prisms, which 
now throw their light too high, and then lowering 
the central band of the lens to suit the new position 
of the lamp, cutting oflf so much of the central band 
as may be necessary from the lower portion, and sup- 
plying the gap caused at its upper edge with a new 
zone if required. ^J 

On this point the letter of the Secretary to the Mr. James 
Chairman, of the 4th instant, was read to Mr. Chance, (-'^"nre. 
and he agreed that the suggestion therein contained 
was substantially the same in principle, and only 
varied from his proposal in the manner of accom- 
plishing the object. 

After some conversation with Mr. Chance, a letter Meeting mO 
was prepared, inviting the Elder Bretlu-en to meet Trinity lim 
the Commissioners and others at the lighthouses at 
North Foreland and TVhitby, on some day in next 

July 9th. — Admiral Hamilton and Secretaiy. Let- 
ters sent to Trinity House, Ballast Board, Northern 
Lights Commissioners, and French Authorities. 


July .5th.— Admiral Hamilton and Dr. Gladstone 
met at Macartney House, Blackheath, and were joined 
by the Astronomer Royal and Mr. Chance of Birming- 
ham, who had previously met at the Observatory. 

The Astronomer Royal stated that he had pointed 
out to Mr. Chance, the defects which he had observed 
iu the illuminating apparatus at Whitby, and that he 

Dr. Gladstone went down to Portsmouth. In the observatiot 
evening he observed 182. the Warner from Southsea. Dr. Gladstf 
It was a very distinct light. 

July 10. — Dr. Gladstone examined the light at 
the end of the pier at 

202. RYDE. 
It stands on a tall strong post, and consists of 
an oil lamp surrounded by a dioptric apparatus. 
The lamp has a large single wick, in the middle 
of which is a large button that rises as high as 
the bright portion of the flame, and must obstruct 
a great deal of light. The dioptric apparatus is a 
lenticular cylinder, with two segments above the 
central lens'and two below it. It appeared well made, ' 
of good glass, and in good order. The lamp had not 
been cleaned since the previous night. 

The light shows all round the horizon. 

July 11th.— Dr. Gladstone visited the lighthouse 

203. ST CATHERINE'S HEAD.- No. 34. Vol. II. i 
He confirmed the remarks of the Secretary made 
after his visit August 14th. In addition he paid 
particular attention to the illuminating apparatus 
and lamp. The apparatus bears the name of 
Wilkins, and the date 1840. The lenticular zones 
are of poor ghass from Newcastle ; the prismatic 
zones are of much better glass of French manufac- 
ture. The central bands bring the horizon of the 
sea to about 0.75 inch above the wicks of the lamp, but 
some of them bring it 1.1 inch above and others only 
0.65 inch. The keeper stated very circumstantially 
the height of the flame as ordinarily burnt. The 
bright bodv of flame extends (he says) to a height of 
from 2^ to"2i inches, and he raises or depresses the 
wicks till he obtains all the three circular flames of 
the same height, so that the flame is even at top 
instead of being tapering. By keeping the passages 
clean he prevents the formation of points of flame. 
The strongest part of the flame is stated by him to 
exteud from half an inch above the wicks to 1^ inch. 
Tlie lenses, therefore, are fairly placed, but some of 
the lenticular segments do not agree in focus with 
the central lens, and there ai-e irregularities in their 

In order to see the horizon in the lowest prismatic 
zone of the upper series, it was necessary to look two 
inches above the forther edge of the lamp; to see it 
in the second a smaller elevation was necessary, and 
so on, till with the seventh zone the horizon was seen 
in a line with the edge of the lamp, the line of the 
horizon as reflected from the sis higher prisms cut 
[read on to page 54, 




From a tracing on ground jjlass. Tlie flame from 
measurement of tlie Calais flame. The land- 
scape as it appeared in the image formed by one 
of the revoh-ing lenses. Grisxez. June 20th 

From a tracing on ground glass. The flame from 
measurement. Tlie vessels as they appeared in 
the central band. South Foreland. June 
20th 1860. 

G 3 


Special Lispec- '^^ ^"P "^ ^'"■' l^MP- From the lower series of pris- 
tions.^ matic zones the image of the horizon was only seen by 

glancinjr a little on one side of the nearer edge of the 

Observations by lamp ; they were evidently, therefore, of little or no 
Jh. Gladstone, value for sending the light to the horizon or sea. 
The chief keeper (Mr. Cummins) had been a lamp 
maker before entering the service of the Trinity 
House. When first at the Eddystone he burnt 
three wicks, but the inner wick was afterwards 
discontinued, without, he thinks, a loss of light. The 
heat of the exterior wicks causes (he says) the inner 
wick to become gununy and thick, and sometimes to 
smoke. A button in the middle improves the com- 
bustion. He' prefers a fountain lamp, such as he 
has, and never finds any practical difficulty with it, 
but in cold weather he wraps the pipe round with 
thick woollen cloth. 

As the oil flow's more or less freely, according to 
the temperature, he regulates by simple contrivances 
the height of the inner cistern, so as to give more or 
less pressure of oil. He prefers a lamp glass with a 
large open cylinder. 
July 12tli.— 

II po, 204. THE NEEDLES.— No. 3.5. 

Lighthouse was visited. In addition to the remarks 
of the Secretary on August IStli, it may be recorded 
that the distinction between the red and white beams 
is made sharper by (he placing of sheets of red glass 
(like horses' blinkers) at the junction of the two 
colours and radially to the lamp ; nevertheless, the 
keeper has heard that in passing from the one 
beam into the other, an orange light is perceptible 
from on board ship. Three wicks are burnt, but 
orders have been given to burn four in future, but 
they have not been executed yet. The head-keeper, 
who was once assistant at St. Catherine's Head, 
considers the fountain lamp excellent if properly 
managed. He prefers a lamp glass with a square 
shoulder .and a straight cylinder above. The illumi- 
nating apparatus is by Sautter, and was erected in 

The glass is very good, and the optical parts are 
very regularly made. The horizon is brought by the 
lenticular portions to 0.75 inch above the lamp, the 
flame extending, according to the keeper's statement, 
2.5 or 3 inches with a good body of light. The upper 
series of prisms exhibits the same phenomena as that 
at St. Catherine's Head, but to a smaller extent, the 
line from the horizon as reflected, in most of them, 
cutting the lamp itself. The lower series also resembles 
that at St. Catherine's Head in its position with re- 
ference to the flame. Thus although this light 
is jdaccd at no great distance aliovc the sea level, the 
reflectors are so placed as to throw the light too 
high. During the first part of the visit the fog 
bell was being rung, but it required attention, as 
it stopped occasionally. The keeper said that some 
attempts had been made to set it right, but hitherto 
with only partial success ; he sees the bell sometimes 
vibrate farther thau at other times. It ought to ring 
for an hour and a half without being touched. The 
keeper said there was much fog about the present 
position of the lighthouse, but far less than on the 
cliflf whore the previous house stood ; indeed, he 
has known a dense fog to last there for three weeks. 
Tliere was one envelo])ing the upper part at the time 
when the above statement was made. 
thydrogai July 16th. — Dr. Gladstone had a long conversation 

t. with Dr. Leeson of Bonchurch, on the oxy-hydrogen 

light, lamp chimneys, coloured flames, and other 
matters, which he promised to embody in a reply to 
the scientific questions. 

July 18th. — The light on Ryde Pier was observed 
by night. It appeared very brilliant as seen from 
different parts of the town. The Warner lightvessel 
was showing a very bright light as compared with 
gas lamps tliat were comparatively very near at hand, 
Ihsea and its periodic waxing and waning was very distinc- 

<''•' tive. The Southsea Castle Light was showing a 

green light to all parts of Ryde, easily distinguished 
from tlie white lights on the same coast by its colour, 
but it was little (if any) brighter than some of the 
gas lamps on Southsea Common, and far less bright 
than the two large gas lamps at Portsmouth pfer, 
although it is rather nearer to Ryde than those with 
which it was compared. 

The buoys between Ryde and Portsmouth were Defective 
observed. ^ There was one of a conical form, on the buuijtiys. 
top of which was something in printing characters. 
It was evidently supposed that it would lie somewhat 
on one side, indeed it was painted with that view, and 
thus the ^\Titing would be seen ; but on the contrary, 
the buoy was riding M-itli its apex i)erpendicularly 
downwards, and the inscription was only legible from 
the sky. 

July 30th. — ^Present : Admiial Hajiiltox, Captain First meeting 
Ri-DER, Mr. Gladstone, and Mr. Dunbak. ,cith the Trinit 

A deputation of the Elder Brethren, accompanied •'^<'"*^- 
by Professor Faraday, met the Commissioners at 7, 
Millbank Street, and heard from the Astronomer 
Royal a statement of his observations made at various 
lighthouses, which he had visited at the request of 

This statement was intended to inform the gentle- 
men present of the jioints which were to be explained 
more fully at the North Foreland Lighthouse on the 
2nd, and at Whitby on the 9th August. The 
meeting was summoned in order to inform the Elder 
Brethren, and their scientific adviser, of these points 
so that they might have time for preliminary con- 
sideration of the subject. 

Additional Observations of Dr. Gladstone 
on matters under the charge of the 
Trinity House. 

August 1st. — Visited the Trinity House at Tower 
Hill, and steamed from Blackwall to Ramsgate in 
company with the Deputy Master and Captains 
Bayly, Close, and Webber, in the yacht L'ene. This 
vessel is intended for a swift seagoing boat, as it is 
one of the duties of the Trinity House to accompany 
Her Majesty when afloat. The " Irene " is the vessel 
intended for this service, and has nearly the speed of 
the Royal Yacht. Her lines are said to be the same 
as those of the " Vivid," and she bears a close general 
resemblance to that vessel. She is comfortably fitted 
up. Beside the service above mentioned, and her use 
on special missions of the Trinity Board, she is ordi- 
narily employed in making inspections and carrying 
stores or buoys to their destination. She had in fact 
returned from such a trip only the night before. 

She generally carries two spare buoys, that if in 
the course of any voyage it be heard that a buoy is 
wanting on anj- station it may be immediately sup- 
plied. One of these is a wreck buoy, the other is of 
the ordinary form, and is intended for replacing one 
that may have gone astray, the proper marking of the 
missing buoy being imitated on a painted canvas 
cover, which is drawn over the substituti', and remains 
on it till the duplicate buoy can be sent from the store. 

Visited the 

204. MUCKING No. 28. 

Light. This is built on piles in the river, but com- 
municates with the bank by means of a bridge. The 
edifice is small, and not intended for living in, the 
dwelling houses being on land, which hoM'cver is now 
considered an unfortunate arrangement, as the 
keepers and their families suffer much from the fever 
and ague commonly prevalent there. 

Tlie source of illumination is a fountain lamp, with 
two wicks. The illuminating apparatus consists of 
lenticular bands, without prismatic or any other 
reflectors. A great deal of the light is therefore lost. 
The glass and workmanship appeared good, and so 

Vol. II. 78. 



was the adjustment of the lenses, the water line of the 
opposite bank of the river cutting the flame 0-8 inch 
above the lamp. 

The light shows red up and down the river, but 
white to passing vessels. In the white portion how- 
ever there is a red beam to mark a buoy. 

The fog bell was sounded, but did not work satis- 

The edifice was being painted at the time of the 
visit, white with broad black stripes, which caught 
the eye well. 

Many observations were made in passing on 

BUOYS IN THE THAMES, and at its Mouth. 

One of Herbert's construction was noticed to be 
lying over very much on one side. This was believed 
to be from want of breadth at the bottom, as it was 
one which had been made out of a buoy of the ordi- 
nary form. 

Other Herbert's buoys stood up well, for instance 
that in the West Oaze. 

vSome very strong Poulter's buoys were observed at 
stations where, as at the Shivering sand, they are 
very apt to be run into. In this instance the sphe- 
rical device at the top was made, not of thin pieces 
of wood arr.auged as the circumference of a globe, 
but of stout planks in the form of half segments of 
circles placed radially, and capable of standing a hard 
blow. These buoys were very steady, having a broad 
base, but it must be borne in mind that they were 
observed on a calm day. 

Some hollow pile beacons were passed. These had 
been driven into the ground by atmospheric pressure. 
They were very conspicuous. It was related that a 
similar one was erected on the Goodwin Sands, being 
sunk till it reached the chalk, and thus a permanent 
foundation was obtained. 

On passing the North Foreland Lighthouse a little 
while before sunset, it was remarked that it could 
scarcely be distinguished from the grey sky. 

Saw South Sand Head and the Gull Lights burn- 
ing in the distance. 

Recent experiments on the firing of guns at 
Holyhead, the comfort of keepers' houses, the peculiar 
position of the men at the Seven Stones in this respect, 
and other matters, formed subjects of conversation. 

and contended that it was properly and accurately Special Inspec- 
placed, so that the best part of the flame illuminated ''<""'• 
the horizon. 

The burner was then replaced, and it was remarked 
that the position of the horizon seemed to vary from Direction of 
that formerly observed. Mr. Wilkins stated that the ^"J"'^ ^ ^g 
lamp had been lowered one eighth of an inch within "'^P"^'^ 
the last three days. The distance from the horizon 
of the image formed in the place of the flame to 
the brass work of the apparatus was measured on 
a bit of ground glass, and compared with the drawing 
made on a previous occasion, and the card sent by the 
keeper at the i-equest of the Commission, which shows 
the place of the sun at sunrise to correspond with the 
position of the horizon as marked in the drawing. 
The difference between the present and the former 
position of the burner, according to these observations, 
was found to correspond with the statement of 
Mr. Wilkins. 

The effect of the change made is to improve the 
position of the lamp with reference to the prisms, and 
to injure it in a corresponding degree with reference 
to the lens, but as the flame at this lighthouse has a 
considerable height, this alteration does not materially 
affect the amount of light thrown by the lens on 
the horizon. 

The question then for consideration is, if any, or 
what alteration should be made in this apparatus as 
now placed. 

Whether to lower the lamp still more, so as to 
throw the light from the prisms still lower, and to 
lower the lens till it occupies its former position with 
reference to the flame, or to raise the lamp to its 
former position, and alter the prisms as suggested by 
Monsieur Sautter, or to make some other alteration, 
or to leave the apparatus as it is. 

It was remarked that the shoulder of this chimney Angular 
produced a dark line in the light of the lamp, as shoulder of 
viewed from outside the apparatus corresponding c/'imne^. 
exactly to the image of the horizon. 


August 2nd. — Admiral Hamilton, Mr. Gladstone, 
Captain Ryder, and the Secretary, met at the 
ol. II. 7'J. f J ' 

'isii to Aorti, 207. NORTH FORELAND— No. 29. 

orelaiid, with Lighthouse. They were accompanied by the Astro- 
^prcsaitatives ^^^^^(.^ Uoval. They were met by a deputation of the 
'■mse Bmnh Elder Bre'thren of the Trinity House, consisting of 
e. &r.. ami the ^''^ Deputy Master, Admiral Gordon, Captain Bayly, 
'.itnummer Captain Close, and Captain Weller, who were accom- 
'".""' panied by their scientific adviser Professor Faraday. 

They were met by Mr. Thomas Stevenson, who at- 
tended on the part of the Commissioners of Northern 
Lighthouses ; by Sir James Dombrain, Captain 
Roberts, and Mr. Halpin, who attended on the part 
of the Ballast Board of Dublin ; by Monsieur Sautter, 
the maker of the optical portion of the apparatus, 
who had come from Paris ; and b}' Mr. James 
Chance, the maker of the optical portion of the 
apparatus at Whitby, who came from Birmingham, 
and by Mr. Wilkins. 

The Astronomer Royal pointed out to the gentle- 
men present the defects which he had observed, the 
lamp being lit, and as many of the party as possible 
being within the optical apparatus, and in the lantern, 
where they could best hear what was said. 

The lamp was subsequently extinguished, and the 
burner removed, two cross strings were fixed in the 
apparatus to indicate its centre, and a wire placed on 
the axis of the instrument. Monsieur Sautter pro- 
ceeded to show the method which he considered to be 
efl^ectual for exhibiting the qualities of his apparatus, 


August 3d. — Admiral Hamilton, Captain Ryder, 
and Dr. Gladstone met and talked over the proceedings 
of the previous day. C'o/)^ Ryder. 

Captain Ryder read a paper in which he had 
entered what he had gathered as the views of the 
difterent persons who had spoken yesterday, in which 
the questions now before the Commission, and for 
future consideration, were stated very clearly. The 
paper contained diagrams, and the writer argued that 
the most important question was, " What are the most 
brilliant parts of a lighthouse flame of the best 
description ? " in order that the point may be settled 
before it is decided, what is the best position of the 
lenses and prismswith reference to the flame. Photographs. 

Dr. Gladstone was requested to consider what were 
the best steps to be taken to decide this question, 
and the photographs of lamp flames already made by 
the Secretary were looked at. He was requested to 
make photographs of a lighthouse flame at various 
other angles of vision, so as to experimentalize on 
the various angles of flame presented to the surfaces 
of the upper and lower prisms and the lenses, and 
for this purpose to proceed with Dr. Gladstone to 
make the experiment accordingly. y'l" Drawing 

August 7th. — The Secretary made certain photo- aui onhil ^ 
graphs of a lamp at the establishment of Mr. Wilkins,' volume. 
which he printed on the 8th, and showed at Whitby 
on the same day. 

August 8th. — Admiral Hamilton and the Secretary 
went to 

208, 209. WHITBY,— No. 6, 7 \\ hitbv. 

and met Professor Faraday at York. The minute of Professor 
the observation made at the Point of Ayre, on the Faraday. 
image formed by a reflector, was read to Professor 
Faraday, as also the minute of the visit to the North 

The drawings made at the North and South Fore- ^"9^ 49, 53. 
land and at Grisnez were also shown to the Professor, 
and sundry photographs. 



On arriving at Whitby, rrofessor Faraday, accom- 
panied by the Secretary and Mr. Halpiu, visited the 
two lighthouses, made sucli observations as could be 
made iu the short time available at the north light- 
house, and examined the lamps at both, after they 
vrere lit. 

The general impression arrived at seemed to be 
that the account given by the Astronomer Royal in 
his letter to the Chairman was conlirmeil by these 

Professor Faraday will in all probability report his 
views on this subject to the Elder Brethren of the 
Trinity House. 

August 9th. — Admiral Hamilton, Captain Eyder, 
and Dr. Gladstone visited the lighthouses. 

Ml-. Graves was prevented from meeting the 
Commissioners, and telegraphed to explain the 

The Deputy Master of tlie Trinity House, Captain 
Close, Captain Bayly, and Captain Nesbit, accom- 
panied by Professor Faraday met the Commission. 

Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Halpin were also present, 
as well as INIr. James Chance, the maker of the 
apparatus. Monsieur Maselin (his assistant), and 
Monsieur Sautter from Paris. 

Monsieur Sautter produced certain photographs 
of a lamp flame which he had executed since the 
meeting uo the 2d, and was so kind as to present 
a copy to the Secretary for the Commission. 

The Secretary in return presented to Monsieur 
Sautter a copy of those taken by him on the previous 

Dr. Gladstone on the part of the Commissioners 
pointed out what appeared to be the defects iu the 
lighthouse apparatus, and his account of the meeting 
is subjoined. 

It appeared in the north lighthouse — 

1st. That the lamp flame was inferior to others 

seen elsewhere, though much better than some. 
2d. That the lamp was slightly, about one quarter 

of an inch, out of place. 
3d. That the whole apparatus sloped towards the 

sea, which defect is in favour of the prisms. 
4th. That there are no mirrors on the landward 
side, and, consequently, that about one half of 
the light produced is lost entirely. 
5th. That the image of the horizon is formed a 
little too high by the refracting bands, but not 
in such a degree as to make the defect impor- 
tant ; especially if a better flame were intro- 
6th. That the image of the horizon formed by the 
upper prisms, falls rather too far forward, but 
not in such a degree as to make the light in- 
eflicient at a distance. 
Tth. That the image of the horizon formed by the 
lower prism I'alls too low ; below the edge of the 
burner, so as to throw nearly, if not quite, all the 
light which falls to the lower prisms upwards 
above the horizon, except in the direction of the 
other lighthouse, where there is a short panel in 
which the prisms are generally well adjusted, 
though not all. 
8th. Tiiat the metal chimney above the flame is 
too short below the first opening, because on 
stopping that opening and altering the damper, 
the flame was very much improved. 
9th. That the form of the chimney was very defec- 
tive, in that it has a sharp shoulder, which 
materiall}' interferes with the direction of the 
It appeared to some of the gentlemen present that 
in spite of the observations made from within, light 
would in reality be seen in all jnirts of the apparatus 
from the sea. It was decided to test that point by 
the manner proposed by Captain Ryder. 

The keeper was instructed to cover up the refract- 
ing band at a preconcerted signal, and on returning 
to Whitby the party embarked on board the Trinity 
House Yacht, and proceeded to sea. On covering 


the lens it was manifest that no light radiating directly 
from the lamp was to be seen in the lower prisms, 
but that a weak reflected light, that from the inside 
of the lantern or from some other source was barely 
seen through a telescope. 

It appeared to some of the gentlemen that the light 
would be seen at a greater distance, the vessel there- 
fore ran some distance to sea, when the experiment 
was repeated, and witli the same result. 

It appeared then to be proved that the observations Result. 
made from within were confirmed by those made 
from without. 

Where the light had appeared to be thrown too high 
it was found to be invisible from the sea. 

Where it appeared to be properly directed, it was 
seen from a distance. 

South lighthouse. 

Similar observations were made inside. See Dr. 
Gladstone's remarks. 

It was observed from the sea that the light did not 
appear as a continuous line when \-iewed through the 
telescope, but as a broken line, proving that some 
parts of the apparatus are not properly set for the 
existing lamp. 

The Chairman requested Mr. Chance to write to 
the Trinity House, suggesting the alterations which, 
as he thinks, should be made in this apparatus. 

Professor Faraday wUl make his report to the 
Trinity House, and it is proposed to request that 
copies of these documents may lie furnished to the 
Commissioners. c j 

The Secretary made several photographs from ,,-J, j"^"'?^ 
rarious points to illustrate the proceedings, one from yoi //. goj. 
a point between the lighthouses and below tliem, to 
show the general position ; one of the south light- 
house, from the gallery of the northern lighthouse, 
showing the horizon, and, consequently, the angle of 

It was subsequently found that on looking from 
the other lighthouse, tlie horizon occupied the same 
position with reference to the northern lighthouse, 
and that both are on the same level. 

Another photograph was taken from the gallery to 
show the angle filled by the image of the sea. 

And two were taken from the inside, iu which the 
flame and the image of the horizon coincident with 
it could be traced, and their respective positions 

So far it is proved, therefore, that, under favour- 
able circumstances, the position of the image in the 
lamp flame can be photograjihically determined at 
one observation. 

191. One of the harbour lights at Whitby was 
visited. There are three reflectors placed in a tower 
with gas-light flames. 

The chimneys are of green glass and peculiar in 
their form. 

The eflect of the bulging shoulder, though good as 
regards the transmission of the rays, is bad as regards 
the production of light. The lights from the sea both 
showed green, and appeared efticieut, but the polish 
of the reflector in this, as in other cases, was in- 
ferior to that of reflectors in Trinity House, and 
similar lighthouses. 

T/ic following is the account of Dr. Gladstone : — 
Having di-scussed some optical questions, and the o^. GtadsUm 
Astronomer Royal's letter relating to the Whitby accounf. 
lights, the party proceeded to tlie lights in question. 
These are set on two white towers, with the usual 
dwellings on a clifi" ; they are of thb same altitude, viz. 
240 feet above the sea level, and are 2o8 yards apiirt. 
The northern tower was first entered. The illumi- 
nating apparatus was found to be first class catadiop- 
trie, illuminating rather more than half the circle, 
without mirrors at the back, manufactiux'd by Messrs. 

Mr. Masselin, who had superintended the fixing of 
the apparatus on the site, tested the position of the 
lamp by means of the cross string, and found it one 



eighth of au inch too high, according to Fresnel's 
rule, and only one sixteenth of an inch out of the 
centre. From the interior of the apparatus Dr. 
Gladstone then examined the relation of tlie diflerent 
parts to the horizon and sea, and explained to the 
Deputy Master, Professor Faraday, Mr. Stevenson, 
and others what were considered to be errors of ad- 
justment. The line of the horizon, as seen through 
the central lentieular zones comes just one inch above 
the lamp in the case of three of the panels, but 
1 • 3 inch in a small panel to the south, and as high 
as 1 • 4 inch in the remaining panel. 

There was no apparent cause for this discrepancy 
in the setting, nor could Mr. Masselin offer any ex- 
planation. The upper and lower lenticular segments 
generally agreed tolerably closely mth the central 
lens of the same panel, but in some instances they 
differed widely. 

When the lamp was lighted subsequently, its flame 
was found to be good for a height of about two 
inches, so that only three of the panels were well set 
for it, and had it been one eighth of an inch lower 
(according to Fresnel's rule) so much good light 
would have been lost, while even, as at present fixed, 
the lenticular zones could send little light to a steamer 
that happened to be passing at some distance and 
o-ave an image three inches above the lamp, or to 
smaller vessels that were still nearer to the shore. 

Of the upper series of prisms the lower reflectors 
were evidently adjusted for the focal planes decided 
on by Fresnel, but the highest three or four directed 
their light too much towards the sky. Of the lower 
series of prisms, the reflectors had their focal planes 
so low that nothing but sky was seen in them 
through the place where the main body of flame is. 
It was difficult to determine the position of the foci_ 
of these reflectors on account of the irregularity of 
the curved surfaces, and the numerous strise in the 

The colour of the glass was considered very good, 
but it did not appear to be so free from blemishes as 
the French. The astragals of the lantern are slant- 
ing, but those of the apparatus itself are vertical. 

"rhe party then proceeded to the southern tower, 
and found the arrangements of the lantern and appa- 
ratus similar to those already described, with the 
addition of silvered reflectors on the land side, which 
showed a good polish. The line of the horizon in 
the central lenses, instead of being M inch above 
the lamp, as Fresnel de-sires, varied in the five 
panels from 1-4 to 1-5 inch, while the image of 
a passing ship came 3-2 inch above the lamp. To 
increase the mischievous action of this adjustment, 
it is the square shoulder of the lamp glass that is 
traversed by the horizontal line, and the lamp gives a 
singularly poor flame. The keeper termed it a 
2^ inch flame, but he reckoned from the metal to the 
tips of the points. Reckoning from the commence- 
ment of the yellow part, which was 0-5 of an inch 
above the metal, to the top of the undivided luminous 
mass, it only amounted to 1 • inch, and scarcely 
that for the outer ring ; so that in reality the sea, 
even at the horizon, was being illuminated only by 
the irregular tongues of flame, as far at least as the 
central lenticular bands are concerned. When the 
flame was improved (as will be presently described), 
the body of iiame reached scarcely two inches above 
the metal lamp, and the tongues rose at the highest 
to 3-5 inches, so that even then the best part of the 
light was lost. The remarks made on the prismatic 
zones of the other lighthouse apply equally in this 

The lamp, as in the other house, has three wicks. 
It is not considered an overflow lamp ; nevertheless, 
there is an overflow of about one fourth of the oil 
consumed. M. Sautter stated the French practice 
to be to cause three or four times the amount of oil 
actually burnt to overflow. The lamp glass expanded 
very perceptibly from the bottom to the shoulder, 
which was nearly square. When placed in position 




with its top entering the iron chimney it could not 
be made perpendicular. There was an opening and 
deflector in the iron chimney at the height of 2 feet 
1 1 inches, another at the height of 6 feet, and a third 
still higher. In order to test the effect of a longer 
continuous chimney, Professor Faraday covered the 
lower opening with paper, which instantly produced 
more draft, evidencing itself by a depression and a 
greater whiteness of the flame. By turning up the 
wicks and regulating the damper, it was now found ' 
that a considerably higher flame could be maintained. 
On removing the paper, this flame started up into 
long yellow smoky peaks, showing that more oil was 
being supplied than could then be completely con- 
sumed. When the six feet continuous chimney was 
lengthened by covering the opening at that altitude 
also, a further improvement of the flame, slight 
indeed, but evident, was effected. 

During the course of this experiment it had been 
discovered by looking from the gallery and adjoining 
buildings, that a good light was shining from the 
lamp in the northern tower, through the lower reflec- 
tors in the direction of the horizon, and a better light 
still in the direction of the sea, while little light was 
proceeding towards the sky. Before going to the 
northern lighthouse to ascertain the cause of this, 
Dr. Gladstone re-entered the lantern, and observed 
the image of the northern tower in the lower series 
of reflectors through the flame then burning. In the 
lowest reflector the gallery was just visible ; in the 
second and third from the bottom, the middle of the 
of the lantern ; and in the fourth and fifth the upper 
part of it, while the sixth and highest was obscuied 
by a bar. The party then returned to the northern 
tower, and found that the small panel of lower 
reflectors, through which the light had been seen 
from the southern tower, is adjusted differently to 
the others, and has, in fact, its focal planes in the 
anterior portion of the flame. 

When standing on the gallery of this tower, a little 
light could be seen in the lowest reflector of the lower 
series of the southern lighthouse ; on ascending a 
ladder it became more luminous, and as the ascent 
was continued, light made its appearance successively 
in the second, third, fourth, and fifth reflectors ; and 
at the top of the tower the tfth was the most lumi- 
nous of all. Thus, in both these instances, the 
practical test confirmed the observations made within 
the lantern, and showed that the panel of lower 
prisms was in the one instance set in such a manner 
as to be of great service, and in the other so as to be 

On attempting to rotate the apparatus in the north 
tower, it was found that it had become fixed by the 
sinking of the whole table on one side, caused, no 
doubt, by the optical apparatus pressing with nearly 
all its weight on that half of the table. 

Mr. Chance undertook to suggest to the Commission 
such means as, on full consideration, should appear to 
him the most feasible for correcting these errors of 

In the evening the Commissioners and others of the Diitinction. 
party were received on board the " Irene," and Eedhght, 
steamed past the sunken reef, which is marked by the '""^ ^^ *• 
two lights being in one, and within which the 
northern light shines red. As they advanced towards 
the front of the cliff on which the lights stand, they 
observed that the northern maintained, except for a 
minute or two, a very decided superiority over the 
southern light. At a preconcerted signal from the 
yacht, the keeper in the northern house covered up 
the lenticular portion of his apparatus, when a great 
diminution of light was manifest, and the telescope 
revealed that whilst copious rays were proceeding 
from the upper series of reflectors, a very faint light 
was alone visible in the lower series. The steamer 
then proceeded to a distance of what was estimated 
by the commander to be between four and five miles 
from the shore, when the signal was repeated, with 
precisely the same results, even when the light was 





viewed from the top of the paddle-boxes, a position 
neailv equivpl 'rt to the horizon. As the yacht 
approached A\ aitl>y, in returning, it was observed 
that in the southern light it was only the lowest of 
the lower series of reflectors that were giving any 
available rays, and that the whole light was cut across 
the middle by a dark biind, suggesting the idea of tho 
central lenticular zone, throwing no light whatever 
upon that part of the sea. 

Additional Observations of Dr. Gladstone 
on Lights in the English Channel, under 
Local Authorities. 

August 2. — In company with Captain Close 
visited the 

206. RAM SG ATE 
Vol. 11. 354. Ked Light, which had been seen the previous 
Observations bi/ cxening.^ As on the previous visit it was remarked 
Dr. Gladstone, that the order and cleanliness almost universal in 
lishts belonging to the general Boards were not exhi- 
bited here. On the glass of the apparatus were a 
great many little spots of paint, which tho keeper 
supposed to have come when the room was painted, 
a month previously. The keeper at the North Fore- 
land subsequently stated that he cleaned the glass of 
his lisht with spirits of v>-ine about twice a week. 

The illuminating apparatus is of French manufac- 
ture, and some pieces of the glass are full of bubbles. 
The lamp was lighted, and found to give an external 
flame of about an inch in height, and an internal one 
of from two to three inches. The sea horizon, as 
viewed through the lenses, cut the flame 0*4 inch 
above the lamp, which is just at the commencement 
of the bright portion, a good adjustment for throwing 
the light on to the sea -."but it was far otherwise with 
tho reflectors. On looking into the upp'-r series of 
prisms it was evident that very nearly all the rays 
emanating from the flame were sent by them up into 
the skv, and on looking into the lower series all the 
rays impinging on tliem appeared to be sent upwards. 
Thus the upper reflectors are rendered nearly use- 
less, and the lower ones worse than useless, by the 
want of proper adjustment, and the efficiency of an 
otherwise good lighthouse is much diminished. 

Tho green light on the cliff was also visited. It is 
intended to be seen in one with the red light to navi- 
gate the channel. It is placed on a cliff and on a tall 
lamp-post, so that vessels in the harbour can scarcely 
obscure it : it is a gas lamp with three jets, and a 
reflector behind that seemed to be tolerably bright ; 
special provision is made for ventilation ; the green 
colour is given by bottle-green glazing ; and a com- 
mon gas lamp near at hand was ma-ked towards tho 
sea. Thus this light shows intelligence in its arrange- 
ment, and forms a great contrast to tlie green gaslight 
at Dover. 
I Aagnst 17th. — Another green gas lamp was in- 

spected at 
Vol. II. 24. 192. BRIGHTON. 

It stands in a high position at the end of the i)ier. 
It has only one jet, and that was found to be leaning 
very much over on one side. This is enclosed in a 
large gas lamp, with unusually thick broad frame- 
work, and thick green glass. The consequence of this 
is that the light can be seen only with diflRculty on a 
clear night at the distance of a mile, whereas tho 
common gas lamps on the pier show brightly at much 
greater distances, and in some azimuths ihere is 
scarcely any light at all. 

Under this light there is a bell, which .'s said to be 
lung during a fog, but only between 4 am. and 10 jJ-m. 
August 18th. — Tlio two liglits at 

Vol. 11.349. 193. NEWIIAVEN 

were visited. They stand on the pier, and are in- 
tended for leading into tlic harbour when brought into 

one. The innermost one was found to be a wooden 
tower, containing a very antiquated arrangement for 
illumination. It consists of a metallic reservoir for oil 
with three holes in the upper part, through which 
rise three cotton wicks. There are no lamp glasses, jj^fecis. 
or other means of regulating the draft, and no means 
of raising or lowering the wicks except by the point 
of the scissors. Sperm oil is burnt, which has to be 
kept hot in winter. The keeper, an intelligent man 
for his station, mentioned that they had once tried 
colza oil, but found it unsuited to the lamp, and they 
had once contemplated burning gas, but the autho- 
rities were deterred by the first outlay of laying a 
pipe from the neighbouring town. So the expensive 
sperm oil is retained. The lamp smokes so much that 
file keeper has to clean the place every other day, and 
he has painted it all black, so as to show the soot and 
dirt less. Behind the lamp is a segment of a cylinder 
covered with long narrow strips of quicksilvered 
glass, not curved, but flat. This reflector being of 
a primitive character and very old is the worse 
for wear. Its position in respect to tho lamp was 
improved by the present keeper, but there is nothing 
beyond his judgment to determine where it is to be 
placed. Above the lamp is a hole with a cowl and 
vane over it. In front of the lamp is a window with 
a broad piece of framework as a support exactly 
op])osite the middle wick, so that the light from this 
wick is entirely cut ott'from vessels when in the act of 
making the harbour. 

The outer light is in a small wooden house on the 
pier, which goes on a railway, and is brought into 
position at night and shunted out of the way by day. 
The description of the internal arrangements of the 
inner liglit apply in this case, only there are in 
addition red jianes of glass in frames which are placed 
against the window at certain states of the tide. 

The keeper, or his mate, remains at night in a little 
pilot house on the pier. They keep the two lights as 
clean as can be expected with such lamps. 

The tide signals, consisting of flag and balls, and 
the tide gauge were also observed. 
August 20th. — Another visit was paid to the light at 


Vol. II. 3.' 

prineijially with the view of observing the adjust- 
ment of the dioptric apparatus. The establishment 
was found as described a year previously but it 
was in a very dirty condition. This was due to the 
windy weather, which caused the lamp to smoke to Defects. 
such an extent that even at the time of the visit, 
which was about noon, flakes of soot were falling from 
the roof, even on to the dioptric apparatus itself, and 
they were trodden into the floor and steps of the light- The keeper complained, reasonably enough, 
that there were no lockers or other means of keeping 
his cloths, wicks, scissors, &c. apart. 

Tho dioptric apparatus was made by M. Le Paute, 
and the workmanship is not equal to that of the more 
modern ones lately seen. Through the central len- 
ticular band the line of the sea horizon was found to 
be projected 0'65 inch above the lamp, the image of 
the open sea extended thence to a height of 0'9 inch, 
and the inner lagoon and entrance to the harbour 
stretched from 1 ' 1 inch to £ inches above the metal. 
This position seemed to make the most advantageous 
use of the flame. The upper reflectors were for the 
most part well placed. There were three rings of 
lower reflectors The highest was admirably set to 
throw the light of the lamp on to the distant .sea, as 
was shown by that portion of the landscape being 
projected just above the metal of the lamp ; the middle 
and lowest brought the image of the sea against the 
metal rim itself, so that only the side portions of the 
light were ser\'iceable through then). 

This dioptric apparatus therefore was better ad- 
justed than tlie superior one at Ramsgatc, or than 
some of the 1st order which have been seen ; and this 
goes far to account for the higli character which the 
Shoreham light bears along tho neighbouring coast. 



Aservalioiis hy August 29tli. — An inspection was made of the light 
V. Gladstone, at 

ol. 11. 404. 213. FOLKESTONE. 

It was evening, and the door of the lower at the end 
of the pier was open, but no person seemed to be in 
charge of the light, so that it was at the mercy of the 

The tower is a neat pentagonal wooden edifice, with 
five windows at top. Opposite each window is a gas 
burner, and what purports to be a reflector. Four of 
these burners are bat's wing jets, but so corroded that 
they were found burning with flames of various shapes 
and sizes, and behind each is a slightly concave 
mirror, apparently of brass, but encrusted with oxide 
and dirt. The fifth is an Argand burner, but the gas 
could only issue from two of the holes, from which 
were rising two large separate jets of flame, and 
behind this was a small ordinary parabolic reflector, 
doubtless silvered, but retaining no trace of polish. 
The windows opposite this and the two other burners 
which showed seaward were of red glass, that which 
showed towards the harbour and town was colourless, 
and the remaining one, which was intended for the 
sea just outside the opposite pier, was dulled by being 
coated with a thin semi-transparent layer of paint. 

Over the burners was a bent ventilating apparatus, 
but it was rusted through in large holes so as to 
defeat its object. The inside of the tower was very 
dirty, and the whole arrangements showed want of in- 
telligence in the first instance, and neglect afterwards. 
On August 3 1st the establishment of Messrs. Sautter 
at Avenue Montaigne, Paris, was visited. Tiiere was 
little that attracted notice as novel after the visits 
paid to the similar works of M. Le Paute and Mr, 
Chance. Some beautiful small pieces of dioptric appa- 
ratus, similar to those used in lighthouses, but smaller, 
were seen. They were intended for ships' lights, and 
naturally suggested the idea of how necessary it is to 
keep advancing in the brilliancy of lights intended as 
permanent signals. In one room there were being 
fitted up a revolving light for the African coast, and a 
first order apparatus for the Island of Capri, where it 
is said there has been no lighthouse since the days of 
Tiberius Ctesar. 

J. H. Gladstone. 

Iseroations hy CAP D'AILLY. 

Int. liyUcr. „ , „ _ 

started tor I'rance on the 3rd of September 1860, 
to join the Astronomer Rojal. Our principal object 
was to examine carefully the adjustment of the lenses 
at Cap d'Ailly, lighthouse, to ascertain how far they 
were adjusted to the visible horizon. Landed at Calais, 
and from thence by diligence and rail to Dieppe. 

As this was the second visit I had paid to this 
first-class lighthouse (see Personal Observations p. 40) 
it is unnecessary to say more than that we made the 
most careful observations of each separate leus, and 
of each of the various prisms, the operation occupying 
several hours. The result is given in the Astronomer 
Royal's letter on the subject (see p. 85) ; and 
with the opinions there expressed I entirely con- 
cur. The prisms, although on the whole well 
adjusted to the horizon, had apparently not been 
tested after the frames were erected at the lighthouse, 
as was subsequently done at South Whitby, in Octo- 
ber, I860, after the defects in that light had been 
ascertained ; otherwise that perfect precision of ad- 
justment, which, as we saw at Whitby, was quite 
attainable, and which was finally accomplished by 
Mr. Chance, would have been found at Ailly. 

This was not the case ; adjoining prisms varied 
from one another, to an amount sufficient to show 
that there had been no process of internal adjustment 
subsequent to erection. 
& page 86. We were detained at Dieppe for two days, and 

returned to England on the 7th of September. 

Alfred P. Rtdee. 

11th October, I860.— Captain Ryder, Mr. Graves, 
and Mr. Gladstone met a deputation of the Trinity 
House at 


215, 216. WHITBY Spedal 

for the purpose of witnessing the result of certain Inspections, 
experiments carried out by Mr. Chance and Professor to- 
Faraday at the South Light. Admiral Hamilton and ''"'^^' 

the Secretary joined the Commissioners in the evening. 
12th October — The Commissioners proceeded to 
the lighthouses, and several positions were selected 
distant about 500 yards from the lighthouse from 
which to view the effect of the changes which had 
been made. 

In the evening the Commissioners viewed the light Experiments. 
from three different positions, panels being brought 
in succession opposite to the points of observation. 
One position was selected as coinciding with the 
direction of the horizon, another above it, and a third 
considerably below it. 

A very marked difference was observed in the ^>'<'««''- 
panels. At the highest position one gave decidedly 
less light than the others ; at tlie lowest position the 
same panel gave a great deal more ; at the level of the 
horizon it was very difficult to discover any difference. 
It seemed then to be proved that the light thrown 
above the horizon may be advantageously brought 
lower, so as to illuminate the sea near the lighthouse 
without injuring the efficiency of the light as seen 
from the most diistant point of the horizon. 

13th October. — The Commissioners again visited Arljustmem. 
the light, and witnessed the method pursued by xVlr. 
Chance in adjusting some of the prisms. 

A pole with a white cross board was fixed at some MeihotI of 
distance and graduated, so that a line drawn from internal obser- 
tbe centre of each prism to the horizon should cut the ''"'""'• 
lower edge of the board. An observer behind the 
burner within the apparatus looked over a scale 
placed on the burner through the prism to be adjusted 
towards the white board, and a workman moved the 
portion of the prism with wedges until the white 
board was seen in the required direction. 

The prisnt which had been cast loose in the brass 
frame was then fixed with plaster of Paris, and each 
prism in turn was so adjusted. Other panels had 
been by the same process adjusted, some to throw the 
centre of the beam of light to the geometrical horizon 
(that is considerably above the visible horizon), others 
to points within the visible horizon. 

In the evening the Commission embarkprl oti board 
a steamer provided by the Trinity House, and pro- 
ceeded to observe the result of the arrangements from 
the sea. 

The North Light had been left as it was found by Experiment. 
the Commission on a former occasion for comparison. 
It was tlien pronounced to bo somewhat superior to 
the South Light. It was now manifestly inferior 
when viewed from a distance of a few miles. From 
the greatest distance reached the difference was hardly 
perceptible. The difference between the panels 
which were brought successively opposite to the 
position of the steamer was in like manner hardly 
perceptible at the great distance, but well marked 
from the nearer position. 

The central band of lenses was covered, and the same 
series of experiments repeated with the prisms aloue. 

The amount of light thrown by these was remark- Seepage 63. 
able. It was thought by some of the gentlemen present 
that the South Light with the prisms alone was nearly 
as brilliant in comparison with the North Light as it 
was previous to the alterations with its full power. 

Professor Faraday took full notes of all the pro- ■S'ee Professor 
ceedings; and it was suggested (hat the Commission P^>'<""'!/'^ 
would do well to apply to the Elder Brethren for a ^'P"''' P- ^^■ 
copy of any report which he may make, and for their 
sanction to its publication in the Appendix. 

Additional Observations of Admiral Ha- Vol. n. 39-f. 
milton on Local Lights, East Coast oi observations by 

Scotland. Admiral 

217. BODDAM, 
(Two miles south of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.) 
Lights of this harbour examined on 6th October 
1860. They consist of four lights, red, exhibited 





Vol. II. 3W. 

Vol. Il.iXS. 


during the fisTiin?: season. A large fleet of lierrin<r 
boats frequent this harbour, to whose crews, as well 
as to those of the Peterhead boats, these lights are of 
creat service. The lamps are furnished with para- 
bolic reflectors eleven inches in diameter. Lamps 
and reflectors in excellent order, — a condition due to 
the care and attention of James Chivas, who has 
charge of the lights. This man is one of the '' occa- 
sional keepers " in the employ of the Northern Lights 
Commissioners ; and has been six years so employed. 
He is occasionally stationed at the adjoining light- 
house of Buchan Ness, a light under the Nortlieru 
Commissioners, and being on good terms with the 
lightkeepers there, he has borrowed some of their 
chimney glasses, which are on the French model with 
sloping shoulders, and applied them to the Boddam 
Harbour lamps ; and the combined results of this 
man's acquaintance with his business, and his means 
of procuring what he knows to be necessary, are a 
set of coloured lights which are reputed to be not 
only of the utmost service to the Boddam and Peter- 
head boats, but to the passing trade generally. 

These red lights are produced by coloured shades 
on glass sides in an extra sized street lamp on a 
sliding iron pedestal about twelve feet in height. 
James Chivas had adjusted the stem of the reflectors 
to the focus of the flame by an ingenious and simple 
contrivance by means ot cut corks, and the result is 
a brilliant light thrown on the narrow and rocky 
channels leading to the harbour. The lamps and 
reflectors seemed to have been originally fitted with 
small consideration as to their relative connection, 
whilst their present adjustment seems to illustrate 
the necessity of a proper inspection of local lights, 
and the advantage of there being properly instructed 
persons to take charge of them. 

6th October, 1860, 10 p.m.— Revisited 


and examined harbour lights on the night of the 6th 
October 1860. The lightkeeper, Alex. Machie. had 
made good use of his time since his appointment and 
my former visit en the 28th September last year ; the 
valuable apparatus and reflectors were in much better 
order, several arrangements were more complete, and 
the lightkeeper evidently desires to do his duty 

October 31st, 1860. — The Secretary, by direction 
of the Commission, travelled to Waterford, arriving 
on the morning of the 1st. 

November 1st. — Observed the buoys in Waterford 
Harbour. Two conical buoys, intended to float 
upright, were laid on their sides, the others were 
clearly visible and showed well, the morning being 
foggy. Mr. Graves, and Captain Roberts, of the 
Ballast Board, met the Secretary at Waterford, and 
it was decided not to visit Mine Head, as the weather 
was unfavourable. 

November 2d. — Drove to Dungarvon, and thence 

219. MINE HEAD, No. 240, 
to inspect the lighthouse, and to ascertain whether 
any means had been adopted by the Ballast Board for 
counteracting the evil effects of placing a dioptric 
apparatus, constructed to throw a level beam on an 
elevated site. 

Mr. Halpin, the Superintendent of Lighthouses, met 
the Commission at Mine Head. 

According to the return of the Ballast Board 
(page 294), this light was erected in 1851, and the 
apparatus then placed in it is now in use. It is 
dioptric, first order, " Made by Wilkins of London," 
and its elevation is 2So feet. 

The light was previously visited by members of 
the Commission on the 26th September 18.59 (see 
page 38). In addition to the observations then made, 
it was remarked that the framework on which the 
illuminating apparatus stands is of wood, a number 
of strong beams placed round the edge of the plat- 
form, instead of the single metal pillar or metal frame 

which generally supports such apparatus. It was 
stated by Mr. Halpin that this was intended to be 
temporary, but no change has been made since the 
light was placed nine years ago. 

The framework appeared to be firm and strong, and 
the apparatus level. It was also remarked that there 
were no reflectors in the blank space corresponding 
to the land. With reference to tiie placing of the 
burner in the apparatus, it was remarked that obser- 
vations taken from within could be verified by 
observations from the shore at points to the east- 
ward and westward at greater or less distances, and 
a spot was selected from which to view the light 

A drawing was then made, full size, showing the 
plan of the burner (obtained by pressing a sheet of 
paper on it). The size of the flame, and the position of 
the horizon of the image formed by the refracting 
portion of the apparatus, and the directions in which 
the horizon was seen in the catadioptric prisms, both 
above and below. It appeared that the flame was 
small, produced by three wicks, in a fountain lamp 
similar to the lamp, burner, and flame at the Start ; 
and that the burner was well placed for the refracting 
panels. It seemed that the burner had been raised 
so as to counteract the effect of the elevated position 
of the light ; but that the upper and lower prisms 
had not been adjusted to correspond, and. con- 
sequently, that nearly all their light was thrown 
above the horizon. Their position was worse than 
that of the prisms at Whitby, when they were first 
seen by the Astronomer Royal and by the Commis- 
sioners. The horizon was seen in the upper prisms in 
a direction corresponding nearly with the edge of the 
burner nearest to the prism, while in the lower prisms 
it was seen in a direction corresponding with the 
inner edge of the inner wick, so that the light was 

As the sun neared the horizon the images formed 
by the different parts of the apparatus in their respec- 
tive foci confirmed these observations. The image 
formed by the refracting panels was on the metal 
of the burner, and rose as the sun descended. At 
the same moment the images formed by the lower 
prisms corresponded with the 7iear edge of the burner, 
and fell below the edge, and descended as the sun 
approached the horizon. 

The images formed by the upper prisms met at a 
point near the top of the flame, and the rays there 
crossed each other, and illuminated a sheet of paper on 
the surface of the burner ; but as the sun got lower, 
the light approached the edge of the burner, the point 
where the image of the horizon is formed. 

The sun was obscured by clouds shortly before it 
set, so the actual position of the horizon could not be 
determined by this test ; but the observation so far 
entirely confirmed those previously made in the 
manner already' described. (See MTiitht/. North and 
Soiitli Foreland. Start, Point of Ayre, &c.) 

The Commission, accompanied by the officers of the 
Ballast Board,' walked to a rising ground in a field, 
distant about three hundred yards from the light- 
house, and it ai)peared by eye observations, and 
by looking through a telescope, that no light was 
showing in the prisms, either above or below. It 
appeared to the Superintendent to be otherwise. It 
appeared to his vision that, in spite of the observations 
made inside, light was seen in all the lower prisms, 
and in most of the upper ones also. A liglithouse 
keeper was accordingly despatched with orders to cover 
up the " central panel." It appeared to the Commis- 
sion that tne man had misunderstood the order, and 
that he covered the large central zone only with- 
out covering the refracting prisms, for two spots of 
light could be seen mth a dark space between ; and 
the man and the cloth could be distinguished with the 
telesco])e, showing against the sky. 

It appeared to be otherwise to the Superintendent, 
who still thought that the light seen proceeded from 
the ujjper and lower prisms. 

Captain Roharts was accordingly requested to pro- 
ceed to tlie lighthouse .and see the experiment carried 
out. He did so ; and it became evident to all present 

Direction of ' 



See drawing! 
at the endojt 
litis Vol. 

Internal obt 

vti lions. 

External ok 
ea tions. 





remeily pro- 

'ol. II. '2Xi. 

irection of 

'luse of defect, 

^lemal obser- 

that no light, except a faint reflected light, could be 
seen in any of the upper or lower prisms. 

In tliis case then there can be no doubt that the 
upper and lower prisms are for all practical purposes 
almost useless for want of adjustment, for three 
methods of observations lead to the same conclusion. 

The prisms could either be adjusted by moving 
them in Iheir frames, or b}' raising the whole upper 
frame till the image of the horizon appears at the 
proper place ; if this latter course be followed, it 
will be necessary to make some provision for raising 
the lower prisms, either by cutting off part of the 
lower refracting panel, as was suggested by Mr. Chance 
elsewhere, or by some other method ; or the upper 
prisms might be raised all together, and the lower 
prisms moved in their frames. It would be better to 
lower the burner, with reference to the refracting 
panels, about an eighth of an inch, for the burner 
now intercepts a considerable portion of the light 
which should fall on the lower portion of the i-e- 
fractors ; but if this be done it will be necessary to 
increase the size of the flame materially, for there is 
nothing to spare at present. 

At all events this light shonld be adjusted as soon 
as possible ; and if the lighthouse authorities desire 
to carry out experiments such as those tried by the 
Trinity House at Whitby, the position is in every 
respect peculiarly favourable for the purpose. 

A portion of the upper prisms is masked by the 
eclipsing shade when open. 

220. DUNGARVON.— No. 139. 

It was remarked that the light at the entrance to 
Dungarvon was seen from the hill at a point consider- 
ably higher than Mine Head, probably more than 300 
feet above the sea. Il seemed probable that the image 
formed by the apparatus was high, and it was decided 
to visit the light. 

November 3d. — The same party visited the light. 
It is called third order, and 52 feet above the level 
of the sea, the apparatus being of the same pattern 
as that at Mine Head, but without lower prisms, 
and smaller. Two wicks only are used, with a 
fountain lamp. A drawing was made similar to that 
made at Mine Head, and these two show plainly 
the effect produced by placing an apparatus con- 
structed for one situation in another ; that is to say, 
the result of placing a highly scientific instrument, 
such as a dioptric apparatus is, without mature con- 
sideration of the use to which it is to be put, and with 
out giving directions, or information to guide the 
manufacturer in its construction. The apparatus at 
Mine Head wants adjustment, not because it is ill- 
made, but because it is placed 285 feet above the sea. 
The apparatus at Dungarvon wants nothing, unless it 
be a better flame, not because it is better made, but 
because it is placed 230 feet lower. 

The horizon was seen in the upper prisms in the 
direction of the farthest edge of the burner, instead ol 
the nearest, and, consequently, nearly all the light of 
the lamp is thrown by the prisms on the sea, and to a 
point where vessels pass into the harbour near the 

The horizon of the image formed by the lenticular 
zones is high, as was anticipated ; but if the flame is 
maintained at the proper height, it is not too higli. 
If the flame be allowed to burn low, the lenses might 
become of little use ; but the prisms would always 
show light so long as the lamp is burning ; and this 
apparatus being placed at the elevation for which it 
was made, is efficient, as it came from the maker and 
without adjustment. 

The bars of the lanterns of both these lights are 
upright, instead of diagonal, and there are no re- 
flectors on the landward side. The lamps in both are 
fountain lamps ; one wick is suppressed in each, and 
the flames of both lamps were far inferior to flames 
seen elsewhere. 

The Commission returned to Waterford, and 
travelled to Dublin. 

November oth. — The Secretarjj visited the office of 


the Ballast Board, and had an interview -with Special 
Mr. Lees their secretary. The object of the interview , Inspections. 

was to impress on Mr. Lees the urgent necessity of 

furnishing the remainder of the returns without ^''"°■''-^'"""''• 

November 6th. — The Secretary vi.sited 

221. BIDSTOXE, near Liverpool, Vol. II. 32G. 

to see whether any provision is there made for adjust- ■^"-''^'T""''- 
ing the apparatus to correspond with the elevation. A 
drawing was made which shows the position of the 
image formed by the back of the reflector, from which 
it appears that the image of the horizon is very high, 
and that if the flame burns low, the light might 
become invisible at the horizon. The edges of the 
reflectors were found to be set perpendicularly. It 
might be well to incline them a little downwards; but 
as the seashore is distant some three or four miles, 
the adjustment is not so important as it would be if 
the lighthouse were placed at the same elevation, and 
near the sea. The shape of the chimneys is objection- 
able. The reflectors are 35 years old ; and though 
some of them might be brighter, they were generally 
in much better order than when last seen by the Com- 

The window through which the light shows is 
composed of small panes and thick bars, which must 
materially interfere with the light. On the whole, 
Bidstone compares unfavourably with other lights 
under the General Lighthouse Authorities ; not in 
that it is badly kept, but in that none of the modern 
improvements introduced into lighthouses elsewhere 
have been adopted. 

It is out of date, but well preserved. The house 
was neatly kept ; but in some disorder, in consequence 
of the presence of the painters. 


On 3d and 4th December, Capt. Ryder, Dr. Glad- 
stone, and the Secretary, occompanied by the Astro- 
nomer Royal, witnessed some experiments at Messrs. 
Chance's, near Birmingham. On the 4th they were 
joined by Mr. Thomas Stevenson. 

The experiments had been instituted by Mr. James 
Chance, with a view to applj' to the lenses the same 
principle of rigorous adjustment, which had already 
been applied with success to the reflecting portions of 
the apparatus, and at the same time to determine at 
what height above the burner the focus should be 
placed. The means of performing the experiments 
had been seen and approved by Professor Faraday. 

The arrangement was as follows : — Near one end 
of a long dark shed was placed a four-wick moderator 
lamp, with a good slanting shouldered glass chimney, 
and a metallic chimney with damper as in an ordinary 
lantern. This lamp could be raised or lowered at will 
with great precision. At the proper distance in front 
of the lamp was erected a series of lenticular bands, 
such as are employed in a first order dioptric appa- 
ratus. Before these again were sliding shutters, so 
that the light which had traversed any one of these 
lenticular bands might be stopped or allowed to pass 
beyond. On the wall at the further end of the dark 
shed, at a distance of about 36 yards, was a very- 
large sheet of paper, which received the light through 
the dioptric arrangement. In front of this sheet was 
a thin horizontal arm moving along an upright, which 
was graduated, with marks answering to the heights 
of the centres of the different lenticular bands. 

When the lamp was raised to zero on the scale 
annexed to it, the top of the burner was precisely on 
a level with the centre of the central lenticular band 
and with the corresponding mark on the upright 
against the sheet of paper. When it was lowered, 
say 28 m., it is evident that rays proceeding from 
points 28 m., above the burner, and passing through 
the centre of the central band, should strike the 
paper against the corresponding mark ; and that this 
was actually the case, was proved by placing a small 
gas-jet at the same mark, and viewing it through the 


Dr. Gladstone't 

Manufactory 0/ 



External ohser^ 

Internal nlis 



Special central lens ncross the edge of the apparatus devised 

Lispeclious. by Professor Faraday for such purposes when the 

Whitby Lights ■were under discussion. It is evident 

Professor ^^^^^ ^y^^^ jj-^ when the lamp is in the aforesaid posi- 

iti's"rumcnl **°"' *'^'' brightest section of the flame is at the height 

of 28 m. above the burner, the brightest portion of 

Eipcrimeiit. the light thrown on the paper will coincide with the 
mark that corresponded with the centre of the cen- 
tral band ; supposing, of course, that any disturbing 
rays from the upper or lower bands are cut off by 
the sliding shutters. If, however, the brightest sec- 
tion of tlie Hame is higher than 28 m., the brightest 
portion of the luminous image on the ]iaper will be 
below the said mark ; and conversely, if lower in the 
flame, higher in the image. But the lamp being sus- 
ceptible of elevation or depression, it was easy to move 
it till the brightest part of the light fell on the paper 
at the central mark. Xor was there any great 
difficulty in determining this : simple observation at 
a distance, the effect on a secondary shadow thrown 

Mr. Stevenson's across the paper, and Mr. Stevenson's photometer, all 

jihotomeier. led to the same conclusion, and different observers 
agreed in their judgments. By this means the follow- 
ing points were determined. 

liesuHs. 1st. That as the flame increases, the section of 

greatest luminosity rises. With a low flame, but 
such as was seen at the Start or Jline Head, the 
brightest portion was only 18m. above the burner; 
with a better flame it was 20 m. ; and with the best 
that was obtained during the experiments it rose to 
24 m. This flame presented considerable body, and 
might be taken as a very good specimen of what is 
found in an Engli-sh 1st order dioptric apparatus, but 
was believed to be inferior to what is maintained in 
many Scotch lights, and was certainly smaller than 
what had been seen by the Commissioners at Calais 
and other places in France. It is possible, therefore, 
that in these best flames the brightest portion is 
really 28 m. above the burner, the height decided on 
by Fresnel for the focus of the lens ; but it is beyond 
question that where in English lighthouses the focus 
has that position, the brightest portion of the light 
is ordinarily sent to the sky. Where the dip of the 
horizon is not taken into consideration, this error of 
adjustment is aggravated, as in the South Whitby 
Light, where the focus being 3.5m. above the burner, 
must have been above the most luminous part of the 
best known flame, supposing such had been burnt 
in it. 

2nd. That the section of gre,^test luminosity in a 
flame of this description is practically confined within 
narrow limits. There was no difficulty in determining 
it to one millimetre. 

Besides tlie amount of oil consumed, the height 
to which the several wicks are turned up, the form 
of the lamp-glass, and the character of the draught, 
must all have their influence on the height of this 
section of greatest intensity. 

Observations were made on the different upper and 
?ower lenticular bands, by means similar to those 
already described. It was not so easy to determine 
the position of the greatest l)rightness in the images 
thrown on the paper by r.ays that traversed these 
lenticular segments, as they e.xhibiled the prismatic 
colours, but the whitest part, which was about equally 
removed from the red and the blue, was assumed as 
^ iromaiic g„ch. Tliis chromatic aberration was greater as the 

aberration. , • , . , /■ , !■ i 

lenticular segment examined was further from the 

central band, and it was more apparent in the lower 
than in the upper series. The following conclusions 
were arrived at : — 

1st. Sup])Osing that the foci of the u])per and lower 
lenticular bands coinciile with the focus of the central 
band, it does not follow that the brightest section of 
the flame as regards each of them, also coincides 
with the brightest section as regards the central band. 
In fact, the brightest section of the flame, as regards 
the lowest bands, was found to cut the vertical axis 
of tlie flame at a higher ]ioint than had been pre- 
viously determined for the central band. 

2nd. On account of this, and because when the 
section of maximum intensity for the central band is 
near the burner (say at 20 m.), a portion of the 
light that should fall on the lowest bands is cut oft" by 
the burner itself, !Mr. Chance proposes that the foci Proposed 
of the lower bands should not be taken at the same roncrfy. 
point as the focus of the central band, but that they 
should be treated much in the same way as the lower 
reflectors are treated, viz., that some point a little 
above the burner and in front of the vertical axis of 
the flame, should be taken as the point of intersection 
of the axis of pencils of rays proceeding to these 
lower lenticular bands ; but it is evident that this is 
of less importance in a high flame than in a low 

3rd. As the chromatic dispersion of the upper and 
lower bands is in the reverse order, that is to say, the 
red rays are sent upwards by the upper bands and 
downwards by the lower, tvnd the converse holds good 
for the blue rays, the two series of bands may be so 
adjusted that the chromatic images produced by them 
should overlap and neutralize one another, producing 
throughout white light, or an approach thereto. This 
could be only very partially shown in the actual ex- 
periment, as the distance at which the paper was 
placed was too short to admit of much overlapping, 

4th. Though the colour due to this chromatic 
aberration may be thus disposed of, the dispersion 
itself must always remain, when lenses of the kind 
now ill use are employed, and this may be a matter 
worthy of attention when further refinements are 

These experiments confirmed the opinion enter- Conrlusim 
tained by the Commissioners as to the great import- 
ance of keeping up a large consumption of oil, and 
therefore a large flame, by showing that when the 
flame sinks, not merely is less light actually produced, 
but the most luminous section of the flame sinks below 
the focus, and is accordingly sent to the sky. Indeed, 
before a dioptric apparatus can be properly adjusted, 
it must be known what size of flame is meant to be 
continuously exhibited. 

The man who attended the lamp showed the Com- 
missioners the large amount of charring that took place 
in the inner wick after only one hour's combustion. 
Mr. Stevenson stated that the Scotch keepers will 
burn a lamp for 16 hours without in any way trim- 
ming the wicks. 

An arrangement similar to that described above 
was made with a pump lamp and a circular compound 
lens. An inverted image of the flame was thrown on 
the paper, which became much more definite when 
the light proceeding from the central portion was 
stopped. No measurements were taken, but the 
result appeared to be much the same, as in the pre- 
ceding experiment. 

Photographs and measurements of the flames expe- 
rimented on were taken by the Secretarj\ 

The Commissioners were also shown in the ivorks 
an apparatus just completed for McArthur's Head. 
It isofa small order, but is interesting from its includ- 
ing two of the aziraulhal condensing arrangements, 
by which Mr. Stevenson brings the light of one half 
of the circle into two directions which he desires 
especially to illuminate. 

Under the same roof was also the frame for the 1st 
order apparatus to be erected at the Smalls. It had 
been designed by the Trinity House, but the 
Messrs. Chance, after it made, had to point 
out its defects to the Board, and to obtain their 
sanction to make large alterations at great cost ; but 
even now the Astronomer Koyal doubts whether the 
angle pieces of the slanting astragals are strong 
enough to withstand the great weight they will have 
to bear. The design adopted in the adjoining appa- 
ratus for McArthur's Head was thought to bo much 
stronger and less obstructive of the light. 

The designs for the supplemental lantern and the Electric lit 
dioptric apparatus intended lor the electric light at 
Dungeness were seen by the Commissioners. 

Charring of 


condensing ' 




The members of the Royal Commission having 
concluded their visits of inspection to French, Spanish, 
and British Lighthouses, and examined carefully the 
system adopted in each country, and having formed 
an opinion of what a first class dioptric light should 
be, determined to select one or more of thefirst order 
dioptric Lighthouses of each of the three General 
Lighthouse Authorities in the United Kingdom, 
and then to compare them with one another and 
with the ideal lighthouse. 

The Lighthouses selected were those at — 
North Foreland 1 -r^ , 
Whitby j England. 

Girdleness — Scotland. 
Minehead — Ireland. 

The following errors and deficiencies were observed 
at Whitby :— 

I. Glass Chimney [abrupt shoulders obstruct 

II. Metal Uptake [not continuous, di-aught di- 
in. Fountain Lamp [very inefficient, because can 

never produce a high flame]. 
IV. Central Wick [removal of, has diminished 
Y. Burner and Lamp [no means of adjusting ; 
great difficulty of maintaining foci in right 
VI. Lens [error in position of one of them ; por- 
tion of light mis-directed and wasted]. 
VII. Lower Prisms [useless, all light wasted]. 
VIII. Upper Prisms [some out of adjustment ; largo 
portion of light mis-directed and wasted]. 
IX. Platform [out of level ; light more or less 

X. Adjustment of Lamp Lenses and Prisms [no 
attention paid to dip, waste of best light]. 
XI. Glass [in some prisms streaky, light scattered, 
and more or less wasted]. 
XII. Reflectors in land angle [none in north 
lighthouse ; light in land angle wasted ; 
reflectors in south lighthouse badly 
Xni. Filter [none ; oil soiled ; flow probably im- 
peded, and brightness of flame diminished]. 
XIV. Distinctive Character of Lights [Two first- 
class dioptric lighthouses an unnecessarily 
expensive means (if distinction], 
XV. Relative Height of the f wo Lights above the 
sea [same height above sea ; impossible to 
know which light is open when they are 
nearly in one, if the weather is thick and 
the red light not easily distinguishable 
from the white], 
XVI. Height of Flame of the Mechanical Lamp 
in South Lighthouse [placed there in con- 
sequence of the Commissioners' first visit 
very insufficiently maintained by the 
keeper, consequent inefficiency of light 
both to near and distant ships]. 
XVn. Site [it is questionable whether well se- 

The two first order dioptric lights at Whitby have 
lately been erected there within 258 yards of one an- 
other. The illuminating apparatus were constructed 
by the Messrs. Chance, of Birmingham, in 18.58, and 
are situated at a height of 240 feet above the sea. 
The Whitby lights were selected by the Royal 
Commissioners for inspection and comparison (1), 
because they were of the latest construction ; (2), 
because the illuminating apparatus was constructed 
in England ; (3), because the construction was un- 
dertaken by a firm, which has the privilege of 
being aided by the mathematical talents of Mr. James 


Chance (a High Wrangler of Cambridge") whsoe 
presence ensured the recognition of scientific prin- 
ciples in their construction ;* (4), because their 
height above the sea would enable us to ascertain 
whether any, and if any, what adjustment had 
been made to allow for the dip. These conside- 
rations pointed out the Whitby lights as fit and 
proper tests, whether the knowledge of the science of 
sea illumination, as exhibited in England by the 
Trinity Board in charge of the Lighthouses, aided by 
the long experience of Professor Faraday (who, how- 
ever, disclaims any special knowledge of optics) and 
the acquirements of Mr. James Chance, had made 
sufficient progress and kept pace with the strides 
made in other cognate sciences. In short, we hoped 
to find that, although France might have a much 
greater number of 1st class dioptric lights than 
England has as yet fitted (owing to her haviug been 
saddled with much fewer old fashioned lights than 
England had when the lens system was invented), yet 
that an English first order dioptric of late construc- 
tion would prove to be not only in no way inferior to 
the best French lights, but as near perfection as pos- 
sible, both as to the flame and as to construction and 
adjustment of illuminating apparatus and lamp. 

The Whitby lights were therefore exposed to the 
severest tests that occurred to us, or were suggested 
to us, and we invited to the inspection of them the 
Astronomer Royal (who preceded us); Mr. J. Chance, 
the constructor, and his foreman, Mr. Masselin ; Pro- 
fessor Faraday, the scientific adviser of the Trinity 
Board ; Mr. Stevenson, the Scotch Lighthouse en- 
gineer ; Mr. Halpin, the engineer of the Ballast 
Board ; M. Sauter, a French constructor of light- 
house illuminating apparatus ; and the Elder Brethren 
of the Trinity Board, who were represented by 
Admiral Gordon, Capt. Close, Capt. Baily, Capt. 
Nesbitt, &c. 

We have little hesitation in stating that all of the ' 
above-named gentlemen on leaving Whitby would 
have admitted, if questioned on the subject, that the 
illuminating apparatus in those lighthouses were faulty 
in most of the preceding particulars ; and we regret 
to say, that we have reason to believe that a French 
first order dioptric light is, owing to the greater height 
of the flame and to other minor causes, much more 
effective than an English first order dioptric light. 

I. The Glass Chimney. 
The glass chimney was of the usual shape supplied 
by the Trinity Board, and was, as stated by Mr. James 
Chance, 7iot like the chimney supplied by his firm 
to the Whitby light [with the illuminating apparatus], 
the shoulder being much too abrupt. We ascertained 
that there was a large stock of Mr. Chance's chimneys 
[similar to the French chimneys] in the lighthouse ; 

* It is due to Mr. James Chance to state, that the orders given 
to him are simply to construct a certain well-Iinowu apparatus 
(Fresnel's dioptric illuminating apparatus) of a given size. Up 
to the time of the commencement of our inquiries, he had not 
directed liis mathematical researches into investigations con- 
nected with the scientific questions bearing on the subject. 

Mr. Chance wap never informed of the height of a proposed 
lighthouse ; and that very inferior description of lamp, the 
fountain, was ordered of another firm, leaving him no option in 
the matter. 

It is due to Professor Faraday to state, that he has always dis- 
claimed being considered an optician. It is due also to the 
Elder Brethren to state, that they make the same disclaimer. 
They appear to have placed implicit confidence in Fresnel's 
calcidations, and supposed that his adjustments were applicable to 
any height of flame, and that there was no necessity for tesiing the 
adjustment of prisms and lenses after the illuniinating apparatus 
had been erected at the lighthouse, or that the height of the 
light above the sea need be taken into account in adjustmg the 
position of the lamp. 




Trinity Board Chimney. 

Chance's anil Freucli Chimney. 

Ste Vol I. 
102, diagraii 

but the Lightliouse keeper thought it to be his duty 
to expend all that were left of the old pattern before 
he commenced using the chimneys of the more modern 
and improved shape. 

The shape of the shoulder has, no doubt, an eflect 
on the draft ; but whatever may be the difference of 
opinion as to the advantage in regard to the draft in 
Laving a gradual or an abrupt shoulder, we have 
ascertained quite beyond a doubt that an abrupt 
shoulder will refract the light irregularly, so that 
many rays will, on passing through, be deflected 
from the horizontal direction. 

Ocular proof of above statement. 
Several horizontal dark lines were observed, appa- 
rently in the shoulder of the chimney, and coinciding 
with that portion of the flame where the image of the 
horizon was formed, and from which the horizon was 
illuminated ; these dark lines pointed out that rays 
were intercepted which would otherwise have gone 
to the horizon. 

Photometric proof of above statement. 
Mr. Stevenson showed us the result of some very 
interesting experiments, to ascertain the degree of 
intensity of the flame when seen through various 
sections of the lens, and we noticed a remarkable 
indentation in the curve, probably caused by the 
abrupt shoulder in the chimney. 

Curve of intensity as ascertained from careful obser- 
vations by three observers ascending Salisbury Crags_ 

Rouo-h sketch of a photographic representation of 
^ flame with dark horizontal lines. 

Photographic proofs. 

(a 1 :SIr. Campbell produced a photographic picture, 
of which the above is a rough sketch, of a flame ^ /. f.<,. 
seen throu-J-h a glass chimney, with an abrupt shoulder, 
by which "the effect of the abrupt shoulder lu pro- 
ducin.^ dark opaque lines was clearly shown i<ig. (a). 

(b) M. Sauter produced photographic pictures ot 
flames seen through the French chimney, m which 
the shoulder is very gradual, and no such dark lines 

Mem —Orders, it was understood, were given on 
the spot bv the Trinity Board to substitute generally 
the gradual shouldered chimneys for those with 
abrupt shoulders. 

II. Metal Chimney or Uptake. 

Hollowed appear- 
ance supposed to 
be caused by the 
abrupt shoulder. 

Upper portion of 

In the 1st order lights, the distance from the top 
of the glass chimney to the cowl is considerable, pro- 
bably 12 feel at least; this space isoccupied by a metal 
chimney in two lengths of about 6 ieet each; and the 
lower lecgtli is again subdivided. 



The openings a b, were suggested some time since 
(15 or 16 years) by Professor Faraday, and adopted by 
the Trinity Board, to prevent a down draught from the 
cowl in windy weather. Under tlie impression tliat the 
annular opening at b admitted too mucli air, and 
tliereby injured the drauglit and lowered the flame, 
we tested the assumption by filling up the annular 
space with paper, which had a most remarkable eflTect. 
The permanent flame was raised in the North Light- 
house, from about 2in. to nearly 3in., and in the South 
Lighthouse from H inch to more than 2 inches. 
Closing (a) did not have much additional good effect. 

The opening (a) mayj^therefore, be left to carry out 
Mr. Faraday's remedy for down draught. Tliis expe- 
riment showed that there was not sufficient draught, 
that a six feet metal chimney or uptake was very 
much more effective in producing an upward draught 
than the three feet tube ; but it was asserted by 
Mr. Faraday that the beneficial effect could not be 
maintained unless the oil was supplied more copiously 
than at present by the inefficient fountain lamp univer- 
sally supplied by the Trinity Board to the 1st order, 
dioptric lights. 

IIL Fotmlain Lamp. 

The fountain lamp universally used in dioptric 
lights by the English and Irish Lighthouse Boards 
consists of a reservoir of oil slightly raised above 
tlie burner. The pressure of the oil, owing to 
this difference of level, forces the oil tln-ough and 
past the wicks. We observed that the oil over- 
flowed very languidly ; and were told that if 
the difference of level was increased by raising the 
reservoir (the most evident remedy), the vessel that 
catches and retains the oil that has overflowed, would 
become full so frequently as to inconvenience the 
lightkeepers, an argument to which we did not 
attach much weight or importance. We caused the 
level to be slightly raised, and the increased overflow 
had an immediate beneficial effect in raising the 
flame ; but this method of keeping a high flame, owing 
to the irregularity of the supply of oil, is very inferior 
to the overflow lamp. The irregularity arises in the 
following manner. If the influx of oil in a fountain 
lamp is increased by the attendant, the flame imme- 
diately rises, the pipes quickly become hot, the 
specific gravity of the oil in the rising branch is 
diminished, the influx of oil is increased with great 
rapidity, and the flame becomes extravagantly high, 
smoky, and uumanageable. 

The keeper at St. Catherine's (Isle of Wight), 
states, that when the oil is thick, he raises the reser- 
voir so as to increase pressure. 

equally effective) ; a small alarum is fitted to them in 
France, which warns tlie keeper the instant that the 
overflow diminishes in rapidity. 

A Fountain lamp. 

The level of oil in lower reservoirs is maintained I)}- 
means of a float, at just the same height as the wick. 

The Overflow Lamps used in France and Scotland in 
the 1st order lights ; but which for very insufficient 
reasons (see letter from Trinity House, 3rd January 
1861,) have been discontinued in England, force over 
three times as much oil as they consume ; whereas 
the fountain lamp as at present constructed forces 
over less than is consumed. 

The moderator and the triple or quadruple pump 
worked by machinery are the two descriptions of 
overflow lamps in use in France. (The triple pump 
only is used in Scotland, they are said to be 

A lariim . 

o is a cup with a small liolc in it, balanced by the 
weight b ; the cup is periodically filled from the over- 
flow ; when full, its weight depresses it, and rino-s a 

If the overflow ceases to pass over with sufficient 
quickness to fill the cup, and thus ceases to overcome 
the drain through the hole, the cup becomes entirely 
empty, and sets off tlie alarum. 

It is of great importance that the high rate of 
overflow bo steadily maintained, for the draught 
being considerable and the flame high, a failure in 
the oil supply is attended with the following result. 
The oil, instead of being passed over in proportion of 
3 to 1 of the oil consumed, a proportion which, by 
the coolness of the oil, keeps the metal holder and 
wick cool,* and prevents the rapid consumption of 
the wick by charring, is passed over in some lower 
ratio, the wick becomes charred, smoke is created, 
effective flame is first diminished, aud the light at 
last either extinguished by the oil or tlie oil becomes 
so heated as probably to injure tlie burners when the 
flame has burnt the wick down close to the top of 
burner. Great watchfulness is therefore necessary 
to maintain the high flame (which we observed to be 
universally maintainable in France and Scotland in 
the overflow lamps. Sec figs. 1 and 2, at end of Vol. I.) 
With proper aud constant care, when the overflow 
is considerable, the wick need not be trimmed 
throughout the night. The fountain lamp in use 
in England in 1st order lights, if we may judge 
by the Whitby Lights, cannot maintain anything 
more than a low flame ; see personal observations 
at North Whitby, page 56. (Tlie flame at the South 
Light was still lower. This difference was probably 
owing to a variety at the Whitby Lights in the size 
of the supply tubes or in the draft.) There is an 
evident loss of a large portion of the light if a low 
flame is substituted for a liigh flame. " This loss 
is greater than is due to the mere diminution of 
light produced, for if the burner and the illuminating 
apparatus have been adjusted to one another for 
Fresnel's position of the foci (which had reference 
to a very high flame, and wliicli position has always 
been given in England, although the flames are 
only half the height of Fresnel's) the section of 
greatest luminosity falls below the focus for parallel 
rays {q) in subjoined diagram, and the strongest 
light is therefore sent to the sky. Again, those 

Fig- (1) 

* The oil in contact with the flame, by its rapid change, is 
sufficiently cool to prevent the wick from being charred, bat the 
whole of the oil is sufficiently raised in temperature to prevent it 
becoming thick in winter. This last is an additional recommen- 
dation of the overflow lamp compared with the fountain lamp, as 
at present constructed, in which the oil becomes cold and thick 
in frosty weather. 



portions of the flame above the focal line of the lens 
(which arc the portions lost when the flame is low), 
are of the utmost importance to the illumination of 
the sea between the horizon and the base of the 
Lighthouse, and of considerable importance to illu- 
minating the horizon also. 

Let jt. V, tig. ( 1 ) be a full flame ; a. q, h, r, a low flame ; 
n,b. c, the focal plane oflens;^, the focus; o, p, the lens; 
then, if the flame does not extend alwve a, b, (the focal 
plane) it is evident that only half as much focal light 
will go to the horizon through the lens as would go 
then^il' the flame was sulliciently high to reach above 
the shaded triangles. Kays froin all portions of the 
vertical section of the high flame above the shaded 
triangles will, after passing through the lens be 
depressed, and illuminate the sea, showing how 
important for the near portions of the sea is a high 

All rays from portions of the flame below the 
shaded triangle will, after passing through the lens, go 
to the sky. This shows how important it is that the 
focal plane of the lens should pass through the flame 
at its lowest section of maximum intensity, so that as 
few as possible of the brightest rays may be wasted on 
the sky. The height of the cen'tre of the section of 
maximum intensity was estimated by Fresnel to be 
28 mm., or about 1-1 in. above the burner in a 1st class 
dioptric. This height was not even approached at 

The great importance of a high flame is also 
exemplifled when we consider the action of the 
upper prisms. 

The curvature of the side n, b, fig. (2) is so 
calculated* as to send out as parallel rays to horizon 
all rays arriving from the focus d (or from wherever 
it may have been determined to place that focus) in 
the flame. Any diminution in the height of the 
flame, as for instance from in to n, will evidently 
diminish considerably the number of luminous points 
included in those two illuminating triangles, and thus 
diminish the light proceeding to the horizon. 

In tlie same way any diminution of the height of 
the flame will diminish the number of rays sent by 
the lower prisms to the horizon, for, as is evident in 
fl<T. (3), the upper shaded triangle does not exist as 
a^luminous body when the flame is lowered from 
m to n. We have in both of the two last figures 
shown by the words ski/ and sea, where the rays from 
those portions of the flame anterior and posterior to 
the focal planes are sent to, if the rays are not inter- 

It has been stated by Fresnel, and hitherto gene- 
rally accepted by makers of illuminating apparatus, 
that the focal plane for the lens of a 1st class dioptric 
should be about M in. above the burner to ensure 
that the focus be in the brightest part of the flame, 
but Fresnel in giving this height referred only to the 
hio-li flame of a mechanical lamp. A complete series 
of experiments is yet wanting to ascertain which 
is really the Virightest section of flames of different 
licislits as seen from tlie lens and from the upper and 
lower [irisnis. When these have been ascertained by 
photograph ic and yjliotometi-ic experiments, it is possible 
that some slight change may yet have to be made, even 
with high flames, in the hitherto received positions of 
the foci for the lens and prisms. For a ibuntain lamp 
this height should probably not exceed 14 mm. or o in. 
Fresnel places the foci for upper prisms in 1st order 
lights 28 mm. above burner, and the foci for lower 
prisms at points between 38 mm. and 68 mm. above 
the burner so as to clear the burner and wick. 

Other circumstances of importance must also be 
taken into consideration in placing the foci. It is 
said to be highly inconvenient to have prisms which 
throw out converijinri rays, because among other 
matters the practical adjustment of the prisms is 
much embarrassed thereby, and it is recommended by 
Mr. Chance to endeavour to give the prisms a slight 
divergence^ by slightly llattening the curved side of 
the prisms. 

» Until lately no great attention has been paid to any accuracy 
in "ivins; this curvature. M. Saiiter admitted this. At North 
Foreland we found the focus of one of his prisms -was II in. 
outside the flame, and this owing to tlie en-oncous curvature. 

Fig. (2) 

Fig. (3) 

This would ensure all rays Irom luminous portions 
of the flame, after leaving the prism, becoming slightly 
divergent. Mr. Chance is still continuing his expe- 
riments on this interesting subject. 

All these very important questions regarding the 
position of the foci depend upon the primary decision 
as to the relative importance of sending rays from the 
brightest poitiou of the flame to X\m horizon, compared 
with illumiiuiting the sea witliin the horizon by an 
equal distriljution of the rays through the angle. 

t When a prism is found to luive a more than usual amount 
of divergence, but vet not sufficient to cause its rejection, it should 
be adjusted, Mr. Chance suggests, so that the upper edge of the 
divergent beam goes to the horizon, otherwise some of the rjys 
vill be -anneces^arily wasted in the slij'- 




Popular illustrations of the various mithods prac- 
tised and proposed of dislriln/liii;/ the rai/s of light 
from the lens of a dioptric illumi/iatiri;/ apparatus. 

(1.) Present syntom (erroneous), centre of brightest 
lienni direeted to geometrical horizon. 


(2) ami (3), optional (but not hitherto intentionally 
adopted in dioptric lights in the United Kingdom.) 

(2.) Directs centre or upper edge of the brightest 
beam to visible horizon, and in so doing necessarilj' 
wastes some rays on the sky. 

-Voto— In Scotbnd ouinR t.) tin- i-'n.nt liri^lit i.f tho flames it is pro- 
bable that the section ui" ^-rcat.'st liiniiiinsit\ 1., ^11 liiL'Ii in the flame as 
to correct, in some iiist:nu's, tin- ill i-iri-rts wi.uid otherwise have 
been occasioned by ne;rli'ftinLr tli'- thp; Ijiit thi-^ is only an accidental 
correction, audit may be ovcrd 'ue. aoil I he brightest rays be dipped below 
the horizon as in (.1). 


(3.) Seeiiiiig lo \\U\y/A' all the rays, tile horizon 
•will necessarily be de])rived of the brightest rays, 
which will fall within th.e horizon. 

W to diau rai id 

Tiie daugei aii»e» fiom the gieat exaggeiatiou m 
the height of the lighthouse and the size of the 
illuminated angle, which tends to bias the reader in 
favour of (3), whereas if the sketches were truly 
drawn to scale, the angle reduced to 6°, and the 
light'.s height above the sea reduced to its propor- 
tionate altitude, the merits of (2) would become more 
evident, and those of (3) less evident. 

If ])aramount importance is attached to sending to 
the horizon the brightest rays that pass through the 
lens, ravs from the lower portions of the flame as 
the beam is inverted must lie wasted and sent above 
the horizon. If paramount importance is attached to 
utilizing all the rays, very few rays need be wasted, 
and yet, after mature consideration, the opinion will 
probably be unanimous,^ that notwithstanding the 
waste of rays it is better, in the great majority 
of cases, whatever the loss, to ensure that the hori • 
zon shall receive the brightest rays. It must never 
be forgotten that one great use of Lighthouses is to 
passing ships who deviate perhaps, considerably from 

their course to sight the Light (made out perhaps 
30 miles oil' from the mast head) and then imme- 
diatel)' resume their course. Any diminution in the 
brightness of the ray sent to the horizon would be a 
serious injury to such vessels. 

The great and iucreased importance of maintaining 
a high flame in thick weather is probably not 
sufficiently understood by lighthouse keepers, and 
should be impressed upon them. A high flame 
requires constant watchful care, and can only be 
maintained by an increased expenditure of oil. This 
accounts for the great disjiarity in the expenditure of 
oil in 1st order lights in England and Ireland when 
compared with the expenditure in French and Scotch 

The Scotch and French Lighthouse Authorities g^ y^ 
insist on the maintenance of a high flame, and insist piq. 2. 
on the consumption of that amount of oil which they 
know Ijy experiment is necessary to maintain a high 
flame. Their consumption is nearly 70 per cent, larger 
than the consumption in an English or Irish 1st order 
light under the Trinity House. This very important 
subject requires evideutl}' to be studied with much 
greater attention in the English and Irish first order 
lights, all of which ought to be supplied immediately 
with mechanical lamps, and a certain maximum con- 
sumption per hour should be insisted upon. 

Since our last visit to Whitby, on which occasion 
we found that the mechanical lamp had been, in con- 
sequence of our first visit, substituted at the South 
Lighthouse for the fountain lamp, the North retaining 
the tbuntain, we have obtained two returns, one, 
the observations of passing mariners, and another a 
return from the Trinity House, giving the daily con- 
sumption of oil at both Lighthouses for many weeks. 
To our great surprise we found that the mariners 
gave a much slighter preference to the South Light 
over the Xorth than had been expected considering 
that with a mechanical lamp the flame can be main- 
tained at a much greater height, although at a consi- 
derably iucreased consumption of oil. Our surprise at 
this disappointing evidence ceased when we found, on 
reference to the Trinity House return of consumption 
of oil, that the keeper in charge of the South Light 
had, either through ignorance or intentionally, con- 
stantly consumed onh' the same amount of oil in his 
new mechanical lamp as the keeper in charge of the 
North Light in his old fountain lamp ; the average 
consumption per year will, unless some change is 
made, remain, therefore at the South Whitby not more 
than 400 gallons instead of more than 700, which is 
consumed in Scotland and France, and the flame 
remain as low and therefore as ineffective as before. 
We found that the Elder Brethren had apparently taken 
no notice whatever of this ignorance or neglect on 
the part of the keepers at the South Whitby, and we 
can now understand what had hitherto puzzled us, 
viz., why the mechanical lamps were condemned by 
the Elder Brethren many years since. There can lie 
no doubt that a mechanical lamp is an expensive, 
troublesome, complicated instrument if it is used, as at 
the South Whitby Light, for the purpose of consuming 
only a small amount of oil, (one gallon in seven or eight 
hours, ) and creating a flame of about two inches, which 
can be effected just as well by the common fountain 
lamp; while it is an invaluable and (for the benefit 
conferred) an economical instrument if its powers 
are properly developed, to consume one gallon in less 
than five hours, and create a flame of from three to 
four inches. 

IV. Central Wick. 

The next point to be remarked ou is the 
absence of the fourth or central ivick. The French 
always have a fourth wick in their first order lights, 
and at the North Foreland and South Whitby the 
Trinity Board have just readopted them with the 
mechanical lamp. If rays only originated from the 
outer surface of a flame, and did not pass through 
the flame, it might at first sight appear unnecessary to 
pay any attention to the central portions of the flame, 
but it is well known that the pencil of light passing 
from a flame in any given direction varies in intensity 

I 2 



with the depth of the luminous section or portion of 
the flame i'rom whence it has emanated. The ex- 
ternal flames, like otlier flames, are tninsparent, and 
the light from the central wick ]iat->inir tlirough them 
senr^ibly increases the quantity of etfective liglit. The 
omission of the central wick enfeebles, so to speak, the 
central portions of all these sections, and reduces the 
amount of light proceeding in all directions. 
V. Burner and Lamp. 

There was no meaus of adjusting the height of 
the lamp burner, or of correcting any lateral error. 

The Inirner at the is'orth Liglithouse was -j^jth of an 
inch out laterally, and also vertically as regards the 
geometrical horizon. It might be advisable to 
instruct the light keeper how to adjust the position 
of the lamp burner as is done in France, and the 
lamps ought to be fitted with the meaus of ready 
adjustment, small screws should be placed in the 
framework (as in Mr. Chance's), from which, when 
two lines are stretched across, their intersection 
should cover the centre of the burner ; the keepers 
should test this occasionally, and report any error, 
and should be exercised, when inspected, in shifting 
lamps. In France the mechanical lamps are replaced 
by the spare lamps every three weeks, to ensure the 
pumps being kept in good working order. 
VI. Lenses. 

In the southernmost lens in the North Light the 
focus of divergenc}', the rays from which, when col- 
lected by the lens would pass to the horizon, was 
about half an inch higher in the flame than the other 
lenses. As the flame was at its best very low, this lens 
was proljalily of very little service. Mr. Masselin could 
not account for this. It arose, he thouglit, either 
from the curvature being faulty or the glass having 
a different refractive power ; but M. Sauter suggested 
another reason, viz., that the workmen who ground 
the edges of the lens had taken too much ofl'one edge, 
and in securing the lens in the frame had misplaced it. 
The error was so evident, that Mr. Masselin, Mr. 
Chance's foreman, was asked how it was that it had not 
attracted his attention when he was erecting it al 
Whitby ? He stated that although he had expressed 
a wish that the lanterns should be first finished, his 
wish was disregarded, and he was obliged to erect the 
illuminating apparatus while the lantern being 
built, both operations being carried on under a cover, 
which prevented the horizon from being visible, other- 
wise he would have detected the erroneous lens. 
VII. Lower Prisms. 

The T^ower Prisms sent all their rays to the 
sky, 7ione to the horizon or sea. — This most extra- 
ordinary fact was detected in the first place by the 
Astronomer Royal, and its truth was confirmed by all 
ot us ; the only prisms that sent their rays even 
to the geometrical horizon level were those of one 
section of the prisms of the North Light, occupying 
only a very small portion of the circumference, and 
they could only be seen from the direction of the 
South Light. 

Mr. Chance states that this error has arisen from 
his having in these Lighthouses attempted strictly to 
carry out Fresnel's rule as to the height of the foci 
for the lower prisms, a rule which he now finds to be 
in considerable error in first order lights, although 
correct for the third order. 

Tiiere is no doubt that there are 1st class dioptric 
Lighthouses that send rays to the sea through their 
lower prisms — Girdleuess for instance iit Scotland — 
specially examined and tested by the Astronomer 
Iloyal to ascertain this, and also all the Lighthouses 
we inspected in France. Mr. Cliance assumes that this 
may be accounted for by their having been practically 
adjusted (without any reference to Fresnel's rule), 
by so fixing the lenses and prisms that the optical 
image of the horizon formed bj' each falls upon the 
brightest part of the flame. Mr. Chance now, since 
his attention has been drawn to it, practically adjusts 
all the lenses and prisms, irrespective of Fresnel's rule. 
It is evident liiat all first order Lights, and in 
fact all dioptric Lights hitherto erected in the L^nited 
Kingdom should, as early as possible, be visited by 

competent persons, and the fact of the well or ill 
adjustment of all their lenses and prisms be ascer- 
tained, and any errors found corrected. The Astro- 
nomer Royal estimates that this could be effected in 
about two years if one person only was employed. 

The Trinity yacht conveyed the Royal Commis- 
sioners at night to a distance of from four to five 
miles from the Whitby Lights, when, by a precon- 
certed signal, the central lenses of the North Light 
were covered, and it was then satisfactorily shown 
to the Elder Brethren hj the aid of telescopes that 
there was no light in the lower prisms. 

No light came through the lower prisms of the 
South Light, either.* 

[The lower prisms at the South 'Wliitby have now 
been adjusted, a verj' slight change in the position of the 
prisms was sufficient to efl'ect this important object.] 
A^II. Upper Prisms. 

T7te Upper Prisms icere sensibly out of adjustment. 
Mr. Chance's foreman, when seeking for the horizon 
in these upper prisms, by the method suggested by 
Mr. Campbell, our Secretary, detected some errors 
of adjustment in them. These jn-isms have since 
been readjusted. 

IN. Platform. 
The Platform or Table was out of Level. The 
illuminating apparatus has hitherto been placed on 
one central iron support — this may in course of time 
settle or give, which would throw out the action of 
the illuminating apparatus very considerably. At 
Gidleness the platform is supported at its circum- 
ference by a series of inclined or zigzag roads ; this 
method of support appears greatly preferable to tliat 
by central columns. The maintenance of correct 
levels should be ascertained from tinie to time by 
means of a spirit leveL 

X. Adjustment of Lenses and Prisms for the height 
of Light abore the sea. 

As, owing to the curvature of the earth the visible 
horizon is below the geometrical horizon, the rays 
intended for the visible horizon ought to be dipped 
througli that angle — this angle will increase with 
the height of the Lighthouse, d is the geometrical 
and c the visible horizon, and d, a, c, is the angle of 

Now that the glass can be made very clear, free 
from veins, and therefore non-divergent, and great 

• During the day, on looking at the South Lights, lighted for 
the purpose, from the gallery of the North Lieht, also from a 
•window at its hase, no light could be seen in lower prisms, 
it was only seen from the top of the lantern of the Korth 
Light, considerably above the horizontal direction. 



DiaTam showing approximately the efFect produced on the light transmitted through the lens of a first 
class dioptric light by neglecting the dip. 

N.B. The size of the angle is exaggerated to make the eftect more evident. 

accuracy can be attained in the shape of the prisms 
and lenses by the cross-action in polishing them, 
this angle of dip cannot be ignored without unnecef^- 
sarily sending a considerable amount of light to the 
sky ; and the higher the Lighthouse the more light 
is Avasted in that direction. The necessity of taking 
the dip into consideration is increased, if at one and 
the same time, as in England and Ireland, the burner 
has been placed with regard to the focus of the 
lens in the position pointed out by Fresnel (viz.: 
for 1st order dioptric 28 mm. or l-l in. below the 
focus), and the flame is, or may be expected 
to be, lower than the high flames created in Scot- 
land and France. The section of intensest lumi- 
nosity is only that height, (1 • 1 in., above the 
burner) in very high flames, and is much nearer the 
burner in low flames, such as those produced in 
England and Ireland by the fountain lamp. 

The burner appears to have been placed originally 
at the above distance below the focus in England and 
Ireland, whatever may be the height of the light 
above the sea, and notwithstanding the use of the 
fountain lamp. The horizon, therefore, in such case 
takes the larger portion of the light that reaches it 
through the lens from sections having their inter- 
section higher in the flame than the focus for 
parallel rays by a distance due to the dip ; and as 
the flame is low by the inefficiency of the lamp, 
the section of intensest luminosity is (owing to the 
latter fact) still further separated from and dropped 
below the portion of the flame sending light to the 
horizon, therefore the necessity of taking the dip into 
consideration is magnified when the focus is at 1 • 1 in. 
above the burner, and the flame is low. Thus, for a 
lighthouse 240 feet high, at which the dip of the 
horizon is 16', the focal point corresponding to the 
sea horizon is higher than that corresponding to the 
geometrical horizon by 0-16 in., and if the focal point 
for the geometrical horizon is l-I in. above the burner, 
the focal points for the sea horizon will be 1-26 in. 
above the burner. At this height, even with the best 
French lights, the intensity of the light is sensibly 
diminished, unless the flame is at its best, and with the 
English lamps it is in some cases neai'ly lost. It is very 
easy to adjust the lenses and prisms in their frames in 
the workshop, to throw the most brilliant rays towards 
the visible horizon*, provided an experimental range 
can be obtained. Mr. Chance has now a considerable 
range, and a vertical board on which a line repre- 
senting the visible horizon for each prism and lens 
is marked ; a ladder is placed against the board, and 

* The plan jiroposed in 2ur. Sievensou's work, viz., to cant 
or tilt the lens, is erroneous, as tilting the lenses only distorts 
the image ; it does not move it in altitude. 

Even if tilting had the stated effect, it -n-onld be veiy nnad- 
visable to give the keepers power to tilt the lenses. 

the eye is placed in the proper position when any 
lens or prism is being adjusted. It is by no means 
an easy operation, except for a person accurately 
acquainted with optical science, to readjust the prisms 
after they have been erected in the Lighthouse, and 
it should not be attempted, except by an optical 
engineer, for this evident reason that raising or lower- 
ing the lamp has opposite effects in the lens and in 
the prisms, and every prism must be moved. This 
was effected at the South Whitby under Mr. Chance's 
personal superintendence. 

But it may be asked what injury would have been 
done (1), to the illumination of the horizon, and (2), 
to the ilhimination of the sea by neglecting the dip, 
as has been done in the United Kingdom and France, 
if the flame is maintained at its proper height, as 
it is in Scotland and France by the use of the mecha- 
nical lamp ; and this question has a direct practical 
bearing on the case. The readjustment of all the prisms 
is a serious matter. Take this case, viz. a light 240 feet 
above the sea, as at Whitby, (an unusual height in the 
United Kingdom , where atmospheric difficulties un- 
known in the Mediterranean interfere to prevent the 
selection of great heights), and let us suppose that 
the lamp there used had been the mechanical, and the 
flame the proper height. At the height of 240 feet the 
horizon is 16 miles distant. The flame of a mechanical 
lamp 4 inches high, gives a divergence of 6°. 

First, the Lens. — The beam passed through the 
lens is inverted. Its brightest portion occupies 
about say 1° of the angle, the remainder being 
divided in the following manner, see diagram, the 
lower edge of the divergent beam will, in such a case, 
if the angle is 6°, and the height of the light above 
the sea 240 feet, strike the sea at 1090 j'ards dis- 
tance from the base of the Lighthouse (within that 
distance no direct rays will reach the hull of a vessel 
through the lens). The dip due to the height of 240 
feet is 16'. If the brightest beam derived from the 
section of intensest luminosity has a divergence of more 
than 32', without any sensible decrease of intensity, 
then the horizon wiU be illuminated by rays from the 
brightest portion of the flame, and will not, as far as 
the lens is concerned, have suffered by the light not 
having been dipped ; but even supposing that owing 
to the equable intensity of luminosity extending over 
a portion of the flame sufficient in size {\ of an inch) to 
enable the horizon to be lighted from the brightest part 
of the flame though the light has not been dipped, it 
is evident that the sea within the horizon must soon 
begin to suffer, for there can be no doubt that the 
upper portion and not the loxver of the beam of 
greatest intensity should be directed to the horizon, 
as in the former case the remainder of the section of 
greatest luminosity will illuminate the sea instead of (as 
in the case of the light being undipped) going to the 



sky. It is the sea then, rather than the horizon, that 
is most injured (as far as the lens is concerned) 
by neglecting the dip. At first sight we arc 
inclined to suppose that neglecting the dip may be 
very injurious to the very near ships, but wlien a cal- 
culation is made (see table, p. 101), it is readUy seen 
that dipping, in the above case, through the angle of 
IC will Old}- light up an additional narrow strip of 
the sea, about 130 yards broad. 

To sum up, therefore, the effect of not dipping n< 
far as the le/is is concerned, when tlie mechanical 
lamp is in use, and thejiamc is of the proper height, the 
effect is — {I) perhaps to slightly injure the illumina- 
tion of the horizon ; (2) certainly to injure ma- 
terially the illumination of the sea within the horizon: 
and (3), to exclude from direct rays a very narrow 
strip of sea near the lighthouse. 

Cpper Prisms. — Neglecting the dip is a maladjust- 
ment of the prisms, and has this effect, that the light 
■which reaches the horizon is taken from a more 
advanced section of the flame, reducing thereby the 
size of the portion of the flame which illjininates the 
sea, diminishing therefore the total light sent to the 
sea through each prism, and probably transferring the 
position of the focus for parallel rays I'or each i>rism 
to a less bright section of the flame. 

N.B. If the lamp, supposed to be a mechanical 
lamp with a high flame, is raised to dip the rays 
passing through the lens from the brightest section 
to the visible horizon, then the original error in the 
adjustment of the upper prisms is doubled, and great 
care wiU be requisite in deciding upon how far it 
is safe to raise the lamp. At Girdleness, Professor 
Airv, for this reason, recommended that the lamp 
should only be raised through half the angle of dip. 
Li England and Ireland, until the mechanical lamp is 
substituted for the fountain, another element of dis- 
turbance enters into the question, and no imperfect 
adjustment should be attem])ted. 

Lower Prisms. — So small in altitude is the portion 
of the flame which the interposition of the edge of the 
burner allows to send rays to the lower prisms, and 
so narrow therefore the emitted beam and so small the 
divergence, that a neglect of the dip will very pos- 
sibly deprive the horizon and the sea of any rays 
from the lower prisms, as we found to be the case at 
the Wliitby lights, where the lower prisms sent all 
the rays that passed through them to the sky. 

!N.B. As the portion of the flame which will send 
rays below the horizon to the sea, is that portion be- 
tween the direction of the axis of parallel rays and 
the edge of the burner, any attempt to raise the lamp, in 
order to dip the brightest rays tlirough the lens, unless 
the lower prism? are also readjusted, will probably 
bring the axis of parallel rays into the burner, and 
then immediately the lower prisms will cease to illu- 
minate either the sea, or tlie horizon, even if the 
latter had previously received some lew rays. 

It is right to state here that rays from the sides of 
the flames may still be eftective. 

Neglecting the dip, therefore, when the flame is 
high, unless the height of the light above the sea is 
considerable, docs possibly no great harm to the efiect 
of the lens at the horizon, but it diminishes the light 
sent through the lens to the sea, and it lessens the 
amount of light sent both to the horizon and the sea 
I'rom the ripper prisms, and lessens if it does not 
entirely prevent the transmission of any light to the 
sea, and perhaps also to the horizon through the lower 

In the case of the electric light, where the 
dimension of the luminous body is only about \ of 
an inch, and the divergence is therefore very small, 
it is of th'.' last importance that the rays should be 
accurately ilipped and directed. In the case of tlie 
oil lamp with a flame of 4 ///., and a divergence of 6° 
for reasons slated above, the question is comparatively 
of less importance, provided always that a proper 
flame is mainiainvd, but as tluix' is no difficulty in 
adjusting the lenses and ])risms for the given height, 
it should never be neglected, as careless keepers may 
neglect to keep a high flame. Very careful experi- 
ments to measure the intensity of diflerent .sections as 
ecen from lenses and prisms should be made. 

XI. Crlass. 

We noticed that the glass of some of the prisms 
at Whitby was streaky and wavy. Since that glass 
was cast Mr. Chance informs us he has efl'ected a 
great improvement, by melting the glass in covered 
pots. Some glass since produced is quite free of 
streaks, and of a very good colour. 

XII. Reflectors in Land Angle. 

In the North AVhitby Light there were no cat- 
optric reflectors on the land side of the illuminating 
apparatus. There were reflectors in the South Lights 
(but they were badly flgured). This would atford a 
good opportunity of testing the value of the catoptric 
reflector. In its absence, about \ of the light, viz. that 
in the land angle, is entirely lost and wasted. 

XIII. Filter for Oil. 

The oil is not filtered in the English Light- 
houses. The filtration of the oil in the French 
Lighthouses is part of their judicious treatment 
of the science of illumination ; the greatest care 
being taken to measure the quantity consumed in 
every hour, or during each watch or guard ; and the 
great and natural anxiety of the keepers to maintain 
a perfect flame, precludes the possibility of the un- 
cousumedoil that remains in the lamp in the morning, 
partly soiled and injured by its contact with the 
flame, being allowed to Ibrm ])art of the oil at the 
commencement of the next night : it is therefore 
carefully removed, but before being returned to the 
general reservoir it is necessarily carefully filtered. 
Filters should be introduced in all our Lighthouses. 

Xr\'. Distinctive Character of Lights. 
The Whitby Lighthouses are both of the first order, 
and therefore of the most expensive character. They 
cost, when completed, 5,256/., and they will, with 
high flames, cost for maintenance about 800/. per 
annum. 800/. per annum at 4 per cent, represents 
a capital sum of 32,000/.. which added to the primary 
cost, viz.. 5.256/.. makes the total cost of the Light- 
houses 37,000/. If the second Lighthouse is unneces- 
sary, and sufficient distinction could have been given 
to one Lighthouse the large sum of 18,500/. has been 
wasted. The direction of the rock is sufficiently 
pointed out by the red cut oft". 

XV. Relative Height of the tico Lights above the Sea. 

The Lights ha^e been placed so as to point out the 
line of direction of a danger oft' the harl)Our. That 
two Lights, if intended lo be used as a leading mark 
to clear a danger, should be of unequal height, one 
being higher than the other by a number of feet de- 
pending upon the distance of the danger and the hori- 
zon, it might have been thought, an axionnitic truth 
in Lighthouse engineering, and, if to gain this object, 
it had been found advisable to ha\e the buildings much 
closer together, economy in various ways would have 
been studied. The reason why such Lighthouses 
should be of unequal heights is. that when of the same 
height ;^as at Inishowen) i; is impossible to know 
when they are slightly open, whether it is the nearest 
or the most distant that is to the riglit or left, a very 
important point in intricate navigation. At Whitbv, 
the light in tlie north Lighthouse turns to red when 
the lights are in one, but in some states of the atmo- 
sphere it is difficult to distinguish white from red. 

XVI. Height of flame of the mceha7iical lamp in 
the South Lighthouse. 
On our second visit we found a mechanical lamp at 
work in South Lighthouse, and all the up))er and 
lower prisms readjusted. Various experiments were 
tried (see Mr. Faraday's report), but it is necessary to 
observe that the exi)erinients cannot do justice to the 
mechanical lam)i, for, as exhibited in the South Light- 
house on that occasion and since, it did little credit to 
the i)rinciple. 

The Lighthouse keepers were inexperienced, could 
onlv succeed in burning one gallon in six or seven hours, 
instead of in less than five, as in Scotland, or as in 
France ; and on the night of the sea ex))eriments, 
when we were disappointed at tlie South Light not 



showing to fjroater advantage, it was ascertained from 
Mr. Chance tliat the nature of the programme 
(which, instead of heing entirely a time programme, 
as was suggested, involved constant looking out for 
the ship's signals, and therefore frequent opening and 
shutting of the gallery door,) injured the draft, 
and therefore the flame, which was not improved l>y 
the presence of additional keepers in the lantern. 
Mr. Chance stated that he had to change the chimney 
twice because it got smoky ; to trim once, and that he 
observed the flame was (strange to say) brightest 
when the overflow was least, all proving that the 
flame was in anything but a satisfactory state. 

The necessity of maintaining alwa3-s •i.high flame ai 
4 in. must necessitate constant watch and guard on the 
part of the keepers, and this again frequent visits on 
the part of inspectors. In France the inspectors have 
a master key, so that they can ^ isit at unexpected 
moments. Commanders and Lieutenants of Coast 
Guard are perhaps the persons in the United King- 
dom who could most satisfactorily perform this duty. 

It would only be necessary for them without any 
warning to enter the Lighthouses, measure the height 

of the flame, and report it next morning, with any re- 
markson thewatchfulness,orotherwise. of the keepers. 
They should not have the power of interfering in any 
other manner, or of giving any orders or instructions. 
XVII. .S'iVe.—Owing to the height (240 feet) of the 
lights above the sea, they are frequently obscured by 
clouds. It admits of considerable doubt whether one 
lighthouse about 120 feet in height on an outlaying 
rock would not have been more efficient and less 
expensive in the long run. 

It will Vie seen by reference to tlie .\stronomer Eoval's Report on his 
visit to Whilb.v that he estimated the waste of tlie small quantity even 
oflight that was atlorded by the old fountain lumps then in use as very 
considerable, owing: to the various errors he alludes to. leaving only a 
small portion of the light, estimated by him as one tenth really useful. 
Now that a mcch.anical lamp has been placed at the South Whitby 
Lii^thouse, and all the lenses and prisms have been carefully readjusted 
by Mr. Chance, the lisht and brilliancy ought to have increased most 
considerably ; but this desirable result awaits the proper raauageiuent 
of the lamp and, an increased consumption of oil. 

The above remarks on the errors and deficiencies at Whitby have 
been submitted to the Astronomer Royal, the Commissioners beinff 
most anxious neither to overstate the number of errors nor to attach 
too much importance to any one of them. 

Professor Airy after carefully considering them, has 
been pleased to state that " lie believes the above 
statements as to the errors and deficiencies at Whitby 
to be perfectly accurate." 


Production of Light. 

\. The relative light-producing power of different 
oils and hydrocarbons, both liquid and gaseous, such 
as colza oil, olive oil, seal oil, porpoise oil, benzine, 
paraffine, belmontine, camphine, coal gas, oil gas, gas 
saturated with vapour of naphtha, in reference to the 
quantity burnt. Each of the combustibles must be 
burnt to the greatest advantage, and hence may re- 
quire a particular kind of lamp. 

This was done in reference to sperm and colza oil 
before the change was made by the Trinity House. 

2. The relative light-producing power of the lime 
light as produced by hydrogen and oxygen, or by 
coal gas and oxygen, and with various forms of 
apparatus ; also with caustic lime and various com- 
pounds of lime ; and, indeed, with the substitution 
of magnesia, alumina, or other earths in place of lime. 
These should be referred to some standard by which 
they may be compared with the combustibles men- 
tioned in the previous paragraph. 

3. Analogous experiments with electric lights. 
Different forms of galvanic battery, or electro-mag- 
netic machine, different kinds of charcoal points or 
other material to become luminous, different forms of 
regulator, &c., must be considered. 

4. As the power of penetrating a mist is not always 
directly proportional to the amount of light emitted 
through a clear atmosphere, the above experiments 
ought to be repeated in a mist. 

5. The relative advantages and disadv.antagos of 
these several combustibles and means of producing 
light in regard to expense, tendency to smoke, effect 
of temperature, effect of irregular draughts, liability 
to explosion or other accidents, portability, room 
required for machinery, &c. 

Utilization of Liglit. 

6. The amount of light lost in reflection from 
polished silver, copper, glass coated with mercury, 
glass covered with silver by Petitjean's process, by 
Liebig's process, &c. This must be determined for 
various angles. 

Professor Potter has made some experiments with 
reference to this question. 

7. The amount of light lost in transmission through 
glass of various composition. This is a composite 
phenomenon, depending partly on absorption, which 
will differ with the thickness of the glass, and partly 
on reflection from each surface, which will difler -with 
the angle at which the ray enters the glass, and the 
angle at which it emerges from it. All these cir- 
cumstances must be considered. 

Professor Potter has also made some experiments 
in this direction. 

8. How far the above results depend on the in- 
tensity or character of the light itself. 

I 4 

9. Whether polarized light, such as must be pro- 
duced where light passes through glass surfaces at 
high angles, is as capable of penetrating a m.Ut as 
unpolarized light is. 

10. The relative value of difl^erent parts of the 
flame to dift'erent pieces of optical apparatus. 

This was attempted in a previous paper of mine, at 
least as far as the ordinary dioptric arrangement for 
a fixed light is concerned. (See p. 73.) 

11. Whether a flame is perfectly transparent to 
its own rays. 

Count Rumford determined that it is ; but the fact 
recently recognized, that certain flames absorb light 
of the same refrangibility as they emit, would indicate 
that more minute experiments might show that it is 
not perfectly transparent. 

12. The relative luminosity of different sections of 
a flame taken horizontally and diagonally at various 
angles. Flames of all the different sizes and characters 
actually used in lighthouses should be examined. 

This experiment it is proposed by the Commission 
to perform, at least as far as regards a 1st order lamp.* 

When all these questions are determined, it wiU 
probably be simply a matter of calcidation to deter- 
mine the five following points : — 

13. The relative merits of parabolic metallic re- 
flectors, and optical apparatus made of glass alone. 

Various computations have been already given by 
!Mr. Fresnel, Professor Potter, Mr. Alan Stevenson, 
and others, but more eomjilete data are desiderated. 

14. The angular limits in the vertical plane, within 
which it is desirable to employ .a lenticular arrange- 
ment ; and where a system of totally reflecting prisms 
becomes more serviceable. 

1 5. The most advantageous form for the totally re- 
flecting prisms. 

It is possible that, as suggested by Mr. Campbell, 
if the surface by which thft ray enters and that by 
which it emerges were at right angles to it, it might 
cause a saving of light, notwithstanding the longer space 
of glass which the ray would then have to traverse. 

16. The most advantageous position for each 
separate piece of optical apparatus. 

The Commission have already given this matter 
much consideration, but the data do not yet exist for 
a complete determination. 

1 7'. Through how large an angle in the vertical 
plane the divergent beam proceeding towards the 
horizon from a given lamp-flame, and with a given 
optical arrangement, may be considered practically 
uniform in luminosity 

18. The influence of different forms of the shoulder 
of the lamp glass on the direction of the emitted rays. 

* As Messrs. Chance performed experiments with this object, 
■which were subsequently inspected by the Commission, (see p. G 1 ,) 
they considered it unnecessary to carry out thvir previous intention. 


19. What kinds of glass are least affected by 
weather or siuklen changes of temperature. 

20. The influence of different forms of lamp glass 
on tho draught. Lamp glasses may and do differ in 
having the shoulder at different heights, shoulders of 
different forms, or no shoulder at all, and in having 
cylinders uniform in width, tapering, or trumpet- 
shaped, and in their Tvidth and height ; or they may 
be globular, pear-shaped, &c. 

21. The influence of other parts of the apparatus 
on the draught, viz., the continuous metallic chimney, 
which may be wider or narrower, longer or shorter, 
straight or bent, uniform or otherwise in width, &c. ; 
the wick holders, which may be thicker or thinner, 
more or less wide apart, &c., the central button or 
open space, &c.. 

22. The best means of preventing irregularities in 
the supply of air, and in the rapid removal of the 
products of combustion during gusty weather. 

23. The amount of overflow of oil, which is con- 
ducive to the burning of the largest quantity of the 
said oil in a given lamp. 

24. The most simple and trustworthy means of 
producing this overflow with regularity. 

The French appear to have experimented much on 
this and the previous question. 

25. How to secure the requisite strength in the 
astragals or other framework of the optical apparatus 
and lantern with the least possible interference with 
the light. 

26. The amount of heat rays reflected back by 
mirrors of various kinds. This need be considered 
only when the rays strike the mirror at right angles 
to its surface. 

27. How far a flashing light has the advantage in 
catching the eye of an observer at a great distance, 
irrespective of its intensity. As this is a subjective 
phenomenon it will differ with different observers. 

Some experiments now in progress by Professor 
Swan which bear on this subject are alluded to in 
Sir J. Herschel's evidence (see Vol. II, page 595). 

28. The relative space-penetrating power, either 
through a clear or a misty atmosphere of rays of dif- 
ferent refrangibility, and consequently different colour. 

Sir D. Brewster's observations, and mine, on the 
Beachy Head Light (and elsewhere) have to a great 
extent determined this. Messrs. Eeynaud and 
Degrand have also published a paper on the power 
of the red ray to penetrate to great distances. 

29. The particular raj's transmitted by different 
coloured glasses, and how far this is affected by heat. 
As the same nominal colour may be produced by dif- 
ferent means, for instance red glass by copper or by 
gold, glasses of these different compositions must be 
examined. As the thickness of the medium or the 
depth of the colour most materially influences the 
absorption, this should he determined for various 

This has been partially done by Sir J. Herschel, 
myself, and others. 

30. The most efficient and easily applied means for 
enabling an ordinary colour-blind person to determine 
the colour of a flame seen by him at a distance. 

31. How far does the dffferent power of irradiation 
or diffraction cause one coloured light to be more visible 
than another, either through clear or misty atmo- 
sphere, the intensities being equal. 

32. Whether there is anj'subjective cause tending to 
the more ready perception of some particular colours. 

33. Whether coloured lights can be advantageously 
produced by bringing certain salts, or other sub- 
stances, into tho flame of the lamp ; or by exposing 
baryta or strontia to the oxy-hydrogeu flame, in place 
of lime ; or by steeping the charcoal points of the 
electric lamp in similar salts. 

34. Whether a larger amount of coloured light 
might be obtained by making use of a portion of a 
beam prismatically dispersed than by reducing it by 
absorbent media.* 

" Sii- David Brewster, in his reply to the scientific questions, 
received since this was ■written, suggests other means of obtain- 
ing the same object. 

For/ Sit/iials. 

35. The manner and degree in which fog absorbs 
or destroys sounds of different pitch. 

36. The manner and degree in which fog absorbs 
or destroys sounds of diffei-ent characters ; for in- 
stance, a sharp sound or a prolonged sound. 

37. A comparison of the various means of pro- 
ducing loud sounds, as to their pitch, volume, con- 
venience, costliness, &c. The bell, gong, gun, drum, 
horn, whistle, &c. must be considered. 

38. Whether there are any reasons existing either 
in nature, or in the human mind, which render more 
perceptible a repetition of the same sound, or some 
variation in note, octave, frequency, &c. 

39. The influence wliich the height above the sea, 
at which the sound originates, has upon the distance 
at which it is audible in fog. 

40. The influence of a background, such as tower, 
a cliff", or a hill, in reflecting sound. 

41. The best means of directing a sound in a par- 
ticular direction. 

42. The best means by which the direction of a 
sound may be approximately determined by a listener 
on board ship. 


43. Tho relative durability of different kinds of 
stone, slate, brick, composition, cement, metal, and 
other building materials, when exposed to sea water 
or seaspray, as well as the ordinary influences of 
wind, sun, and rain. The relative costliness and 
ease of working will depend much on the site.| 

44. The same in respect to different kinds of paint 
and other colouring materials. 

45. The best form for resisting the force of the 
waves, the building being solid. 

This was determined by !Mr. Alan Stevenson to be 
a hyperbolic curve. 

46. The best form and arrangement of piles, so as 
to secure the greatest strength with the least resist- 
ance to the waves. 

47. The best methods for maintaining a comfor- 
table temperature in the lantern, watchroom, and 
keepers' houses. 

48. The most convenient, trustworthy, and inex- 
pensive methods of producing a continuous movement 
for revolving apparatus, working fog signals, &c. 

Altitude of Light. 

49. The comparative amount of interruption in the 
visibility of a light by the upper, middle, and lower 
strata of ordinary showers. 

Tlic following inquiries are of a local character. 

50. The ordinary height of the sea mists at or near 
the proposed site. 

51. The influence of hills, and other geographical 
characteristics of the neighbourhood, on the pro- 
duction of clouds during prevailing winds. 

52. The ordinary height at which these clouds are 
formed, or at which those borne by prevailing winds 

53. The height to which the sea spray rises at the 
proposed site during common gales. 

54. The height to which dust rises under similar 
circumstances, and whether it is of a character that 
would attach itself to the glass of the lantern. 


The preceding list was first submitted on August 
29th, with the exception of Nos. 19, 26, 34, and 49, 
which were added in December 1860, when also the 
following list was prepared. 

AdditioNjU. Investigations ha\-ing reference solely 

to Floatincj Lights, Buots, and Beacons. 

Action of Wares, S)-c. 

55. The whole theory of waves in the open deep sea. 

56. The manner in which the movement of waves 
is modified by tides or currents. 

57. The manner in which the movement of waves 
is modified by the vicinity of land, either as a shore 
on one side, or shores on both sides, isolated rocks, 
or a bottom at no great distance from the surface. 

58. Tlie manner in wliich these modifying in- 
fluences act and re-act on one another. 



These questions arc treated in some works on 
natural philosophy ; liut not so fully as might be 
desired, in any with which I am acquainted. If they 
were satisfactorily determined they would form a 
good foundation for the following inquiries : — 

.59. The form of vessels (for ships or buoys), which 
will maintain the greatest equilibrium under all or 
any of these circumstances. 

Questions relating to the equilibrium of floating 
bodies have frequently been discussed lioth mathe- 
matically and iiractically, as by the Kev. W. Moseley, 
but not generally with reference to the nature of 
waves. Opposite opinions are expressed by eminent 
men in our scientific evidence. 

60. Where the moorings should be attached to such 
a vessel, so as to interfere least with the maintenance 
of equilibrium. 

On this point also there is contrariety of opinion 
among tiie scientific evidence. 

6 1 . The form of vessel (for ships or buoys) which will 
offer the least resistance to water under all or any of 
tlie preceding circumstances, when the vessel is moored. 

62. Where the moorings should be attached to such 
a vessel so as to be subjected to the least strain. 

63. The form of hull, masts, and rigging, least 
affected by high winds, the vessel being stationary. 

64. The laws that determine the formation or shift- 
ing of sand banks under such circumstances as occur in 
nature ; for instance, at the embouchure of a muddy ri- 
ver where the sea is shallow and exposedto strong tides. 


65. The relative durability of different woods, iron 
in its various conditions, copper, " yellow metal," and 
other alloys, and of these covered with diflerent 
paints, when exposed to seawater in rapid motion, 
air, and sun, and liable to the growth of alga, and the 
attacks of marine animals. 

66. The toughest description of iron for moorings. 
This, I presume, has often been the subject of 

experiments ; but as the presence of a small quantity 
of some other element will often alter the properties 
of iron considerably, experiments on new comliina- 
tions, or on new descriptions of iron that come into 
the market, should be made from time to time. 


67. The most perfect mechanical contrivance, 
practically applicable to the lantern of a lightship, 
for maintaining it in the same horizontal position 
under every variety of motion. 

68. The best form for the links of a cable, and for 
its fastening to a floating body, so as to ensure the 
greatest strength with a due regard to mobility. 

69. The best form of anchor for different descrip- 
tions of river or sea bottom. 

Indication of Buoys. 

70. The relative merits of different colours, and oi 
combinations of these colours for catching the eye, 
when the object so coloured is riding on the surface of 
the sea in thick weather, or on a clear night. 

The mariners' evidence, and observations made 
by the Commission, establisli that buoys of a dark 
colour are most apparent at night ; but they do not 
decide between red and black, nor between plain and 
chequered or striped buoys. 

71. Whether red paint, when the light incident on 
it is small, is distinguished with difficulty by ordinary 
observers from black paint. 

72. The most available means of obtaining sufficient 
mechanical power from a tidal or other current to 
ring a Ijell, strike a gong, blow a whistle, or make 
any other efl'ective sound. 

Some suggestions are given in the scientific evidence. 

73. The means best calculated to effect the same 
object in an almost motionless sea. 

74. Whetlier any chemical means of producing 
light can be made available for the illumination of 
buoys or beacons washed over by the waves, and which 
sometimes cannot be reached for weeks together. 

75. The relative intensity, expense, and security 
from accidents of different galvanic lights (as an 
ignited platmum wire, or the vacuum discharge in 
very narrow tubes.) The power may be produced on 
land, and conveyed by insulated wires, but the appa- 
ratus where the light is produced must require no 
attention for weeks together. 

76. The most effective means for reflecting from a 
buoy or beacon under the aforesaid circumstances a 
light produced on shore. J. H. Gladstone. 


An ordinary dioptric apparatus for a fixed light 
consists of lenticular zones, upper prismatic zones, 
and lower prismatic zoues. 

There are two objects sought : — 

1st. To send the strongest possible light to the 

actual horizon. 
2nd. To throw the strongest possible light on the 
sea between the actual horizon and the light- 
house, but especially near the horizon. 

To fulfil both these requirements to their fullest 
extent is evidently impossible ; they are antagonistic. 
It becomes, therefore, a desideratum to determine 
their relative importance. This will differ with the 
site ; but taking this into account, and the elevation 
of tlie apparatus, it would be easy to decide ou a cer- 
tain angle of divergence which the very l>right beam 
should possess, taking care at the same time that a 

small amount of light was allowed to fall between 
that divergent beam and the base of the lighthouse. 

It is only necessary, in this instance, to consider a 
section of the flame. 

If tliere were no apparatus at all, every luminous' 
point in the whole flame A B, C D, would send its 
rays to an eye on the horizon, the said rays forming 
a cone, of which the luminous point is the apex and 
the pupil of the eye the base ; and the farther the 
horizon is from the flame the smaller will be the 
divergence of this cone, and consequently the smaller 
will be the amocnt of light received by the eye. The 
whole of these rays which thus reach the eye on the 
horizon will be comprized within the Ijeam AM, C N, 
the sides of which are approximately parallel. Any 
ray, from any part of A B, C D, which is directed 
above or below this beam, or which cuts either of its 
boundary lines B M, D N, will never reach the horizon. 

* This is printed exactly as it -was prepared for the use of the Commissioners near the commencement of our inquiries into the 
proper adjustment of the illuminating apparatus, and therefore before the discussions and experiments at Whitby and Birmingham. 
In the diagrams no attempt was made to represent the actual proportions of flame or glass work in use ; and the whole must be 
taken simply as a scientific introduction to the subject — J. H. G. 

I. K 



1st. The Lenticular Zones. 

If now, a leus be introduced in tlie course of this 

beam, as at O P, it produces both a loss and a gain 

of light to au eye on the horizon, that is to say, some 

of the ravs whiclt formerly entered the eve are now 

divt rteJ from it, while other rays arc brought to it. 
If F be the focus of the lens, answering to the eye on 
the horizon, no rays will enter that eye except from 
luminous points comprised within the double triangle 
E F G and H F I. 

From the point F the whole of the divergent rays 
between F O and F P will be sent to an eye on the 
horizon. From any point K in the anterior triangle 
II F I a larger jiroportiou of the divergent rays 

between K O and K P will enter the ey e on the 
horizon than if the lens were not there, for the lens 
contracts the whole divergence K S into a divergence 
of only T U. 

And similarly from any point L, in the posterior 
triangle E F G, a larger projiortion of the divergent 
rays between L O and L P will enter the eye on 
the horizon than if the lens were not there, for the 
lens will contract the whole divergence V W into 
the cenverging beam X Y, which must have a focus 
somewhere, from which it will diverge again, but at 
an angle smaller far than V L W. 

The nearer the points K and L are to the point F, 
the larger will be the proportion of the divergent 
beams from them that will enter the eye on the 

By placing the focus F in the anterior part of the 
flame instead of the centre, the following advantages 
will be gained : — 1st, it, and the neighbouring points, 
which are so valuable for the horizon, will be situated 
in a very luminous, instead of a non-luminous part of 
the flame. 

2ud. A larger section 
of the flame will yield 
light to the eye on the 

3rd. This light will 
mainly converge between 
the lens and the eye, and 
hence will be more valu- 

As far as the surface of I 
the sea is concerned, the 
introduction of the lens in 
the path of the beam B JI, 
D X, produces the following effect : — 

1st. The divergence is made smiiller, for the ray 
proceeding in the direction B P is refracted some- 
what upward, though still below P N, and the ray 
B O is not refracted downwards so much as to be 
parallel with B P. 


This seiulinjr of the rays further to sea -will be 
orenerally an advantage. 

2nd. The light sent to the sea is the whole of that 
emitted from A E F II B, (passins throiiirh O P), 
and half of that from EF G and^HFI (with the 
exception of what goes to the eye ou the liorizon), 
instead of being lialf of that from the whole flame 
A B C D ( witli the exception of what goes to the 
horizon). This may be made an advantage by de- 
pressing F sufficiently. 

3rd. The light will be distributed diflferently on the 
surface of the sea. 

Hitherto that portion of the lenticular apparatus 
has been alone considered, which is interposed in the 
path of the rays proceeding directly from the whole 
flame A B C D, to an eye on the horizon ; but 
practically the lenticular zones are extended above 
and below this. 

The higher portion of the leus E sends a por- 
tion of the light that impinges upon it to the horizon. 

and another portion to the sea, whereas without the 
lens, or some equivalent optical arrangement, all these 
rays would go the sky. 

The lower portion of the lens P Q will cause a 
25ortion of the light impinges upon it to proceed 
to the horizon, another portion will be directed to a 
more distant part of the sea than it would otherwise 
have fallen upon, while another portion which would 
otherwise have proceeded to the sea will be directed 
towards the sky. The parts of the flame which fur- 
nish these difterent rays will be easily seen by a re - 
ference to the preceding demonstration. For the 
reasons above given the focus F should be in the 
anterior portion of the flame. 

To secure the advantage of throwing as little light 
up to the sky as possible by the lower portion of the 
lens, the focus might be advantageously placed at a 
lower point F', than that adopted for the central 
part of the lens. 

2nd. The Upper Totally Reflecting Zones. 

The reflecting surface of these prismatic zones acts 
as a mirror ; and in the subjoined diagrams it alone 
is represented for the sake of simplicity. 

If this surface be flat, it will send to an eye on the 
horizon such rays as impinge on the said surface from 
a segment of the flame. This beam, of which the 
sides are E K N and C G M, is really conical, 
since the pupil of the eye is smaller than the segment 
of flame E L, but as the horizon is very distant the 
sides are approximately parallel. All the light from 
below this segment, and a part of it, wiU be cast upon 
the sea. D G is reflected in the direction G E, and 
B K in the direction K T. Similarly all the light 
from above this segment, and a part of it, will be sent 
to the sky B G, reflected in the direction G S. 
Hence the segment of the flame, rays from which 
are sent to the horizon, should be taken as much 
from the upper and the posterior portion of the flame 
as is consistent with obtaining a good body of light. 

._ .S 

3rd. The Lover Totally Reflecting Zones. %\°^ the horizon rays from a segment analogous to 

„ -^ ^ " "'■ that described in the case of the upper reflectors. All 

11 the reflecting surface be flat, it will send to an the rays from the parts of the flame that are lower, or 

K 2 


posterior to thii. senrment, and a part of the rays from cuts off a large proportion of these, the lower prisms 
it, ivill be reflected to the sea ; but as the lamp itself cannot be very serviceable for illuminating the near 

surface of the sea. Similarly, all the rays from those be taken as far forward in the flame as is compatil>le 

portions of the flame that are higher or anterior to with obtaining a good body of light. 

the said segment, and a part of the rays from it, will J. H. Gladstone. 

be reflected to the sky. Hence this segment should July, 1 860. 

4. Addition made on August. reflected in the direction of G U and D K in that 

If the reflecting surface of the prisms be flat it of K V. 
must cause a wide divergence of the rays ; A G being This divergence is lessened by making the reflect- 

ing surface concave. The curve may be made of 
such a nature as to bring all the rays proceeding 
from a luminous point F iu the directions M and N. 
to an eye on the horizon. In that case tlie ray A G, 
will be reflected in a direction G Y, and the ray 
D K, in that of K Z, giving a divergence much 
smaller than before, and causing the light that falls 

on the sea to be sent nearer to the horizon. In fact, 
the curving of this surface produces a precisely 
analogouseft'ect to the interposition of the lens in the 
course of the direct rays from the flame to the eye on 
the horizon ; and all the remarks made on that sub- 
ject and on the proper place for the focus F will. 
mutatis mutandis, apply here also. 





Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
My dear Sir, London, S. E., 2d April 1860. 

To place before you different points as they occur 
to cue, I will give the following results of calculation 
of dip (omitting refraction). 

Taking 4,000 miles for the earth's radius, a light- 
house, to be visible on the horizon at 30 miles distance, 
must be elevated 594 feet. Using this as basis of 
calculation, the following are the dips for a ship at 
ditferent distances : — 
30 - - - 25 47 

25 - - - 26 13 

20 - - - 27 56 

15 - ... 32 14 

10 ' - - 42 58 

5 - - - 1 19 30 

4 - - - 1 38 25 

3 - - - 2 10 14 

2 - - - 3 14 21 

1 - - - 6 28 

1 - - - 13 

1 - - - 26 45 

Now, in reference to the wants of nautical men, 
ought we to be sure to provide for light at the small 
distances as well as at the great ones ? The subject 
may be important if we contemplate the use of very 
small sources of light, as the galvanic spark. 

I am, &e. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airt. 

&c. &c. 

Royal Observatory Greenwich, 
Mt dear Sir, 7th April 1860. 

I RETURNED from Birmingham on Tuesday 

I went to Birmingham a little earlier than I had 
intended, in order to try the Australian fixed light at 
night. It is a light for an island, and shows light at 
seven faces of eight. I did not give much attention 
to the reflector, but observed carefully the adjustments, 
&c. of the ]>risms. The following is the general 
report on them. 

The individual prisms were all properly curved 
and all well adjusted. I cannot say that one was 
better than another. (I have forgotten to say 
that four posts had been erected at my request, 
the distance of the furthest being 450 feet ; and 
bench-marks at the same level had been established 
on them by spirit-levelling ; and by means of these 
certain marks had been made at the height of definite 
parts of the glass frame, and by these my observations 
were made). Each pannel of prisms that I examined 
appeared excellent. The vertical spread of light in 
each prism seemed considerable, fully I'witli undi- 
minished intensity ; but this I found solely to be attri- 
butable to the vertical depth of the great lamp (for the 
dioptric part), and to the depth and breadth (for the 
upper catadioptric part). Then I had various parts 
covered, so thati could examine separately, — the cen- 
tral dioptric part, and the upper and lower cata- 
dioptric parts. I saw immediately that the dioptric 
part tlirew its liglit too high, and that the catadioptric 
parts threw their lights too low. The error in each 
case was considerably under 1° ; but yet, though (as 
I have said) the spread from every individual beam 
exceeded 1°, besides giving a quantity of stray light, 
produced, I suppose, by petty flaws, and illuminated 
particles in the glass, yet this error in the general 
direction of the masses of light immediately attracted 
attention. Tlie inference was, that the lamp was too 
low. We raised the lamp pillars -,'j of an inch, and all 
v.-as then right. During this time the lamp-flamohad 
been, as I understand, at the full English height, not 
at the full French height. When the lamp-flame 
was lowered, the faults exhibited themselves again. 
The height of the lamp-stand had been adjusted by 
the engineer's usual rule. 

No light-frame, I believe, had ever been examined 
so well before. 

I consider this examination important, as showing 
the following points : — 

1. The general excellence of the system of grind- 
ing the prisms, and arranging them in each 
frame, by the operations in Messrs. Chance's 
long gallery. 

2. The necessity for another examination when 
all the frames are united. 

3. The importance of not being bound by such a 
rule as had been adopted by the engineer. 

The engineer had provided, for the lightman's 
guidance as to height, an apparatus of strings running 
through ver}' small holes, too delicate (I thought) for 
coarse hands. I suggested a little pillar standing on 
the pedestal. 

My observations show the importance of attending 
more carefully to height of lamp than has yet been 
done, and show that in the use of small sources (as 
the galvanic spark) it will be extremely important to 
be assured that the height is always tlie same. I 
have iwitten to Farada}- to ask him whether he is 
certain of this constancy of height. 

After this I examined carefully (in the day) the 
mathematical process on which is founded the experi- 
mental process by which the curvature of the curved 
reflecting side is examined. It appears quite correct. 

Subsequently I saw the testing of one of the external 
rings of a lens in the long galler}'. This was gouig on 
as a matter of daily manufacture, and was not put up 
for my edification. It was excellent. I had no idea 
that a ring could be ground to do its duty with so 
much accuracy. 

General Inference. 

At present, the great excellence of a lighthouse is 
or may be the optician's part. The great defect and 
waste is in the source of light. 

I am, &c.. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airt. 

&c. &c. &c. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
My dear Sir, 11th April, 1860. 

On the other leaf I place excerpt of a letter 
which I have received from Faraday, regarditig the 
vertical adjustment of galvanic lights. He has no 
fear about it, but remarks on the care which it may 

I mentioned to you my strong objection to the 
entertaining of any proposal for use of glass prisms 
and lenses, shaped by any process except grinding. 
The inconsiderate parsimony which has induced any- 
body to contemplate the use of pressed glass for light- 
houses is to me totally incomprehensible. Let any 
one examine the straggling beams of light that are 
given by the sun shining through an ordinary window 
glass, or let him view a complicated prospect, as seen 
through such a glass, and then compare them with 
the same things as seen through a good ground plate 
glass, and he will see what would be lost by such 
adoption, or rather, he would see part of what would 
be lost. For, I believe, that the accuracy of form 
which can be given to a pressed piece of cast glass is 
far below the accuracy of parallelism of the two sur- 
faces of blown or sheet glass in ordinary windows ; 
and its error on the direction of a beam of light 
greater than that of a window glass, in the same 
degree : and this in a case where the smallest error 
is ruinous. An error of 1° in the transmission of 
light by a window glass produces no danger, and 
does not make the window useless ; but an error of 1° 
in the lighthouse beam would make the lighthouse 
inefficient, and would produce great dangers on the 
coast. And I believe that tlie materials proposed for 
use would be liable to produce even a greater angular 




The piT-ccnlagc of saving, which the ailoptiuu of 
this imperfect substitute for jrrounfl ghiss would pi'o- 
•luce, would be very small. The Skerry Vore Light- 
house cost about 80,000/. ; others have cost from 
10,000/. to 40,000/. Imagine this expense in fact 
thrown away to save 200/. or .300/. in the glasses. 
It is in iact a kind of oconi)niy which no one who uses 
spectacles would adopt in his spectacle glasses, and 
which no hospitable entertainer at dinner would adopt 
in his dinner service. 

I am, he. 
Admiral "\V. A. 15. Hamilton, G. B. Aiuy. 

&c. &c. 

Extract from a Letter from Professor Faeadat to 
the Astronomer Royal, dated 9th April 1860. 

" As to your inquiries about the electric spark, the 
lamp that Prof. Holmes has had constructed practi- 
cally works v.ell ; for, being adjusted, an edge or 
object near the light throws a shadow on a distant 
wall whose place does not vary. The keeper watches 
this shadow from time to time for such a shadow), 
and if there be a change, corrects for it, but the com- 
pensation for a change of place in tlie carbons, cither 
upper or lower, has been very good. I have no fear 
for the place of the magnetic electric spark, provided 
we can secure the attention of the keepers ; that will 
not be called for more than is required by the written 
regulations now. or than was given by the keeper at 
the South Foreland ; but it must be a good deal more 
than what is absolutely necessary for an oil lamp. 

'• If the electric light should come into use, it seems 
to me that there will be no difficulty in bringing both 
the vertical and the horizontal divergence easily 
under command." 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
London, S.E. 
My dear Sib, 14th April, 18G0. 

With this I return Mr. Campbell's excellent 
tetter. The process which he has used at the Point 
of Ayre is exactly what I had intended to use at the 
South Foreland or the Start ; with this modification 
only, that I had intended to provide myself with two 
])ieces of dark cotton, so that I could cover all above 
and all below a single prism or a single set of prisms, 
and could thus analyze the operation of every indi- 
vidual part of the optical apparatus. I think that in 
the extension of operations some such arrangement 
will be found useful. 

I am, &c. 
Admiral AV. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airy. 
&c. iftc. 

Royal Observatorv, (jreenwich. 
My Dear Sir, 2.3th May 1860. 

I THINK it desirable to put on record my imi)res- 
sions derived from the examination of the Start 
Lighthouse. I wish that I had done so sooner, but 
my time has been very closely occupied. 

1. Fixed frame in which the I'otating jjart revolves. 
The part of tliis frame which guides the axis of the 
rotating part is not quite vertical. The error which 
it ])roduced on a 2 feet plumbline was about -j inch 
forwards or backwards, so that probably the top is in 
error about J inch with respect to the bottom. 

2. Corrections of radius of the rotating i)olygon." 
There is no error worth mention. 

3. Eccentricity of lamp. The lamp is about J inch 
eccentric. This arises, I suppose, from the want of 
vertic.ality of its jiiliar support, which is disreputably 
conspicuous to the eye. The workmanship is not good. 

These errors do not in themselves produce any 
sensibly injurious effect witli the existing large lamp, 
supposing it fully lighted up. (With very small 
lights they woulil bo intolerable.) But in combina- 
tion with the fault of lighting the lamp of which I 
next speak. No. 1 may produce a sensible elFect. 

4. Elevation of lamp flame. On examining the 

position of the inverted imagi> of the SV.S.W. sea 
and sky over the lamp, jis formed by the central lenses 
of the sections of the rotating frame, it appeared that, 
(with irregularities to be mentioned) the image of the 
sea horizon is about !•! inch above the lamp rings, 
oftener more than less. When the lamp was lighted, 
as in the usual way, its outermost ring of flame was 
barely as high as tliis, or not so high. Consequently, 
the whole of that light is thrown into the sky. and "is 
useless to ships. The two internal rings of flame 
probably send their brightest light to the sea horizon, 
or nearly so, and, upon the whole, their arrangement 
is not injudicious. Yet, considering the eflect of the 
external ring of flame, a greater quantity of light 
might be sent to the horizon, and a much greater 
quantity on the sea generally (including the near 
distance) if the lamp were raised \ inch. 

.J. Loss of light on the unarmed sides of the light- 
house. On -J of the circumference, if my recollection 
is correct (possibly less), no light is shown, and the 
light radiating from the lamp in that direction is in 
no way utilized. In the circumstances of a revolving 
light (as the Start), the only method of utilizing this 
light appears to be, to plant a spherical concave mirror, 
whose centre is the lamp, in the inside of the rotating 
part, but not carried by the rotating part. When (as 
in the Start light) the floor does not rotate, this can 
be done without difficulty. In some constructions I 
think there might be difficulty. 

6. Form of the central lenses. The greater propor- 
tion (about six) of the c^nitral lenses appeared to me 
to be not badly shaped: the image of the sea horizon 
occupied pretty nearly the same place as viewed by 
light coming tiirough the centre, the top, the bottom, 
or the sides of the lens. Tiie foci of some fell short 
of the lamp centre, or beyond it ; but with the large 
lamp this is unimportant. But there was one lens 
extremely bad ; it produced a distortion like that of 
a knob of crown glass. It could never have been veri- 
lied, and must be regarded as very discreditable to the 
maker. (This is a very advantageous specimen of 
what would be produced by pressed glass.) There 
was another, bad in a minor degree. 

7. Form of the ring lenses. The curvature of the 
surface of the rings is exceedingly erroneous. The 
image of the sea horizon produced by each ring, 
instead of being something like a horizontal line, as it 
ought, is in all cases a line clinging to the circular 
form of the ring, so that the inner portion of the 
ring is usually seen bright and the outer portion dark 
(or vice versa.). I suspect that the rings have been 
ground in a spherical bowl, which would give equal 
curvatures in radial and tangential directions, and this 
would be erroneous. !Mr. Chance's process, of causing 
the ring to rotate round the optical axis, vrhile the 
transverse curvature is determined by the nature of 
the cross stroki; of the polisher, controls perfectly the 
i-elation of the curvatures, and gives the power ol' 
impressing the proper form on both. From what I 
saw, of a lens ring under test, and of the general 
processes of testing at Messrs. Chauce'B works, I 
scarcely doubt that their curvatures are quite correct. 
I should much like to examine them on a sea horizon. 

8. Upper fixed reflectors. There are 7x19 fixed 
looking glass reflectors, each adjustable by its sepa- 
rate screws. These screws do not strain the form of 
the glass, but only alter its general position. The 
mirrors are therefore subject to two examinations, 
one for form, the other for position. The examination 
for form is difficult (on account of the elevation) and 
tedious (on account of the number) ; and where these 
circumstances hold, many faulty mirrors will in- 
fallibly be inserted. Some of them gave the image 
nearly as it ought to be seen, but I was not provided 
with proper apparatus for the examination. Some 
certainly gave the image as it ought 7iot to be seen, 
and some were worthless. 

For examination of position, there is provided a 
small apparatus based on the principle of observing 
the surfaces of a coloured fluid in two rising ends of a 
horizontal tube. It is a fault of principle in this. 



that it adapts the reflectors to give a strictlj horizontal 
beam; but 1 see no difficulty in adapting; it, by a small 
float, to give a beam dipping to or below the sea 
horizon; and, with this modification, I approve of the 
principle ; but the details of carrying out the opera- 
tion of examination are barbarous. The stand which 
carries the glass tube ought to revolve in a circle, 
preserving the radial position of the glass tube ; yet 
there is no revolving radius to carry the stand in this 
position. The vertical ranges of mirrors are in 
definite azimuths, and the stand ought in succession 
to be placed opposite these ; there are no marks for 
the purpose. The horizontal tiers are at definite 
heights, and the glass tube ought in succession to be 
placed at those heights ; there are no marks for the 
purpose. In all the adjustable machinery that I 
have seen, I never saw anything so bad. It is im ■ 
possible that the adjustments can be often examined. 

The whole c^f this system is unsatisfactory, but I 
suppose it will ne\er be repeated. 

I omitted to mention that some of the looking 
glasses are much tarnished. 

9. Practical eflt'ct of these faults. It must always 
be borne in mind that the eflFect of a fault is to 
be estimated by its proportion to other faults to which 
it is added. Now there is the primary fault of the 
size of the lamp flame, producing a divergence in 
every beam of about 5'^. If the aggregate of all other 
faults can amount to o", then, if the beam of light 
ought to be definite in the vertical direction only, 
its fault is doubled ; if it ought to be definite in 
both dimensions, its fault is quadrupled (and at any 
rate its intensity is diminished to \). Now the re- 
fraction of the ring lenses is so bad that I think it 
likely that they do add 5° of divergence, and not 
improbably the reflectors do so. On the whole, I 
think it likely that the lighthouse does jwt give half 
the intensity of light which, as a large lamp light- 
house, it ought to give, independently of failing Irom 
want of dip of the beam of light. 

If, instead of the large lamp, there were a small 
ball of lime, or a galvanic spark, the optical fiiiliug 
would be intolerable. 

I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airy. 

&c. &e. &c. 

Royal Observatory Greenwich, 
Mr DEAR SiK, 16th June, 1860. 

] . I returned late last night from the Whitby 
expedition. I reached Whitby on the evening of 
13th, and (after being provokingly misled about the 
locality of the lighthouses), found them, and took 
a partial view in the same evening till the time of 
lighting the lamps. On the morning of 14th I went 
to them in a carriage ; and, as they are near the 
Scarborough road, I drove on to Scarborough, and 
thence made Hull on that evening. Yesterday, 15th, 
I returned by way of Lincoln. In order first to 
despatch unscientific business, I will mention that 
my son Hubert accompanied me, and was useful in 
the observations, as well as a comfort to myself 
(indeed I should have been unwilling to go alone), 
and I therefore think it right to consider him as a 
chargeable assistant. 

2. The two lighthouses are on the edge of the high 
cliflTs between two and three miles S.E. of Whitby. They 
are about 300 yards apart, and act as leading lights 
for warning of a rock called the " Whitby IJock ;" 
both are first class fixed lights ; and each gives 
illumination to something more than a semi-circumfe- 
rence. The south light has reflectors in the blank 
part ; the north light has none. They bear the name 
of Chance, in an inscription in large letters on the 
supporting pillar, from which, as well as from the 
statements of the lighthouse keepers, I infer that the 
entire light-frame was made by Chance's firm. The 
external lantern was made by Wilkins. The lights 
are at the ^amc height, 240 foot above the sea. 

3. The dioptric part of the apparatus is beautiful. 
The glass is of the best quality. The working is so 
perfectly true that in viewing the image of the 

horizon, and moving the eye so that it (the image) is 
shifted from the broad central band successively to 
the narrower lateral bands, there is no perceptible 
jump or indistinctness, every band forming its imago 
truly and exactly in the same place. (If the same 
accuracy be preserved in ring lenses, as I have reason 
to believe from the performance of the ring which I 
saw under trial at Chance's works, there would not 
be the smallest degree of the clinging of the horizon 
to the outline of the rings, and the succession of tooth- 
forms, which were so offensive at the Start.) It is a 
most beautiful piece of work ; possible only where 
the maker is a man of science and also a practical man. 

4. The catadioptric parts are very good, but not so 
strikingly good as the dioptric. The veins of the 
glass are seen (I could not see any in the dioptric), 
and there was some difficulty in catching the image 
of the line of horizon so sharply. Still, there it was ; 
and there was no difficulty in seeing that the boun- 
dary of light did move over the whole as it ought. 
(The horizon was not very clear, as seen by direct 

5. The reflectors in the south lighthouse did not 
please me. Their general form, I believe, is pretty 
correct, but the details of the form are bad. The 
image of a straight bar as seen in them is as crooked 
as a sheet of corrugated iron. If I could have shut 
up the lighthouse into perfect darkness, and could 
have put a common candle in place of the lamp, I 
could have judged better of the effect of the reflected 
light. But my impression is that the reflectors are of 
very little use. 

6. So much for the apparatus as prepared for use 
in the lighthouse. Now 1 proceed to speak of its 
adjustment in the lighthouse. 

7. Upon comparing the height of the image of 
the sea horizon with that of the metallic part of the 
lamps, I found that in the north light the image of 
sea horizon was more than 1 ■ 1 inch above the metal, 
and in the south light more than 1-5 inch above the 
metal. The height of the lamp flame was stated by 
the attendants at about 2' 5 inches; but when the 
lamps were lighted, and maintained to what they con- 
sidered the usual and proper height, I found that a 
great part of that 2-5 inches was the spikes of the 
flame. On examining the image of the sea horizon, 
with the lamps lighted (which is by very far the best 
way), the following results were obtained : — 

8. Dioptric part. In the N. lighthouse, a very 
insignificant part of the continuous flame (with its 
spikes) rises above the image of the sea horizon. In 
the S. lighthouse, the spikes only of the flame rise 
above the image of the sea horizon. In other words, 
scarcely any part of the light falls upon the sea, 
distant or near; the great mass of light is thrown to 
the sky. 

9. Lower catadioptric part. In both lighthouses 
an insignificant part only of the light falls on the sea ; 
in fact, we pronounced the lower parts to be useless. 

10. Upper catadioptric part. In both lighthouses 
the useful part of the light would 
be nearly defined 
as drawn in this 

part A of the flame is useful, the aJ \ 
part B is useles 

11. My impression is, that in the north lighthouse 
three fourths of the light is absolutely thrown away, 
and in the south lighthouse nine tenths of the lio-ht 
is absolutely thrown away. When, with a ruler, I 
covered the part of the flame which merely gave light 
to the sky, it was absurd to see how little • was 
left for the useful part. The lighthouse keepers saw 
and understood it as well as myself ; and my son can 
tell you as accurately as I can how large is the loss. 
It really gave me a feeling of melancholy to see the 
results of such exquisite workmanship entireh' 
annihilated by subsequent faults iu the mounting and 

1 tue iigni wouiQ \ 

s^ diagram."^ The ik/^VvWAV) 

K 4 



12. If the lamp flames were burnt much higher, 
the proportion of loss would not be so great ; but still 
the positive loss would be great. 

13. To remedy the evils in this instance, and to 
make the lights truly efficient, the first step would be 
to raise the lamps about ^ inch for the north light- 
house, and about Ij inch for the south lighthouse. 
This would make the dioptric part perfectly good ; 
but the catadioptric parts would be made worse than 
they are at present. In order to correct them, the 
brass frames must be loosened, and their upper ends 
must be drawn outwards to an extent easily deter- 
mined by trial. Then the whole lighthouse would 
throw a magnificent blaze on the sea. 

14. I may point out two collateral proofs of the 
extent to which the defects of the lights have been 
practically experienced. The first is the introduction 
of reflectors into the south lighthouse and not into 
the north lighthouse ; the explanation is, as I have 
stated, that the south lighthouse is in more fiulty 
adjustment than tlie north. The second is, that 
sailors have made complaints that the lighthouse 
gallerv cuts off the lower beams of light, and that it 
ought to be lowered ; the explanation is, that in the 
fault of adjustment, all the light is thrown too high 
and none is thrown low. 

15. To prevent the frequency or repetition of such 
faults as are conspicuous in these lights, I see no 
course but the appointment of a competent optical 
engineer, who shall be responsible for the careful 
examination of the lights in their place and in 

16. I hf.v2 now to submit another remark to your- 
self and the Commission. With whom the blame of 
this fault of adjustment rests I do not know, but I 
can say with certainty that the merit of the most 
admirable workmanship of the glasses is Messrs. 
Chance's. The state of these lighthouses nuist sub- 
stantially be published ; they will necessarily be con- 
nected with Messrs. Chance's name, and a great 
blame may be unjustly thrown upon those manulac- 
turers. It is in my opinion much to be desired that 
a statement of the condition of the lighthouses, fully 
embodying a recognition of the beauty of the work- 
manship as well as an account of the fault of 
adjustment, should be communicated first to Messrs. 
Chance. (For instance, parts of this report might 
be copied, beginning with article 3 and ending with 
14, and also one which I am going to subjoin.) Some 
steps might follow, in the way either of correspond- 
ence, or of material action, or of both ; which, while 
they would not cause a suppression of the statement 
which I have made, would permit it to be given in 
such a shape as would prevent the commission of any 
injustice, or the excitement of any painful feeling. 

17. The further statement which I had nearly 
omitted to make is this ; that the engineer's work in 
the frame, &c., is of excellent quality, the lamp 
is firm and truly central, and all the solid work 
appears to be of the highest order. 

I am, &c., 

G. li. Airy. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, 
&c. &c. &c. 

Roval Observatorv, Greenwich, S.E. 
Mv iir.AR Sin, ' 25th June 1860. 

I fnoi'osF. in this letter to lay before you the 
impressions which I have received from examination 
of the following five lighthouses, viz. : — 

The High Light on the north bastion at Calais. 

The Small Light of Cape de Valde. 

The Light of Grisnez. 

The South Foreland Light. 

The North Foreland Light. 
1. The High Light of Calais. The fundamental 
part of this light is essentially similar to to those of 
Whitby aiul the Forelands ; a fixed light, furnished 
with bands of glass for the central or dioptric part, 
and with prismatic bauds with internal total reflection 
for the upper and lower catadioi>tric parts. The 

glass is good, but I think not equal to that at Whitby; 
and the relative adjustment of the contiguous bands 
perhaps not quite so good as at Whitby. In respect 
of adjustment of each pannel of bands or prisms, this 
part of the structure may be considered an exact coun- 
terpart of the X. lighthouse at Whitby. The image 
of the horizon, as formed by the dioptric bands, is 
somewhat more than an inch above the lamp metal, 
and all parts of the lamp-flame above that height are 
effectual on the sea, by ojjeration of the dioptric band. 
But from the lower prisms scarcely a ray reaches the 
sea. and from the upper prisms the light of a very 
small part only reaches the sea ; they are practically 

In considering this instance, as also those of the 
two Foreland lights (both constructed by French 
artists emploj'ed by Messrs. Wilkins), and those of 
the Whitby lights (constructed under the immediate 
direction of a French gentleman, Messrs. Chance's 
foreman), I am inclined to think that a faulty rule 
has been, at some time, given by some practical au- 
thority in France, and has been slavishly followed in 
France and England. 

Exterior to this fixed ring frame is a lightly con- 
structed revolving frame, cr.rrying (at equal distances 
on its circumference) three vertical pannels, each 
composed of vertical bands nearly similar (mutatis 
mutandis) to the dioptric ring-bands. The intersec- 
tion of these vertical bands with the horizontal bands 
or rings ought to produce exactly the efiect of a 
lenticular pannel. I was taken by surprise by this 
construction, and did not sufficiently examine the 
accuracy of the horizontal convergence of the rays. 
But having heard subsequently from the pilots at 
Dover that the lighthouse exhibits three flashes in 
the period of 4°' (the time of revolution of the 
frame), of which one is much brighter than the 
others ; and having seen from Dover the extraor- 
dinary brilliancy of that flash; I am disposed to think 
that one of the flames is very well adjusted, and the 
other two very ill. 

The central pillar bears the name " Francois 

In the practice of adjusting the lamp there is a 
very great difference from those of Whitby. The 
rule is, to burn the flame to the height 0' 10 metre, or 
more than 3' 9 inches, and it was fully at that height 
when I saw it. With the dioptric part, probably the 
most brilliant light of the flame reaches the horizon, 
and nearly the whole of the sea is illuminated. This 
effect is very good, but might be considerably im- 
proved by j)roper adjustment of the reflecting 

The lamp is fed by a pump. (For lamp glass, see 
Grisnez, below. For remarks on the reflectors in the 
blank sides, see Grisnez, below.) 

2. The Small Light at Cape de Walde, or Valde. 
This is a fourth class light, and deserves no notice 
except as a specimen of a lighthouse with prisms, &c. 
made of cast unpolished glass. It is quite sufficient to 
condemn the system, even for such a little instrument 
as this. The quality of every surface is wretched ; 
the form of ever}- surface is faulty ; the surfaces fre- 
quently have contrary or ogee curvatures. The pro- 
portion of light Sent in any desired direction must be 
very small indeed. 

3. The Light of Grisnez. This is similar to that 
of the Start f lenticular arrangement for the dioptric 
part, looking-glass reflectors for the catoptric part). 
There are the following differences of detail : instead 
of eight divisions, as at the Start, there are sixteen at 
Grisnez, and the number of reflectors at Grisnez is 
smaller than that at the Start. In the truth of the 
workmanship of the lens rings there is a prodigious 
difTerence. The rings at Grisnez are so truly 
curved that the line of the sea horizon is seen to 
traverse all, above or below the centre, without any 
clinging to the circumference, or any tooth-like inter- 
ruption, as at the Start. Upon examining the adjust- 
ment of the dioptric iiannels, and of the looking-glass 
mirrors, it was evident that, supposing a good flame 



on the lamp, every one of these would send light to 
the horizon and upon the sea, losing very little in 
the sky. The adj ustrnent of this, now an old fashioned 
apparatus, is far the best that I have seen. 

Tlie keeper appeared to have no fi.\ed rule of 
0- 1™ for the height of the flame. The height which 
he exhibited with his fingers was less than 0*1™, 
perhaps 3 inches. 

I omitted to examine the lamp feeder. 
In the lamp-glass here, as well as at Calais, the 
form of the glass differs much from that in the 
English lamps. The contraction of the diameter, 
instead of being made by a square shoulder, as in 
the Whitby lamps, is made by a gradual slope of 
about H inch. 

The diameter of the lamps is 3h inches, sensibly 
the same as that of the English lamps. The number 
of concentric wicks, four. 

In this lighthouse, and in the Calais light, there 
are large reflectors on the blank sides. I believe that 
they are better shaped than those in the English 
lights, but they are so wretchedly dull (scarcely 
brighter than a pewter plate) that I do not conceive 
Ihem to have any sensible utility. 

4. The South Foreland Upper Light. This is a 
fixed light, precisely similar to those of Whitby and 
Calais. The glass is French (Lepaute), furnished by 
Messrs. Wilkins. The dioptric port is fairly good, 
but with more veins than in those of Whitby, Calais, 
or North Foreland ; and the curvatures are not quite 
so well worked. In the catadioptric part, some of 
the prisms are abominably veiny, never through their 
whole length, but through about half, indicating 
some peculiarity in the manufacture of the glass. 
One or two of the lower prisms are sensibly out of 
adjustment, as compared with the others. 

As regards the action of the lamp through the 
central dioptric part, the flame to the height of 
1| inch throws its light to the sky. The lamp-flame 
is maintained to the height of 2^ or 2^ inches, and a 
great deal of its best part is efi'ective on the sea. 

As regards the catadioptric parts, the lower part 
is veiy nearly useless, and the upper part almost 
useless, as at Whitby and Calais. 

There are reflectors for the blank sides, bright, 
but irregular in form, as at Whitby. 

Lamp Scinches diameter, with three wicks. 
The ligh'tkeeper said that there was great trouble in 
maintaining, with the fountain apparatus, a uniform 
high light, because when the oil was cold scarcely 
enough was supplied, and as soon as the lamp heated 
it rau over too copiously. 

Tlie reduction of the lamp-glass is not so square as 
at Whitby, and not so sloping as in the French lights, 
This is an effective light, but admits of being much 

.5. The North Foreland Light. Exactly similar 
in form and arrangement to tlie Whitby, Calais, and 
South Foreland. The glass is beautiful (none but 
the Whitby glass comparable to it), the dioptric band 
well worked (not quite so well as at Whitby), the 
catadioptric prisms well adjusted together. The 
useless portion of flame for the dioptric part 0-9 or 
I'Oinch high. Height of flame, as I understood, 
near three inches (the oil is supplied mechanically). 
The catadioptric parts are nearly useless, as in the 
Whitby lights. Bad reflectors on the blank sides, as 
at Whitby. 

The lamp, as at Whitby and South Foreland, but 
there is a more careful apparatus for adjusting the 
height of the lamp-glass, which is praiseworthy. 
Lamp glasses, as at houth Foreland. 

An effective light, but admitting of improvement. 
I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airt. 

&c. &c. 

judicious co-operation with him, we may do much to 
improve the lighthouses. 

The note from Cookson's workman on the Start 
lenses is, at first, a little obscure, but I understand it 
perfectly. The rings and the central lens were all 
ground at once by a bowl-shaped grinder, as I sus- 
pected ; a very different process from the cross-stroke 
grinding at Chance's. This rude note ought to be 
preserved, as a very interesting document for the 
history of the practical science. 

My first recommendation to the powers would be 
— the Start Light must be entirely remodelled. It is 
a light of great importance. 

Now, what in your judgment would be the best 
way for bringing together the Trinity Board, and 
Mr. Chance, and ourselves, for the improvement of 
the Whitby Lights ? It may well be done before )'0u 
make your report, and the amended state may make 
a good chapter at the close of the report. 
I am, &c. 

Admiral Hamilton, G. B. Aiet. 

&c. &c. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
London. S.E. 
Mt deae Sir, 3rd July, 18fiO. 

I return the proof of Abstract of Evidence on 
Lighthouses, &c., as I must be clearing in reference 
to my journey to Spain. 

I have no doubt that the failure of the Whitby 
High Lights to which you have directed my attention 
is simply in consequence of their optical badness. 
I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airt. 

&c. &c. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
Mr DEAR Sir, London, S.E.,4th July 1860. 

I return the letters of Capt. Ryder and Mr. 

I like Mr. Campbell's proposal of shifting the 
individual reflective prisms, but for the lower prisms 
only. The diverging form of the upper prisms 
(which are more important) will not permit the 

In regard to Capt. Ryder's proposed order of action, 
this is one of the matters of high politique in which I 
am not competent materially to interfere, only I say : — 

1. The Whitby light is the most flagrant instance 
of mismanagement, 

2. The constructor of every part of the Whitby 
apparatus is at hand. 

3. The said constructor is willing to go heartily 
into the improvement of the Whitby light. 

Therefore, leave all others and rest on it. 
And I also say, as far as the Trinity Board is con- 
cerned, do everything openly and frankly towards 

This in readiness for our possible meeting. 
I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airy. 

&c. &c. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
My dear Sir, 'London, S.E., 29th June 1860. 

1 enclose a letter which I have just received 
from Mr. Chance. It is clear, I think, that by 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 
London, S.E. 
My dear Sir, 1st August, I860. 

The point which I wished to have specially 
investigated in the High Calais Lighthouse, is this : — 
The frame is fundamentally that of a fixed light, dis- 
triVjuting its light equally all round to a certain 
angular extent, or, at least, throwing the same con- 
stant light to Dover (for instance). And this constant 
liti'ht is varied by the rotation of a moveable frame, 
which embraces the fixed ligh , apparatus, and which 
carries three sets of vertical glass prisms, with surfaces 
so curved as to produce (generallvj the same effect of 
refraction in a horizontal plane, which the dioptric 
hand produces in a vertical plane. 

If these vertical glass prisms are properly adjusted, 
then, every time that any one of the three frames is 



turned towards Dover, there -will be a concentrated 
beam of light of fjreat intensity tlirown to Dover. 

But it a])pears that, in point of fact, only one of the 
three beams, thrown in the course of a complete- 
rotation, possesses any great intensity. 

From this, I infer, that one of the three sets of 
prisms is well adjusted, and that the others are not. 

The test would be this : — Select an object at a 
considerable distance, 7iot a horizontal line like the 
sea horizon, but a vertical line like a lighthouse, or a 
point or small object like a ship. And when the 
prism frame under trial is turned towards such object, 
remark where the image of such object is formed,* 
not in regard to up-and-down (as we have done for 
the ordinary tests by sea horizon), but in regard to 
riqht-aiid-left ; and see whether its image, as viewed 
through the whole horizontal range of the prism 
frame, is in the same position (with regard to right 
and-left) for every one of the prisms, and for the 
whole breadth of each ; and whether the said imag<' 
is well formed by each ; and whether all the said 
images are formed very near to the vertical axis of 
the lamp. 

All the images ought to be well formed and united 
at the vertical axis of the lamp, and any fault in 
those respects would injure the action of the appa- 

The prism frames ought not to throw the image of 
the sea horizon up or down ; this also should be 

I am, &c. 

Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Ainr. 

&c. &c. 

I intend to suggest to Mr. Chance some experiments 
for determining the special section of the lamp-flame 
which will send to the horizon the most brilliant light 
through the reflecting prisms. 

I am, &e. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Arur. 

&c. &c. 

Eoyal Observatory, Greenwich, 
London, S.E., 

6th August 1860. 
My df.ak Sir, 

The points which struck me most in our late 
visit to the North Foreland Light, as additions to what 
I liad previously recorded, are the following : — 

1. The performance of the lamp was very bad ; 
the flame, when steady, was much lower tlian when I 
saw it before. This circumstance, however, assisted 
by the depression of the lamp-flarae (made, as I 
understood, within a few days), brought out far more 
clearly than could otherwise have been done the im- 
perfection of illumination on the horizon and on the 
sea. When I saw the lighthouse before, there was 
good light on both from the dioptric part, the flame 
being then respectably high. 

2. I suspected, from recollection of my former ob- 
servation, and I now fully confirmeit it, that tlio 
curvature of the reflecting surfaces of the upper and 
lower prisms, but especially of the latter, is much too 
sharp. In the instance which I measured best (2d 
lower prism), the horizon image, instead of being 
formed on the lamp, was formed 1 1 inches before 
reaching the centre of the lauii). The effect of this 
was to disperse the light up and dov.n. In the present 
generally erroneous adjustment of these prisms, then? 
may be' advantage in this, because it throws some 
light on the sea ; but if the prisms were generally 
Well adjusted, much of the light, which would fall 
with great force on the -sea, would be lost. 

3. From a remark made by Mr. L. Sautter, it i.s 
plain that the ])eculiar effect of reflection is not ftdly 
understood by him. lie said that the adjustment of 
the reflecting prisms was adapted to a high flame but 
not to a low flame. But in reality an addition to the 
height of the flame (though very valuable for the 
dioptric part) adds nothing to the useful eflect of the 
reflecting part, as I have rei)eatedly stated ; and 
Mr. Sautter's remark, therefore, must be without 
foundation, and expressed without clear understanding 
of the matter. 

It occurs fo me to suggest for Professor Faraday's 
consideration, whether, in a place so accessible, gas 
might not be used, either manufactured on the spot or 
led from JIargate. 

* See. liowever, the last paragraph. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 

London. S.E. 
■My dear Sik, 9th August 1860. 

I EXCLOSE a tracing of a sketch that I have 
made of the way in which I think the questions of 
adjustment of the reflecting prisms of lighthouses 
must be treated. I do not mean it as perfectly correct 
for angles, &c., but rather as a specimen of method. 
I send a copy of it to Mr. Chance. 

I am, &c. 

G. B. AiHY. 
You will remark that I still confine my practical 
ideas to oil lamps, or i, which in form is the same 
thing) to gas lamps. I hope to see the galvanic light 
introduced, but it will require a very extensive change 
of lenses and reflecting prisms, and therefore will come 
very slowh-. I am prepared with the principal con- 
siderations that will then have to Vjo examined. 

G. B. A. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton. 
&c. &c. 

Koyal Observatory, Greenwich, 
London, S.E., 
My dear Sir, 8th September 1860. 

I RET0RXED yesterday morning, but had no 
leisure to write to you yesterday or this morning. 
This letter uill be posted on the 10th. 

I enclose M. Revnaud's letter, which would have 
been of the utmost importance to me if I had gone 
alone, and was probably extremely useful in the 
actual case. 

My course of journey was this : — On Monday 
the 3d I went to Dover by 4-30 train, expecting 
Captain Ryder either by that train or by the next, 
and proposing to cross by the morning steamboat ; 
but the night became very fine and calm, and I 
determined to cross by the night boat. Established 
myself at Dessin's, and in the morning worked off the 
Calais Lighthouse. Finding that there is a diligence 
to Boulogne at 12, by which time the morning steamer 
would be in, I took two places on the diligence, and 
waited at a corner of a street for the steamboat pas- 
sengers. And there I picked up C'aplain Ryder. 
Then we went b}' the diligence (very slow) to Boulogne, 
and by railway to Abbeville, where we slept. On 
the morning of the .Jth, at 10 o'clock, went by dili- 
gence to Dieppe, arriving at past 4. It was too late 
fo do justice to Cap d'Ailly, so we arranged for 
starting at f> o'clock the next morning, with the 
hope of quitting by the boat at 10-40 a.m. On the 
morning of the 6th started at 6 o'clock, reaching the 
lighthouse about 7-30, and proceeded to work, when 
a fog and shower came on which destroyed our 
horizon. AVe were compelled to wait so long that the 
steamer was effectually lost, so we transacted our 
business leisurely, repeating some of the examinations 
several times. Started by the steamer at lO-oO p.m.; 
was too ill to compare the Cap d'Aillj' ami Beachy 
Head Lights. Readied Newhaven on the morning of 
the 7th, and came to London and Grei-nwich. 

1. In walking backwards and forwards on the 
Dover Pier, I remarked the way in which the South 
Foreland High Light comes into .sight over the 
shoulder of the Downs. It appears as a very dull 
spark, very slowly increasing, till at last it rises 
rather suddenly into considerable brilliancy. I in- 
ter]>ret it thus. The first view is of the upper prisms, 
which are so imperfectly lighted that even when all 
are in view their ligiit is small, and therefore as they 
come gradually into view, the volume of light, small 
at the utmost, has increased slowly ; at length the 
[read on to page 85. 



Examination of the inclined sections of the Fliiraes of a Lighthouse Lamp, for estimation of the most 
advantageous place at which the image of the sea horizon, formed by the reflecting prisms, ought to 
cut the flames. It is assumed that lines drawn from the centre of the lamp at an angle of 45°, upwards 
and do.vnwnrds, will cut the centre and most eflicient prisms. 

View of the Flames feosi the Lower Prisms. 

(With the Customary Section no light is really useiul.) 



View or the Fi-Ajres from the Upper Prism?. 

(The only ujeful light for the Customary Section is the small part below its line.) 

For the Lower Prisms : — 

Section 1 appears at first sight to pass through the greatest quantity of light, and thus to send most 
light to the sea horizon ; but in fact it does not, because it passes through a non luminous part 
of the outer flame, and it almost wholly destroys the light on the sea. It is inadmissible. 

Section 2 is better. 

I prefer Section 3, as combining all interests in the best degree. 

Section 4 throws good light on the sea, but the light to the horizon is (in a very small degree) 

For the Upper Prisms : — 

Sections a, b, c, possess the different properties in degrees very slightly different. 
On the whole I prefer Section b. 

For Prisms above and below the assumed angle of 45", it is nearly indifferent to what point they are adjusted, 
provided it is in the Section 3 or b (as the prisms are Lower or Upper) and within the limits of 
the lamp flame. If a point in the lamp axis be adopted, the rule will be this : — 
Adjust the lower prisms to a point '2^ high in tiie centre of flame. 
Adjust the upper prisms to a point 1^ high in the centre of flame. 
9th Au£rust 1860. G. B. Airt. 




central pannels give their light, which (from the cir- 
cumstances of adjustment) is much more effective. 

2. Shortly after leaving Dover Harbour, the South 
Foreland Lower Liglit comes into view. There was 
no mist whatever about the Downs, and both lights 
were seen perfectly well all the way to Calais. As 
the bearings of the lights .sliglitly clianged, their 
relative brilliancy slightly altered (evidently from 
window bars, position of reflector edges, &c. ) The 
result of very careful examination was that the lights 
are exactly equal, sometimes one and sometimes the 
other being the brighter. Now the Lower Light is 
an old parabolic mirror light, and the Upper is a new 
first-cl.ass dioptric and catadioptric glass light. I 
conceive that this comparison is discreditable to the 
Upper Light. 

3. The great Calais Light rose suddenly from the 
sea at about one third passage over, witli good light 
and great brilliancy at its hrilliiint phase. Of the 
apparently triple phnse I will speak hereafter. On 
the voyage I timed the brilliant phase and found the 
intervals to be 4 minutes. 

4. I saw the light on the sands, which we had visited, 
(the sailors call it Capo Walhhim). It really gives a 
more respectable light than I could have expected 
from such an unnatural contrivance. 

5. In the Calais lighthouse, I examined very care- 
fully the three moveable sets of vertical prisms, and 

found all to be in excellent adjustment, a single prism 
in a single set being rio far out of adjustment as to 
throw the image of a ship about |-inch to one side, 
which is of no importance, and none of them dis- 
turbing the horizon. Their focus is nearly 1 inch in 
front of circumference of lamp, which does no hurt. 
(It would do hurt if the light were a galvanic spark.) 
I was a little puzzled about the apparent difference 
in the triple flash, till I had the clockwork attached, 
and the instrument moved " au naturel " as the man 
phrased it. I then tried the passages of the succes- 
sive sets of prisms, and found the interval from set 
No. 1 to set No. 2 to be 4 minutes, and that from set 
No. 2 to set No. 3 to be 4 minutes, and the same 
No. 3 to No. 1 ; the whole time of revolution being 
12 minutes. It was plain, therefore, < hat the apparent 
triplicity of phase, whose period is 4 minutes, does not 
belling to a difference of adjustment of the three sets 
of prisms, but is something peculiar to such prisms, 
and is the same for the three sets. And now 1 found 
the exjilanation. The vertical prisms absnrb all the 
light of the central pannels a little before and a 
little after the brilliant flash (leaving only the 
light of the reflecting prisms), and collect that light 
for the flash. Thus the brilliancy of light is repre- 
sented at successive times by successive vertical ordi- 
nates of the curve below : — 

The pilot, who remarks that after a the light sud- 
denly declines, sets down a as a flash ; then comes the 
great flash, b, about which there can be no mistake ; 
then the light suddenly rises to c, and the pilot con- 
sider this to be a flash. My first interpretation of all 
this was erroneous ; and I am glad to have had the 
opportunity of correcting it ; the correction is worth 
the journey. 

6. I looked, but in a mere cursory way, at the 
general optical arrangements of the glass rings. I 
found those of the dioptric part very good (as before) 
for a large flame, the image of horizon being about 
I '5 inch above the lam p metals ; and those of the 
reflectors to be defective, but not so defective 
as in the English lights. 

V. In glancing at the machinery of rotation, in an 
engineering point of view, I found a fault which I 
could not have anticipated. Between the fixed plate 
and the revolving plate there is a chain of live 
rollers ; and the diameter of each roller bears a large 
proportion to the diameter of the ring on which 
it runs. The slighte.-t consideration would show 
that the fixed surface and the moveable surface, one 
or both, ought to be conical, their vertices meeting at 
a point ; and the rollers ought to be conical, their 
vertices being at the san-e point. To my great 
astonishment I found that the plates are both flat ; 
the rollers, consequently, are always scraping upon 
the plates, either with the inner edge of bearing, or 
with the outer edge. The keeper told me that the 
rollers at first were of iron, and so much of scales 
was torn up every night that it was necessary to sweep 
the plates every morning. Rollers of gun-metal are 
now subsituted, and the metal does not tear them up 
as before ; but there must be very great and unneces- 
sary friction, and very unnecessary labour is thrown 
on the clock. 

8. In descending from the lightroom I found the 
chef (whose name I forget). He had been greatly 
disturbed by the long delay of the visit, which he 
had expected in July. I explained the delay by the 

eclipse. He spoke with contempt of the Cap d'Ailly 
light, which he regarded as remarkable only for some- 
thing picturesque in its position. All his admiration 
is fixed on the light of Belle Isle, which he describes 
as having this peculiarity, that the coupole or external 
window frame revolves with the revtilving light frame. 
It is evident that there may be advantage in this. I 
conceive that this light might be well worthy of a 
visit, or at least of a special inquiry, principally for 
the engineering arrangements. 

9. My examination on all these points of the Calais 
lighthouse was so complete, or at least so satisfactory 
to me, that I had no scruple in arranging for Captain 
Ryder's proceeding at once, as I have said. 

10. The Cap d'Ailly light contains eight lenticular 
dioptric pannel.< (revolving). The upper catadioptric 
prisms are connected with and revolve with the 
dioptric pannels, and are in fact a continuation of the 
same system, the prisms being rings referred to nearly 
the same horizontal axis as that of the dioptric pannel. 
But the axis is not exactly the same, because the 
pannel of upper catadioptric prisms is hitched about 
two inches on the pannel of lenses. The lower cata- 
dioptric prisms are fixed horizontal rings. 

11. The lamp is fed by pumps. Its height is ad- 
justed every three weeks (this cannot be done with a 
fountain lamp, on account of the pipe communication). 
The oil is filtered through two inches of sand, in the 
lower store rooms, before first use and after each 
passage through the wicks. There are holes in the 
upper metal chimney into which there is a strong 
suction draft. The wicks were not cleaned from the 
night's work, and there was more than \ inch of char. 
On lighting the lamp the men could not get a 4-inch 
solid flame, but the average height was about three 
inches above the metals. The man played a good 
deal in adjusting the glass (a glass with a very gently 
sloping shoulder). I inquired whether he would like 
a rack-and-pinion movement, but he rather objected 
to it, for the following reason : — Sometimes the top 
of the glass melts (from the heat), and becomes en- 

L 3 



sa oed with the iron chimney in such a manner that 
there would he difficulty in extricating it hy a mere 
raisins and fulling motion without a rotatory motion, 
which the rack-and-piuion cannot give, but which the 
fingers can give. 

12. The name is Lepautc ; the date, I think, 1820.* 
The mechanism of rotation has the same fault as that 
in the Calais lighthouse (see paragraph V, above). 

13. I commenced the optical examination on the 
sea horizon, hut after the loss of it I used a well- 
detined point of clitt', two or three miks S.W.. on 
which the line of horizon was well known ; aud thi.s 
was found to be an excellent mark, because there was 
no uncertainty about its identification (which, with 
several parallel streaks on the sea and sky, is some- 
times very ditficult in the narrow prisms), and because 
I could instantly see whether the convergence forming 
the image was too near or too distant. When the 
horizon cleared again I examined it as a sort of veri- 
fication, but found nothing wrong in my conclusions. 

14. The image of the sea horizon formed by the 
dioptric lenses is 1'5 inch above the lamp metals, and 
verv near the centre. Tlie lens rings are very well 
worked, so that in viewing the horizon image over the 
lamp across the upper or lower parts of the lens, there 
is no sensible hitch or tooth Irom ring to ring, or 
from pannel to pannel; very difierent from the Start, 
but similar to Grisnez ; at the same time showing 
greater .skill than is necessarily shown at Grisnez, 
because the Cap d'Ailly pannels include each one 
eighth of the circumference, while the Grisnez pannels 
have only one sixteenth of the circumference. These 
Cap d'Ailly pannels must (with a lamp flame exceeding 
three inches in height) be very effective, and must give 
a great blaze of light to the horizon and on the sea. 

15. On trying the lower catadioptric prism-^, I found 
that the image of the sea horizon was, I think in every 
instance (Captain Kyder has taken accurate notes), 
thrown above the front edge of the lamp metals, not 
quite so high as I could wish, but respectably high, 
and these prisms really are efficient. They are the 
first that I have seen which deserve that epithet. I 
did not very specially remark the distance of converg- 
ence forming the image, but I am sure, from my 
general remarks, that it must have been very near 
the centre of the lamp. Every efiective i)rism was 

16. On trying the upper catadioptric prisms I found 
that, with insignificant exceptions (for which I refer 
to Captain Ryder's notes), the position of the image of 
sea horizon may be thus stated. For the lowest 
prisms it is formed by rays whose directions fall on 
or a little above the rear edge of the lamp metals. 
For the higiiest prisms, it is formed by rays whose 
directions fail nearly on the centre of the lamp metal 
rings. For intermediate prisms, in intermediate direc- 
tions. Thus the rays may be represented nearly as 
below : — 

say four times as much as at Calais and six times as 
much as in any other light t'nat I have seen. I think 
that, for my own entire satisfaction, I should have 
raised the path of rays even a little more ; but the 
general course here is so good that I would not on 
any account touch these adjustments. I ought to 
mention that we examined every one of the upper 88 

17. The accurate optical image of the cliff point 
v,-as in all instances formed sufficiently near to the 
centre of the lamp. Pn some instances it was a little 
(perhaps two inches) in front of the centre : in others 
it was as much in rear. The latter are usually those 
which in Captain Eyder's notes are marki'd as '■ con- 
fused." There is no ground of complaint on that 

18. On the whole I pronounce this lighthouse to be 
in excellent adjustment, and far the most efficient that 
I have seen. M. Revnaad has reason to be (iroud 
of it. 

19. The concave reflectors, which occupy the three 
land side spaces, are as dull as those in other French 
Lighthouses ; by no means so brilliant as an ordinary 
pewter pot. 

20. On viewing the light in the evening from 
Dieppe (where it produces a very splendid effect), I 
remarked that between t">vo bright flashes there are 
two intermediate little flashes, so faint that they would 
escape ordinary observation. Captain Kyder in 
verifying this was rather inclined to consider them as 
successive sudden degrees of elevation of light. I am 
not able to explain their origin. 

I suppose that it will not be necessary for me to visit 
any more lighthouses. 

I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton. G. B. Amv. 

&c. &c. 8cc. 

lump metals. 

In every prism a brilli:int light is sent to the 
horizon aud a large body of light on the sea, I should 

Perhaps a mistake. 

Jlr SiK, 10th October, 1860. 

I iiAVK to make the following Report on my 
examination of the Girdleness Lighthouse. 

I arrived, with my son Hubert, at ^^berdeeu. on 
the evening of Monda}', October 8th. On Tuesday 
morning I was visited at the house of John Webster, 
Esq., by ilr. Alexander Cunningham and Mr. 
Thomas Stevenson, Secretary and Engineer of tho 
Commissioners of Northern Lights. AVith these three 
gentlemen and my son I proceeded to the Girdleness 

This lighthouse contains two system.? of lights. 
The lower, at about } of the height of the building, 
consists of 13 parabolic reflectors of the usual form, 
occupying with their light something more than the 
semi-circumference. I remarked in these that by 
a simple construction, which I have not seen else- 
where, great facility is given for the withdrawal 
and safe return of the lamps, for adjusting the lamps 
and for cleaning the mirrors. I made no further 
remark on these, but proceeded to the upper lantern. 

The lighthouse here is that of a fixed dioptric and 
catadioptric light of the first order. It was erected 
b}' Mr. Alan Stevenson, 13 years ago (as I under- 
stood); the light-panels bear the name of Francois. 
The support of the light-frame is not a central pillar 
(as in most modern lighthouses), but a diagonal-braced 
frame supporting tlie circumference, which I greatly 
prefer. The lamp is 4-wick of the usual size, fed 
h)- pumps. The arrangement of tlie glasses is as at 
the Whitby and Foreland Lights, &c., with 6 rings 
of prisms below, and 13 above. The rings, both the 
dioptric .and (as I believe) the lower catadioptric are 
bounded, not by vertical bars, but by inclined bars, 
nil sloping one way: the oppositely inclined bars, 
necessary for firmness of mechanical support, being 
within the gl.asses. This appears to me to be a good 
plan, preferable to that of rectangular bars, both 
optically and mechanically. The quality of the glass 
is excellent, quite equal to that of any other which I 
have seen. 



On examining the image of tlie ?ca horizon (■n-hich 
was remarliably clear), as formed by the dioptric 
band, it %\a^ at once evident that it (the image), was 
a little too high. With some sections of the band, it 
■was about 1^ inch (I believe, but I had lost my means 
of measuring,) above the metal ; with others about 1^;. 
Mr. Stevenson produced a drawing of the lamp, on 
whicii the due position of the focal line was marked ; 
and I showed him, and he at once assented, that the 
lamp was too low by about a inch. The relative ad- 
justment of different rings of the dioptric band, &c., 
was good. I then examined the lower reflectors, and 
at once saw what I have never seen before. The 
principles which I have been anxious to carry out 
regarding the due Hood of light upon the sea are 
here fulli/ carried out. In every instance the rays 
coming from the sea horizon pass above the front edge 
of the lamp metal by about or near half an inch, 
measured perpendicularly to the rays ; and in the 
third reflecting ring from the bottom by a lull inch. 
In fact my principle here is rather overdone, but tliis 
will be corrected by the same elevation of the lamp 
which corrects the action of the central dioptric band. 
Then I examined the upper reflectors, and here I 
found things very perfectly to my satisfaction. The 
rays coming from the sea horizon through the i\-\Y 
lower prisms of the set pas.s well above the rear of 
the metals, those which come from the highest fall 
nearly on the centre. 

Remarking how well the important upper set of 
prisms are adjusted, and that the adjustment which 
the central band and lower prisms seem to require 
would slightly injure the action of the upper prisms, 
I suggested to Mr. Stevenson that he should not 
raise the lamp by the full § inch of which I have 
spoken, but perhaps by ^\ inch. 

The lamp was lighted for my inspection, and I was 
able to point out more distinctly to Mr. Stevenson 
that elevation is required, and that the quantitj^ 
required is small. The lamp flame had scarcely 
acquired its full height while I remained at the light- 
house, but it appeared to be approaching the French 
height. The lamp glass has the gently inclined con- 
traction. I could almost imagine that the draft is 
too sharp, and that the lamp would burn better v>-ith 
holes in the chimney above the da.mper, so that the 
damper aperture would be wider. 

This lighthouse has evidently been most carefully 
planned for the actual depression of the horizon, and 
has been maintained in good, though not quite perfect, 
daily adjustment ; but the correction required, even 
now, is extremely small. 

It is the best lighthouse that 1 have seen. 
I am, ii:c. 

G. B. AiRT. 
Admiral \V. A. B. Hamilton, 
&c. &c. &c. 

Roj-al Observatory, Greenwich, 
Mt dear Sir, 20th October 1860. 

Ox returning hither I find a letter from 
Mr. Thomas Stevenson, which is interesting as re- 
gards the history of tlie manufacture of lighthouse 
optical frames, and which I therefore transcribe at 
length : — 

"10th October 1860. 

" I find on looking up our old books that the upper 
Girdleness Light was changed from the catoptric 
to the dioptric system in 1847. 

" I forgot to mention, when speaking of Francois 
as the manufacturer, that in this, as in the other 
dioptric lights, all that was furnished in France was 
the glass prisms, and that these were afterwards all 
fitted to;:ether in brass frames made at Edinburgh 
under Mr. Alan Stevenson's immediate inspection. 
The only exception to this was the lens in revolving 
«nd he cvlindric reiractinsr belt in fixed lights whic'n 

were alw.iys sent in their brass frames by the French 

I am, &c. 

G. B. AiKT. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, 
&c. &c. 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, S.E. 
My dear Sir, 27 October 1860. 

The enclosed letter from Mr. Chance, of Octo- 
ber 26, will I think interest you. You will see how 
heartily and frankly he enters into our views. 

I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, G. B. Airy. 

&c. &c. &e. 

" Hamstead, Birmingham, 
" Mv DEAR Sin, 26th October 1860. 

'• Whes I wrote to you from Whitby I expressed 
myself as doubtful concerning the advantages of 
aiijusting dioptric apparatus by the image of an 
external object. 

'•I am now quite delighted with this mode. Not 
only does it secure greater accuracy of adjustment of 
the glass itself, but, what is very important, it affords 
greater facilities for adjusting the glass while the 
metallic frame is in its actual ultimate position in the 

" This is a great point to be accomplished, and what- 
ever method the manufacturer may see fit to employ, 
he ought to be required (I think) to adjust the glass 
in |the I'rames af/er those frames arc fixed in their 
respective positions in the general apparatus. 

"The system adopted until quite recently quite 
precluded the possibility of any such method, for the 
manufacturer was asked to supply (generally) only a 
number of isolated panels. For instance, one firm 
has at present an order for portions of an apparatus 
to be put together thus in detail, the framework being 
made elsewhere. 

" Most truly vours, 

'^J.T. Chance." 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, S.E. 
My dear Sir, 10th November, 18cO. 

I MAY perhaps consider that a proper time has 
arrived for the expression of my general opinions 
regarding the conduct of the English lighthouses. 
It was my first intention to submit to you answers to 
the specific questions contained in the printed letters 
of the Commission; but the examination of several 
lighthouses (of which examinations the details have 
been placed before you) has in some measure changed 
my views, and I think that 1 may do more complete 
justice to the subject by presenting my ideas without 
reference to those questions. 

The inspection of the lighthouses to which I allude, 
has revealed some faults wliich deserve notice, partly 
from their own specific character, but more particu- 
larly because they seem to indicate an antecedent 
fault in the system of organization under which they 
have been produced. Referring generally to my 
former letters for these, I will proceed to state the 
course which I recommend, commencing with the 
personal organization. 

1. It appears to me that there is no person ofl^cially 
connected with the Board of the Trinity House, who 
is distinctly responsible, either for the correct coi- 
sfruetion and erection of the illuminating pans tf 
lighthouses with reference to their optical etfect, <r 
for the continual maintenance of those parts in prc- 
l)er adjustment. I think it absolutely necessary that 
an officer should be appointed, whom, for the sake of 
clearness, I will call '• Optical Engineer," whoso 
special duties should be, not to construct or maintain 
the architectural fabric (which must be intrusted to 
the " Architectural Engineer"), excc[)t in indic.uin" 
the requirements for elevation and other dimensions 
and for store space, &c., but to construct and main- 



tain in order the lantern-frame and lantern, the re- 
flectors and refractors, and the machinery connected 
with them, the lamps and their mechanism, and the 
oil or other combustible. 

2. The e<luc:ition of the " Optical Engineer" ousht 
to be saniewhat peculiar. First, he ought to be a 
trained mechanical engineer, competent to manage all 
the requisite combinations of cast and forged metals, 
and the frames and the mechanism constructed of 
them. Secondly, he ought to understand the science 
of optics, ina form which is rather unusual, and which 
none but a trained mathematician can master. The 
kno\vlerl;;e of optics which is possessed (for instance) 
by an optical in-trum-nt maker is quite useless for 
the construction of lightliouses. In no other working 
of gl.'.ssfs, except tliuse for lii'lithouses, is the under- 
standing of I he cfl'ect of "different curvatures of a 
surface in different planes normal to the surface, re- 
ceiving rays of light incident at high angles of 
incidence" absolutely necessary. Thirdly, he ought 
lo know something of tlie gl iss-making; and ouglil to 
be perfectly familiar with the action of the large 
lamps under ditferent modifications, as well as with 
lime-light, galvanic spark, &c., which it may be pro- 
posed to substitute ; but this knowledge requires less 
of preliminary training, and will come with es- 

3. Supposing such an officer appointed, the ques- 
tions of the printed letters may be considered as in 
proper train for solution. There will be a ]M;rson 
who can lay down rules for constructors of lighthouse 
apparatus, or who can, if n:'cessary, receive thi'ir sug- 
gestions (which sometimes may be guideil by strict 
theory, and sometimes by practical convenience), and 
negotiate upon then.; or who can arrange the special 
constructions required for difficult sea channels, for 
unusual elevations, &c. It is unnecessary to say 
that it would be his duty to see the arrangements 
properly carried out (a duty for which there appears 
to be, at present, no provision whatever). I do not 
therefore think it necessary, at this time, to enter 
into the details of those questions. 

4. Tlie principal part of the optical engineer's duty, 
for perhaps the first two years, would be the exami- 
nation of existing lighthouses, with the view of 
ascertaining whether they are, in respect of permanent 
fittings (independent of daily adjustments by the 
lighthouse-keepeis'), in an efficient state. VVhere 
change is required, it will often be a question whether 
the change should be complete or partial. Thus, 
supposing it decided that the Start Lighthouse should 
he remodelled, it may be a fair question wliether, in 
discarding its lenticular rings, its lenticular centres 
might not be retained. This review of lighthouses 
will be a troublesome business, but is, in my opinion, 
absolutely necessary. It is only thus that we can 
arrive at the elimination of such faulty curvatures as 
those in the Xorth Foreland lower reflectors ; of such 
veiny glass as that in the South Foreland lower 
reflectors; of such imperfect lamps as those which I 
saw in the Whitby lighthouses ; and of such light- 
wasting ailjustment as I have reason to think not 

5 Passing now to the material construction of light- 
houses, I tliiiik that, upon the whole, the construction 
now adopted (with .some parts purely dioptric, acting 
by refraction only, and other parts reflecting light by 
internal total reflection in glass, with scarccdy any 
refraction) is a good one. I prefer the internal glass 
reflection, to reflection from any Known metallic 
surface which has been actually tried in practice a 
sufficiently long time ; first, because I believe the 
quantity of reflected light to be greater; secondly, 
because I think that by the subdivision of the whole 
reflecting surface into a moderate number of parts, 
greater accuracy can be given to the adjustments ; 
thirdly, because if metallir, reflectors were divided in 
the same way, they would bend and would be otherwise 
unmanageable. The curvatures, when the reflection 
is very oblique, require to be worked with exceeiling 
care, which has not been given in every instance ; but 

the excellent cro«s-stroke machinery now introduced 
in the best factories, with the modes of testing prac- 
tised in them, are competent to give the required 

6. There is a fault connected with the dioptric 
part which may hereafter prove a serious one, namely 
the chromatic dispersion. Its effects are suHiciently 
conspicuous to the eye; for, even where the quality of 
th( glass is very good, it is impossible to see the 
horizon distinctly through the extreme edges. It 
would seem that the only way of diminishing it is to 
effect that direction of the rays of light by reflection ; 
but the difficulty of ensuring accuracy of reflection at 
very oblique incidence is great; and on the wliole I 
do not doubt that the angle at which refraction shall 
end and reflection shall begin has been fixed with 
good practical wisdom. 

7. I can scarcely imagine that anything like achro- 
matized prisms can be adopted with advantage. At 
the same time I throw out this ^vllole subject of accu- 
racy of refraction as one which deserves careful 

8. In tlie treatment of the whole of this subject I 
insist upon accuracy of reflection or refraction of the 
beams of light as a principle which ought never to be 
relaxed. It is true that a large dispersion of the 
beam, perhaps five degrees, is produced by the size of 
the large oil lamps ; but if the faults of the reflector 
or refractor produce some dispersion, that dispersion 
is entirely ad<led to the dispersion depending on the 
size of the lamp flame, so that a dispersion which needs 
not to exceed five degrees may be amplified into nine 
or ten degrees, and the brillianc)' of light thrown 
in a given direction will be diminished in the same 

9. I think that the experimental use of the lime 
light in the streets, and that of the galvanic spark at 
the South Foreland lighthouse, have sc far succeeded 
as to make the employment of these sources of light 
plausible. The question then arises. Can they be 
einploj-ed with advantage in existing lighthouses ? 
Here the first consideration will be. Are the reflection 
and refraction in the existing lighthouses sufficiently 
accurate ? In the case supposed above (Article x) of 
a lamp dispersion of five degrees, increased by an in- 
accuracy dispersion of five decrees, the inien?ity of 
the beam of light was diminished to one half of what 
it ought to have been. But with lime light (and 
u fortiori with galvanic light), a lamp dispersion of 
less than half a degree would be increased by the 
same inaccuracy dispersion of five degrees, and the 
intensity of the beam of light in a given direction 
would be dimini-hed to f'fth part of what it ought to 
be. Without saying that there is this amount of in- 
accuracy dispersion in any of our lighthouses, I do, 
at present, think it doubtful wLetler their workman- 
ship and adjustment are sufficiently exact to give the 
increase of optical effect whic h might fairly be ex- 
pected from those intense lights. When the change of 
light shall he seriously suggested, a special examina- 
tion of the lighthouse must be made. 

10. Supposing such lights introduced with good 
effect, as regards the horizon and the very distant sea, 
it would be necessary to provide distinctly for the 
illumination of the nearer sea. For it must always 
be borne in mind, that the only way of giving inten- 
sity to a beam in one direction is to allow no light to 
pass in any other direction ; and thus, to make the 
I)rincipal part of the reflectors and refractors available 
near the horizon, they must not throw any light on 
the near sea. This provision may be made perhaps 
in part by throwing a portion of the chromatic dis- 
persion on the near sea, or in part, by giving peculiar 
curvatures to one or two of the less important (the 
lower) reflectors, adapted to that purpose. For 
arrangements of that kind the talents of the optical 
engineer will specially be required. 

11. If these brilliant and minute sources of light 
should besnccessfullv introduced, it \yould be possible, 
theoretically, to reduce tie dimensions of the lantern 
to a very small size. Whether this could be done 



practically is not quite so certain. Possibly the 
iliiiicii.-iuns might (with due attention to the mag- 
nituilc of lamp dispersion), be so far reduced that an 
error in position of i- inch would be nearly ruinous 
to the effect of the light. Could we depend on the 
adjustments being maintained so exact ? If we could, 
there would be some advantage in these small light 
cases. The glass might be selected of perfect qualit}'; 
the loss of light from passing through a great thick- 
ness of glass would be diminished ; possibly the 
grinding of the curves might be more manageable, 
and therefore more accurate ; certainly the expense 
would be diminished. On many accounts it is highly 
desirable to prosecute experiments on the easy and 
certain use of these sources of light. 

These are the principal matters bearing on the 
praciical administration of the lighthouses, which 
occur to me at the present time. Should any other 
ideas occur to me, I will have the pleasure of sub- 
mitting them to you. 

I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Ilumilton, G. B. Aiuv. 

&c. f<cc. 

Eoyal Observatory, Greenwich, S.E., 
iNIr Dear Sik, ' 8th December 1860. 

1 RETURNED froui Birmingham on Tuesday even- 
in g, December 4th. 

The business at Birmingham consisted chiefly in 
ascertaining the point of the lamp flame which might 
be considered as brightest, the trial being what part 
of the flame sent the most brilliant light to the screen 
at the cud of the long gallery in Messrs. Chance's 
lighthouse fiictory. The optical apparatus used con- 
sisted of the bauds forming one section of the dioptric 
part of a fixed light, every one of which was tried 
separatelv. The reflecting prisms were not mounted. 

The first operation in the logical order (though 
not in the actual order of proceedings) was the veri- 
fication of the zero of the scale by which the depres- 
sion of the entire lamp frame was registered. For 
this purpose a small graduated standard was placed 
upon the lamp metals, and a gas burner was lighted 
at the bar uear the distant screen (which bar was 
always adjusted to the height of the band under trial), 
and its image was observed upon the small standard 
as formed by different bauds of the dioptric ring. In 
this manner it was found that for the broad central 
band, and for each of the upper bands, when the 
deiiression scale indicated 20 millimetres, the image 
fell upon 20 millimetres of the standard in the 
axis of the lamp ; and thus in subsequent expe- 
riments the depression of the entire lamp to any 
particular reading indicated that the optical image of 
the distant screen zero was elevated by that reading 
above the lamp metals. For the lower bands the 
adjustment hacl been made to a constant rc:i(M:ig, I 
think 18 millimetres above the front edge of the lamp 
metals ; and this adjustment seemed to be fairly pre- 
served, in correspondence with a depression of the 
lamp frame to 20 millimetres. 

On the evening of Monday, 3rd December, the 
lamp being pump-fed, the lamp glass with gradually 
inclined shoulder (like the French lamp glasses), and 
the flame very fully high for an English lamji, but 
not so high as in the French lighthouses, but forming 
a very good solid body of brilliant flame ; the ex- 
periments were tried upon one band at a time, simply 
by uncovering one band, covering all the others, aud 
observing how the shadow of a horizontal bar near 
the screen, adjusted to the height of the band, fell 
with reference to the place of brightest illumination. 
And I was struck with the general delicacy of this 
apparently rough method of trial. A change of one 
millimetre (■j'j-iucli) in the height of the lamp frame, 
was in every instance detected by the change in the 
appearance, as to whether the brightest part of the 
li^ht fell or fell not upon the horizontal bar ; and in 
many instances a change of i a millimetre (j'd-inch) 
was clearly discoverable. 

The result of this evening's work was that the 
height of the brightest point of flame above tho 
metals was from 21 to 22 millimetres; certainly not 
more than 22. 

The various bands agreed very well in this : the 
upper bands (adjusted for intersection of axes of 
pencils to the same point as the special focus of the 
central band), and the lower bands (which, though 
adjusted on a different principle, as I have said, 
agreed in giving strongest light when the depression 
of lamp, or elevation of focus of central band above 
the lamp metals, was 21 or 22 millimetres). The 
chromatic aberration introduced some uncertainty ; 
but the judgment of the eye became at last pretty 

On the morning of Tuesday, December 4th, the 
experiments were repeated essentially in the same 
way ; but the lamp was in a better state. Its flame 
was perhaps | inch higher than on December 3rd. 
It was at a good French height, though not the 
highest. (I believe tiiat a camera-obscura trace 
made by Mr. Campbell will give accurate informa- 
tion on the state of the flame.) The result now was 
that the point to be used for the brightest in the 
fame was 23 to 24 millimetres above the lamp metals ; 
and I believe that, on the whole, we were all in- 
clined to prefer 23 to 24. When we tried 28 milli- 
metres the light on the zero of the screen was very 
much diminished. I felt very great surprise, and so 
I believe did all who were present, that Fresnel 
could have fixed upon such an element of adjustment. 
When the evil from thus throwing the light too high 
is aggravated by the dip of the sea horizon (Fresnel's 
28mm. adjustment being intended for geometrically 
horizontal rays), which for 20' dip corresponds to 
about 5 millimetres in height of focus in lamp, — so that 
really 33 millimetres is the height to be tried, in 
comparison with 23 or 24, which we found best, — the 
loss of light is absurd. 

A polyzonal lens was then mounted ; and, generally 
speaking, it seemed to lead to the same conclusions. 
But the light upon the screen could not be observed 
with so much accuracy, because the lens produced a 
rude image of the lamp flame, and the eye was dis- 
tracted by the images of the bright edges of the 
various cyliuders of flame produced by the separate 
wicks, and by the colours which accompanied them. 

It appears to me that two results of considerable 
importance have been attained in these experiments. 
(1.) We have ascertained with much accuracy the 
height to which the sea horizon focus oun-ht to be 
adjusted. (2.) We have acquired a very good idea of 
the degree of accuracy at which the adjustments 
ought to aim. 

After finishing our proper experiments we saw 
Mr. Stevenson's light lantern for MacArthur's Head 
which is a remarkable instance of the arrano-ements 
which an optical engineer of lighthouses ought to be 
prepared to make when need requires. We^also saw 
the frame of the Smalls Fixed Light, which an agent 
of Messrs. James Walker and Burgess came" to 
examine ; it is framed, for optical convenience, with 
inclined uprights ; but I was not satified with' their 

We also saw the plans (apparently yet imperfect) 
for the galvanic spark light to be mounted on tho 
Dungeness Lighthouse. 

I had nearly omitted to mention one circumstance 
regarding the lamp. After two or three hours burn- 
ing of the lamp on the evening of December 3rd, it; 
was found that the innermost wick was charred 
black two inches down. The outermost wick 'i\-as 
very little charred. It would be desirable, if possible 
to prevent this. ' 

I am, &c. 
Admiral W. A. B. Hamilton, Q J5 ^iry- 

&c. &c. &c. ■ ■ .. . 




Repout, !<jc. to the Deputy-Master and Breturen 
of the Trinity House. 

The Royal Commission on Lights, &e. having 
desired to meet the Brethren of the Trinity House at 
the North Foreland and 'Whitby Lighthouses, with 
certain otlier persons, such as the nianulacturers of 
the apparatus, the representatives of the Irish and 
Scotch lighthouses, the Astronomer Eoyal, ike, for 
the purpose of making certain practical cummunica- 
tions to them, which could not be so well done by 
writing or elsewhere, such meetings have taken 
place. The one at thi- North Foreland occurred on 
the 2d of August, wlicn there were present Admiral 
Hamilton, Captain Ryder, Dr. Gladstone, the Astro- 
nomer Royal, iind ^Ir. Campbell of the Royal Com- 
mission: Admiral (iordon, Captain Close, Cajjtain 
Bayly, Captain Weller of the Trinitv House; Sir 
James Dumbrain of the Irish Board, and Mr. Halpin 
and Captain Roberts, ilr. Stevenson of the Scotch 
Board, ^Ir. Soutter. of Paris, the maker of the ap- 
pariitiis. with Mr. Wilkins, and myself. The other 
at Whitby occurred on the 9th of the same month, 
when the same persons were present, with the excep- 
tion of the Asironomei- Royal. Captain Weller, Sir 
James Dumbrain, and Captain Roberts, and the addi- 
tion of Captain Nisbet, E.B. Trinity House, and 
Mr. J. Chance, the manufitcturer of the apparatus, 
with M. JIasseliu. I was there on the part of the 
Trinity House as their scientific adviser in experi- 
mental lights ; and although I do not wish to assume 
the character or respun-ibility of optical or civil 
engineer, I feel it my dnty at the call of the deputy 
master, to give my impression and conclusions. 
Having received no descriptive written document 
from the Royal Commission, I may perhaps pass by 
some points requiring attention, unawares. 

The object ol' the Royal Commission was, I believe, 
to point out the necessity of a final examination of 
tlie optic apparatus in the lighthouse itself after its 
erection, and the demonstration of a mode of making 
that examination in a practical manner, which I may- 
call the metliod of the Commission. The object of 
tlie optic apparatus in a lighthouse is to convey the 
rays from the source of light to the sea horizon, or 
to the parts of the sea between that horizon and the 
shore, in the most abundant degree possible, and in 
the most favourable manner. This effect is obtained 
by a certain position and adjustment of the parts of 
the refracting and reflecting apparatus, and whether 
these arc right in this respect may be ascertained by a 
process in some degree the reverse of tlie illuminating 
method. Tlius, suppose the lamp is lighted, a given 
bright spot in its flame selected, and a given piece of 
the glass apparatus adjusted, so as to transmit the 
light passing through it, from tbe chosen spot to the 
sea horizon ; then if the adjustment be right, an 
obsi-rver placed on the other side of the flame, and 
looking through the spot and tlie glass, will see the 
horizon; and this is' an observation easily made in 
tbe daytime, either with the flame actually ex- 
isting, or with indicating gauges at the burner 
(as tlie edge of a card for instance), representing 
given or selected parts of the flame. If the horizon 
does not appear in the right place the adjustment is 
wrong. The same kind of test may be applied to 
every part of the apparatus in turn, whether refractive 
or reflective, in respect of any part of the horizon or 
the sea or the sk}-, and in respect of any part of the 
flame or luminous object. A luminous point being 
selected, that place which the eye sees through it 
will be the place to wli eh the rays issuing from it 
in tha'., direction, will proceed. 

This appears to me to be an excellent practical 
application. In principle it is perfect. The appli- 
cation, however, cannot be equally perfect, because 
of the inevitable imperfections of construction. StiU 
the quality of the glass and its workmanship have 
arrived at such a degree of excellence as to justify 
the application of tliis refined kind of inspection ; 
which may be anticipated and worked up to, by pro- 
cesses applicable in the nianufactcry. 

Assuming that the apparatus is as perfect in its 
execution as can be expected, then the causes that 
may interfere with the due effect (and chiefly by 
mal-adjustment) are several. First, those connected 
with the lamp and flame. The Fresnel lamp has a 
burner and cottons having a horizontal Avidtli of 3j- 
inches in diameter ; — the flame, as it rises from 
this base is obscure above and near to the cotton, 
then becomes luminous and powerful, and contracting 
as it rises, usually ends in a series of forky tongues. 
When supplied by an overflowing lamp urged by the 
draught of a good chimney, the bright part of the 
flame may be from 2-. to 4 inches from the bottom to 
the top of the chief tongues of flame ; these latter 
having no smoke at their tops ; and the horizontal 
section passing through the widest and brightest part 
of the flame, will be from f to ^ of an inch above the 
burner. It is assumed that this section should coin- 
cide with the focal plane of the lenticular bands, or 
merely refracting part of the apparatus ; for then 
the most powerful rays proceed in a horizontal direc* 
tion, and will fall on the sea horizon when the light 
has little or no elevation above the sea. All the 
light which emanates below that plane, and passes 
through the lenticular bands, will be thrown up into 
the sk)- above the horizon, but all that emanating 
from the great body of the flame above tliat plane, 
will be cast over the sea between the horizon and the 
shore, doing good service to the mariner. 

Tlie selection of this plane, or of the point in the 
centre of the flame coinciding with it, which is called 
the focal point in respect of the refractors, is of great 
importance. By numerous experiments and trials 
in France it is considered as ?8 mm. or 1 .05 of an 
inch above the burner. Now the brightest horizontal 
section of the flame, may be 1.12 inches above the 
burner with a well arranged overflowing lamp, or 
only 0.75 of an inch above it, with a low flame and 
non-overflowing lamp ; and the adjustment in height 
of the lamp which would suit the first and send a 
fine body of light from the upper part of the flame 
over the sea, would, with the latter, send little to the 
sea, and the greater part of the light to the sky ; so 
that not merely has the adjustment to be attended 
to, but ahso the lamp suite<l to the adjustment. 

As far as my observation goes, the lamp should 
overflow freely, so that only one fourth of the oil 
that passes over and through the nicks should be 
burnt. It should, in the case of a first order lamp, 
have four wicks, and a chimney of glass and iron 6 
feet high. As much oil as possible should be burnt 
without smoking, for when in a good state the light 
is as the oil burnt. The lights at Whitby had not 
overflow lamps, and onlj' a certain amount of oil 
could be burnt, and a certain height of flame 
(lower at the South than at the North Lighthouse) 
be obtained. By making the oil overflow and raising 
the wick, the flame was raised at the base, but began to 
smoke. By virtually lengthening the chimney, through 
the application of paper valves, the whole flame was 
raised both at the base and at the summit, and the com- 
bustion very greatly improved, and tliat contiuuouslv. 
But the nd ustnu'iit of the optical jiart of the appa- 
ratus fit for the one state of flame woidd not be fit for 



the other. Being examined in tlie manner proposed 
by the Commission, if the combustion were low, the 
ray proceeding from the eye to the horizon would be 
mucii too liigh in the flame, whereas with a full and 
proper flame, it might pass in the best direction ; for 
ilie ditl'ercnce in level of the brightest sections of 
two such flames may be as much as f of an inch, 
and every diminution in the good condition of the 
flame, whether from the construction of the lamp or 
inattention, tends to rob the flame at the upper or sea 
supplying part. 

In respect of the reflectors circumstances are 
different. The whole of the flame radiates light 
towards each of the upper reflectors. If tlie eye be 
so placed (as in the Royal Commission process), as 
to see the horizon through the flame, in the middle of 
one of the reflecting prisms, then all the flame above 
that line will throw its light into the sky, and only 
that part below the line will throw its light on to 
the waters. Hence the line through the flame, or 
rather through its projection at the reflector, should 
go through a bright and abundant part of it, and 
should also leave as much as possible of the flame 
below that line, since that is the part which radiates 
light to the sea ; i.e., the observer's ray should be 
taken as far back towards him, and as far up, as is 
consistent with a good line of flame for the horizon, 
and then the reflector ought to be adjusted, so as to 
throw this light which has reached it, onward in the 
right direction. As regards the upper reflectors, 
generally a point in the centre of the flame, 1.55 
inches above the burner, is from careful experiment 
considered as that which gives the best result, and is 
called the focal point for the upper reflectors, being 
common to all. 

In respect of the lower reflectors, matters are very 
uiflerent. The burner and cottons cut off much of 
tlie light of the flame from them. With the best 
flame one half of the light is thus lost, and with a 
low flame only a fourth or a fifth may pass to them 
to be utilized. The line of sight should, as regards 
the observer, be taken as far forward, and up, as is 
consistent with its passing through a bright part of 
the flame ; for here again it is the part of the flame 
below this which sends light to the sea, whilst the 
part above casts its rays into the sky. In the French 
experience and practice, not one focal point but 
several foci are taken for the different reflecting 
prisms. These are points in a vertical line in the 
centre of the flame, tlie lowest focus is for the upper 
reflector, and the highest for the lower reflector, and 
they are respectively at the following heights above 
the burner, 38, 42, 47, 53, 60, and 68 millimeters. 

The lamp, optical apparatus, and adjustments which 
I have referred to, have had reference to a liorizontal 
line ; and it is so, that nearly all the apparatus made 
in or for England have as yet been so constructed ; 
but the sea horizon does not correspond with a line 
horizontal at the lighthouse, it forms an angle with 
it, and tliat so much the greater as the light is higher 
above the level of the sea. At the North Foreland 
the two make an angle of about 14'. 2, and at Whitby 
of about l6'.5. Hence, if the chief ray of light be 
sent horizontall)', it will pass over the sea and be 
wasted ; and, indeed, more light with it, even the 16'. 5 
seconds, which ought to fall on the sea. This con- 
dition is .seen at the Whitby lighthouses by the 
Commissioners' mode of examination a little modified. 
To correct this error for the lenticular bauds, it 
would be sufficient to raise the lamp an equal number 
of minutes, (about \ of an inch for Whitby); but such a 
proceeding would increase the error for the reflectors 
both above and below, and can only properly be met 
by instructions to the maker of the apparatus at 

The French Authorities only take account of this 
difference between the sea and true horizon when 
the height of the light is 60 meters (about 200 feet) 
and upwards above the sea. For my own part I do 
not see why it should not be taken into account for 
an heip;lit of 50 feet and upwards. Twelve or thirteen 


j'ears ago the Lundy Light had its chief rays sent to 
the sea horizon, and I made an instrument which was 
used by Mr. Wilkins for the proper adjustment of 
tlie reflectors. Since then the reflectors have been 
changed for others on the catadioptric principle, and 
these have their rays directed horizontally as at first, 
and the same rule has held ever since. Mr. Chance 
tells me he is now constructing apparatus with the 
rays directed to the sea horizon. 

Cases may arise where a high light, not being a 
leading light, might better have its chief ray sent, 
not to the extreme sea horizon, but some intermediate 
distance, where in hazy weather the light might 
require to be in some degree concentrated. Such 
cases are nautical in their nature, but if they occur, 
instructions should be given to the maker beforehand, 
since the correction or adjustment cannot properly be 
made afterwards. 

The first application of a new and searching 
method of examination, not applied until after the 
workmen have been fitting and handling the heavy 
parts of the apparatus in the laiithorn of the light- 
house may discover either derangements of the whole, 
or of parts. From the expressions of the makers, 
M. Sautter and Mr. Chance, I understand that these 
can be rectified in apparatus already erected, and 
can be prevented in apparatus to be made hereafter, 
so that the test proposed makes no undue claim on 
the manufacturer. 

The Royal Commission when at Whitby, pointed 
out certain deficiencies in the illumination of the sea ; 
and the waste upon the sky of a portion of the light 
which the lamps sent to the glass apparatus, both 
results being indicated by the mode of day examina- 
tion. The lower reflectors especially appeared 
inoperative, not merely because only a little light 
could in any case fall upon them, but because, if a 
good lamp had been in the centre, the adjustment 
of the reflectors was out. A like condition of matters 
was indicated when at the North Foreland. 

Of the two lights at Whitby within 258 yards of 
each other, the .North Light lamp is much better than 
that at the South Light ; it gives a higher flame and 
burns more oil, and the appearance at sea corresponds 
to this difference. But besides that, there are 
differences in adjustment. An excursion to sea at 
night on the 9th was made, and at a given signal the 
whole of the lenticular band of the North Light was 
covered up, only the reflectors being left, to compare 
with the whole of the South Light as a standard. 
In this state the North Light was nearly equal to the 
South Light in brilliancy, and in certain positions of 
the ship was quite equal to it. The light was thus 
covered up and uncovered asrain, twice, and the 
observations were made at distances of four and seven 
miles. They showed that the upper reflectois at thi-< 
house were well adjusted to cast the light upon thj 
sea. Here, therefore (at Whitby), it appears to me 
it would be best to make any proposed changes, for 
they could be carried out at the South Lighthouse bv 
Mr. Chance, the maker of the apparatus, who was 
present and who understands every point in the matter, 
and the North Light could be left as a standard bv 
which to estimate the improvement gained. 

I am persuaded that the condition and character of 
the lamp has a most important influence over the 
results that have been and are to be acquired. Some 
persons call a flame 3^^ inches high, which I and 
others would consider as only 2^ or 2 inches in the 
ert'ectual part. Some persons count from the top of 
the burner to the top of the tongues of flame, whereas 
the bright luminous part of the flame often begins 4 
of an inch above the burner, and as a body, ceases, 
it may be an inch or even two inches beneath the top 
of the longest smokeless tongues. The difl"erence ic 
the consumption of oil at the difft^rent liirhthoiises 
shows the preat diversit}' existing amongst the flames 
of different lamps; to which, if one common standard 
of adjustment in respect of the optic apparatus be 
applied, it must as often be wrong as right. It appears 
to me that the first thing is to have an excellent and 



constant lamp, and that all lighthouses of the same 
oriler shouhl have a lamp of tlie same qualily ; — that 
the glass chimney employed should have a gradually 
rounded shoulder and not a sharp square one, which 
greatly disturbs the direction of the light ; — that 
■when the best form has been attained it should be 
adhered to ; — and that the glass and iron chimney 
tosetlier should he continuous for 6 feet. Then the 
practicable constant size and condition of the flame 
of such a lamp should be determined, and a general 
gautrc and measure of tlie bright part of it and its 
position in relation to the burner, be supplied to each 
lighthouse (which could easily be done by an outline 
drawing on open wire gauze, or otherwise , that the 
keeper may report whenever the lamp falls short of its 
required duty. Having such a lamp it should be 
ascertained whether the foci for the adjustment of the 
optical apparatus at present adopted are the b 'St for 
it, as the French Authorities believe, or whether they 
could he advantageously altered ; and then apparatus 
constructed in future should be made in conformity 
thereto, and finally tested in their place by the Koyal 
Commission process. 

If Mr. J. Chance were authorized to procure such a 
lamp for the South Whitby Liglithouse (that is, a 
lamp which being excellent could be easily and 
certainlv repeated), and were then to adjust the optic 
apparatus to it, the result could easily be tested by 
a comparison with the unaltered Xorth Light : but 
it would be desirable to be able to ascertain separately, 
as far as may be, the etfect due to the improved 
lamp, and that due to the re-adjustment of the 

With respect to the North Foreland Lighthouse, 
M. Sautter, the manufacturer, met the Royal Com- 
mission and the Trinity Board there, and heard atul 
saw all that passed. I understood him to admit freely 
the principle advocated by the Royal Commissiim, 
but to assert that the apparatus was in perfect ad- 
justment for a ^ro/jcr /««);j. Setting up the gauges 
at the burner, according to the focal places assumed 
and adopted in France, the apparatus, with the ex- 
ception of one or two prisms, certainly was in beautiful 
adjustment to them. For my own iiart, I am of 
oiiiniou that in relation to the generality of lamps 
as 1 have seen them burning, the foci (at least of 
the lenticular part) are taken too high. The chief 
focus at the North Foreland has been placed 28 
millimetres above the burners. As I saw the lamp 
burning on the evening of Weduesday the 8th instant, 
and the keeper said it was in its right and u^ual 
state, the chief plane of light was not above 22 milli- 
metres above the burner ; and if account be taken of 
the dip of the sea horizon, which is here about 14'. 2, 
the burner ought to be raised on that account -t 
millimetres more, making the distance below the focal 
]dane 18 millimeters only instead of 28. If, however, 
the lamp were raised enough for the correction of this 
dilference, it would greatly throw out of adjustment 
both the upper and lower reflectors. 

M. Sautter is of opinion that the apparatus requires 
no adjustment, but is correct tor a proper overflow 
lamp. He has full confidence in the French autho- 
rized foci. He is, however, ready to raise the lam]) 
and to readjust the reflecting pri>ms to any degree 
the Trinity House may require. Though I think that 
the foci may perhaps be altered with advantage, and 
intend making an investigation of their jilaees whiii 
a good standard lamp is employed, if the Trinity 
Board desire it, 1 am not prepared to go hastily in 
opposition to the conclusions carefully drawn from 
theorv, experiment, and long practical application by 
the authorities in France ; and, theretbre, am of 
opinion that if JIM. Sautter and Wilkins place a 
proper lamp in the lighthouse, and leave it and the 
optical apparatus in that state of adjustment which 
the former approves of, and will be responsible for, 
the determination of any iurthcr change there, rany 
rrniain until alter the efiect has been aseerlained of 
the alterations at Whitby, the ehaugeu at the North 

Foreland itself, and the re-examination of the places 
of the foci. 

(Signed) M. F.vkaday. 
Roval Institution, 
i6th August 1860. 

Report ox Focal Foists. 
Royal Institution, Isi September, 1860. 
Ix reference to the examination (proposed at the 
end of my report of the 16th August 1860) of the 
focal points heretofore adopted in France and also 
in this country, I have to state that from consider- 
ations founded upon the size of a good lamp flame, I 
came to the conclusion that the focal point for the 
lenticular or dioptric part was right, or very nearly 
so, but that those- adopted for the upper and lower 
reflectors were much too low. Those for the lower 
reflectors may be represented by a common intersect- 
ing point, 10 mm. above the burner, and 48 mm. from 
the axis on the side towards the reflectors. My first 
judgment was to alter this point, by raising it so that 
it should be 20 mm. al)Ove the burner, and oO mm. 
from the axis. Mr. James Chance invited me to see 
two fine first-class lights for Russia, one of which, 
being a fixed light, he had of his own judgment 
and experience, adjusted to foci difterent to the 
above. I found the effect of this alteration to be 
very excellent, and I found, moreover, that his num- 
bers and mine were so near to each other as to render 
them, in effect, coincident. I consider the result, 
therefore, a full practical confirmation of the numbers, 
and I do not hesitate to recommend this alteration for 
the adoption of the Trinity House. 

With regard to the upper reflectors, my preliminary 
judgment was for a far greater change. The French 
authorities (which we in England have thus far 
followed) is for a common focus for all the upper 
reflectors placed in the axis of the flame, and raised 
38 ram. above the burner. I think the common focus 
ought to be 27 mm. above the burner, and 32 mm. 
from the axis on the side from the reflectors. I have 
endeavoured experimentally, with a good lamp, to 
establish or correct this estimate, and my results gave 
a point 30 mm. above the burner and 32 mm. aside 
from the axis as an excellent place ; but I desire to 
carry out this change upon a whole panel of upper 
reflectors before I recommend it finallv to the Trinitv 

(Signed) M. Faraday. 
To P. H. Berthon, Esq., 

&c. &c. &c. 

Report on Experiments at ^Messrs. Ciiascf.'s 
Works and at Wiiitcy, in relation to focal points. 
I HAVE been to Birmingham, and worked for 
two days with Mr. James Chance upon the determi- 
nation of the best focal points for the upper refleetrng 
prisms. 1 still see reason to expect much improve- 
ment by the change referred to in my Report of the 
1st instant, and now propose to carry out that change 
experimentally at Whitb}'. 

For this purpose I propose (as before) that the 
North \Miitby Light be left untouched for a standard. 
That Mr. J. Chance provide for the South Light a 
good overflow lamp, with a continuous chimney 6 feet 
in length from the bottom of the glass, and adjust it 
so that a ray from the sea horizoti passing through 
the middle of the lenticular zone shall intersect the 
axis of the lamp at a point 2Snmi. above the burner. 
That the lower reflecling prisms of all the four octants, 
save the third, counting from the north, be adjusted 
to the sea horizon, from a focus 20mm. above the 
burner and oO nmi. from the lamp axis towards the 
reflectors. That the upper reflecting prisms (save 
those of octant No. 3) be adjusted to the sea horizon, 
but from diflereut foci ; the north jianel or No. 1, 
to a focus 2()mm. above the burner and 30 mm. from 
the lamp axis, on the side from the reflecting prisms ; 
panel No. 2, to a focus 28 mm. above the burner. 



and 30mni. aside ; the south panel, or No. 4, to a 
focus 28n]ni. above and 'lOinm. aside. The octant 
No. 3, to have both the up|)er and lower rcflectinj:; 
prisms adjusted by the French foci, aud not to the 
sea horizon but to the true horizon. 

I then propose to go to sea at night time, and ex- 
amine the effect of these different adjustments at 
distances up to 18 or 20 miles, moving on some 
such course as that a plan of which is herewith sent 
(marked P, see diagrams, next page), that the eft'ect 
of each adjustment may bo observed and compared 
with the North Light ; and I propose that at the ex- 
treme distance the lenticular baud shall be screened 
off so that in returning the oiJect of the reflecting 
prisms o«/// shall be seen and compared, the northern 
light still remaining unchanged. 

This sea trip will probably decide ihe best arrange- 
ments, but if cause appears for trial of any other foci, 
or any other arrangement, such arrangements can be 
made in a day or two, and a second night examination 
at sea be made. 

The expense incurred by the experiments at Bir- 
mingham, by those now recommended at Whitby, and 
for apparatus I have had occasion to order, will pro- 
bably not exceed 300 pounds. 

I have, &c. 
(Signed) M. Faraday. 

Royal Institution, 
14th "September 1860. 

REroRT on Experiments at Whitut in relation to 
the FocAi. Points of Lighthouse ArrARATUs. 

The experiments referred to in the report of the 
14th of September have now, by the authority of the 
Trinity House, been carried out, not only in London 
and Birmingham, but also at Whitby, and the Deputy 
Master, with certain of the Brethren, have there 
entered into an examination of the results. 

The South Light at Whitby was inferioi-, on the 
occasion of the former visit, to the North Light, 
though both lamps were of the same construction. 
That in the North house was left unchanged, to serve 
as a standard. That in the South house was changed 
for one with four wicks, and a plentiful overflow, and 
the light it now gives is not merely considerably more 
than before, but more than that of the North Light. 
It has burnt well from the first. The average pro- 
portion of oil consumed in a fortnight is 1.5 pints for 
the South Light, and 13 pints for the North Light 
per 12 hours. These quantities accord with the pro- 
portion of light which they really give. 

In reference to the focal changes and adjustments 
for the experiments, the following arrangements were 
made. There were four equal octants or eights of 
glass apparatus in the Whitby South Lighthouse, 
■vtith a central lamp to the whole. Each had its 
three parts ; the lenticular band, the upper, and the 
lower reflectors. The lenticular part is the most 
powerful, the upper reflectors come next, and the 
lower reflectors are last. The adjustment is made, 
first, by the elevation of the lamp for the lenticular 
band, and after that by the position of the prisms for 
the reflector part. The lenticular part is (in the 
Whitby case) adjusted for all the octants at once. 
The French focus for this part has been adopted, 
namclv, 28 mm. above the burner, but the French 
authorities send the chief ray on a horizontal level for 
a light of such a height as Whitby, whereas I have 
sent it down to the sea horizon. No. 3 octant was 
selected to represent the French adjustment, but it 
was impossible, whilst regulating the lenses of the 
other octants, to separate this from them, so that it 
had an advantage in the comparison as respects this 
lens part : — as to the reflectors, however, the focus 
(or common focus) for the upper set is 38 mm. above 
the burner in the axis of the flame, and 9 mm. up and 
50 aside for the lower set. These were adjusted 


accurately in the lighthouse to the fnie horizon or 
dead level. 

The other octants had each a pair of common foci 
for the reflectors, as follows : — 

No. 1 (d) 20 mm. up and 30 aside upper reflectors 
and (i) 20 up and .50 aside lower reflectors. {See 
wood cut, page 94. ) 

No. 2 (e) 28 mm. up and 30 aside upper reflectors 
and (i) 20 up and .50 aside lower reflectors. 

No. 3 (g) 38 mm. up and aside ujiper reflectors 
and (k) 9 up and 50 aside lower reflectors (French). 
No. 4 (h) 23 mm. up and 40 aside upper reflectors 
and (k) 9 uj) and 50 aside lower reflectors. 

The octants 1, 2, and 4 had their adjustments made 
to the sea horizon. 

The intention of all these arrangements was to 
discover and establish (what was expected on prin- 
ciple) that much light, hitherto thrown up into the 
sky, might bo disposed of on the sea between the 
distance and in shore, without any diminution of the 
light on the sea horizon ; and that if particukr regions 
in certain directions short of the horizon required an 
especial amount of light, what special or common foci 
were proper for such a purpose. 

The night sea voyage was so arranged that bj- turning 
the apparatus the various octants (with ail the light on) 
could be observed at different distances as the ship went 
out, the effect of the change from the one to the other 
being remarked, and at the same time a continual 
comparison with the unchanging North Light being 
made. On returning towards laud the lens part of 
all the octants was blinded, so that a like comparison 
of the reflectors without the fojjses could be made over 
the same series of distances. 

When in shore, i.e., about a mile or a mile and a 
half ofl', the octants 1, 2, and 4 surpassed the French 
octant, as was expected ; the same effect continued 
when further out, but diminished in proportion. At 
10, 12, and 14 miles out the difference between the 
octants diminished, but the French octant never sur- 
passed No. 2 or No. 1, and v.'as, as some thought, 
rather beneath them. The constant North Light was 
most important in helping to settle these differences. 
When the lenticular bauds were screened off", the 
reflector bands alone gave bright light, but there 
were differences of the same kind as those already 
described, though greater in proportion. 

Every one present made their observations for 
themselves, but, I believe, with a like result. I had 
expected No. 2 to be a best if not the best arrange- 
ment, and I am happy to believe the Deputy Master 
and Brethren came to that conclusion, .since they 
directed that it should be the type and pattern of 
adjustment for all the octants of both the Whitby 

Like observations to those just described had been 
made on shore, and with the like result, but we had 
not then the same advantage of observing at very 
long distances, nor that of comparing with the stan- 
dard North light. 

On the Monday we wrought at the Lighthouse for 
the purpose of verifying or correcting the focus for 
the lower reflectors. Mr. James Chance, in making 
the adjustments, found that numbers varying some- 
what from tliose I had given, and even more fiom the 
French numbers, caused the rays to be more parallel ; 
and, as they were to supply the sea horizon, such 
parallelism would be an advantage. The numbers 
were (i.) 25 mm. up, and -10 aside. (These numbers 
w-ere used on the night of the sea observations.) By 
trial I became satisfied of the reality of the advantage, 
and recommend these numbers to be adopted for the 
lower reflectors. 

All the time we were at Whitby (eight or nine 
days) Jlr. Chance and myself were occupied in learn- 
ing, practising new methods of adjustment and cor- 
rection, and using new instruments ; and I cannot say 
too much in thanking Mr. Chance for the earnest 
and intelligent manner in which he has wrought with 
me in the experiments, working and thinking every 




point out. The method of adjustment is now so 
perfect that the authorities can hardly require more 
accuracy than the manufacturer can ensure. The 
Trinity" House may direct at its pleasure that the 
light of one part "of an apparatus .shall be thrown 
chietlv in one direction, as the sea horizon, and that 
of another part in another relative direction, as nearer 
to the coast, and I have no doubt tliat if the electric 
li<rht or any other of the compressed intense illumi- 
nations bo hereafter adopted, ihe principles and 
methods of adjustment now devised and carried into 
practice will prove of very great and special ad- 

Eoyal Institution, (Signed) M. Faradat. 

19th October 1860. 

Position of the experimental common foci for 
the Upper and Lower Refiecto:'S supposed to be 
situated on the left-liand side of the ilame repre- 
sented in tlie figure. 

The words " common focus " are intended tc 
exin-ess that point from which the rays which lie in 
a plane passing through it and the axis of the flame and 
apparatus, and also through the middle of tlie pieces 
of glass associated in one panel (as of the upper or 
lower reflectors) shall be made by adjustment to pro- 
ceed to any given spot, as for instance a point on the 
sea horizon. 

(b) The burner, from which the 

heights of the foci are set off. 

(c) The cotton. 

(f) The bright part of the flame. 

(a. a) The axis of the flame from which 
tlie side distances are mea- 

(r>) 20 millimetres \\\\ 30 mills, aside. 

(e) 28 „ 30 

(g) 3S ,. „ 
(ri) 2S „ 40 

(i) 20 „ ->0 

(k) 9 ,, 50 

(l) 2.5 „ 40 „ 

Report on the South LiGHTnorsE at "WHiinr. 

Roval Institution. 
20th" November 1860. 
The adjustment of this Lighthouse has been 
completed by Mr. James Chance according to the in- 
structions received i'roni the Trinity House: — the len- 
ticular part from a common focus 27 or 28 mm. above 
the l)urnrr, the ujijier reflectors from a common focus 
28 mm. up and 30 aside, and the lower reflectors 
from a common focus 25mm. up and 40 aside; the 
mean ray being sent to the sea horizon. The only 
exception is in the north lenticular panel, the .sea 
horizon focus of which is 2.) mm. above the burner. 
The present condition of the experimental inves- 
tigation of the lenticular part of the apparatus makes 
menat sorry for this circumstance. 

The character of the lamp and its flame is most 
essential. The latter ought to be well watched and 
cared for. I find it very difiieult to devise a sure 
check on tlie attendance. A pint and a half (or 
somewhat more) of oil ought to be burnt every hour 
in a first order himp with a brilliant flame ; but it is 
diliicult to found an eftcctual check, either upon the 
i|Mantit)' of oil which disappears, or upon the time 
of the keeper'.-! visits to the lamps. 

I have not seen the lighthouse since the adjust- 
n-ents were made, but tluy were made by Mr. James 
Chance himself, and I have the fullest trust in him. 
I enclose his report. 

Kverything thus far cnpifirms me in the opinion 
that what the Trinity House has done in this case 
has been done well ; that every future case can be 
considered in relation to the adjustments necessary 
for it from the very beginning, and that that adjust- 
ment can be carried out with certainty. 

(Signed) !M. Faiuday, 

Report of Alterations made in the Dioptric 
Apparatus at the South Ligiituouse at Whitby. 

Glass VTorks, near Birmingham, 
17th iS'ovember ISfiO. 

1. Ileifihl of the lump in relation to the refractors. 

The lenticular panels have not a common focal 
plane ; and as I bad no authority to readjust the 
lenses, the lamp has been so placed that 28 mm. is 
the maximum distance of the burner below the sea 
horizon focus of any retracting panel. 

The 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th panels, counting from 
the north, have their respective sea horizon foci from 
27 mm. to 28 mm. above the burner, whereas the 
1st panel has its sea horizon focus onlv 2.5 mm. 
above the burner. 

I doubt not that this last panel is better placed for 
sending the brightest light to the sea horizon than 
the other three (thougli not intentionally). 

[^To face juirjc 94.] 

KeI'Lkctor Foor. 

Upper Reflectors : — 

1 . 20 up 30 aside, new. 

2. 28 up 30 aside. 

3. 38 up aside, French. 

4. 28 up 40 aside. 

Lower : — 

5. 11 up 48 aside, French. 

6. 20 up 49 aside, new. 

Beport of Experiments at Whitby, \9th October 1860. 



The due position of the burner, both vertically and 
horizontally, is defined by the intersection of two 
wires or strings to be passed and stretched 
diametrically through two pairs of holes fixed per- 
manently for that purpose on the uprights of the 

2. Upper Reflectors. — The sea horizon focal lino 
of each prism has been made to pass through a point 
28 mm. above the burner, and 30 mm. behind the 
axis cf the system. 

3. Lower Reflectors. — The sea horizon focal line 
of each prism has been made to pass through a point 
25 mm. above the burner, and 40 mm. before the 

4. Lamps. — The south lighthouse is at present 
provided by me teiiiporurHi/ with two good mechan- 
ical four wick lamps, and the requisite supplj^ of 
surplus burners, 8jc. &c. I purpose, however, sending 
ultimately two pressure four-wick lamps, as I prefer 
the greater simplicity of construction of this kind of 

(Signed) Jajies T. Chance. 


The metaUlc reflectors at the South Whitby light 
are not being used at prese7it m consequence of the 
injury which the reflected heat of the flame, now so 
much increased, causes to the burner. This is a 
matter for future investigation. 

(Signed) J, T. C. 
To Professor Faraday, 
&c. &c. 

Eeport of Experiments at Birmingham on the 
Focal Points of the Lenticular Panel of a 
Fixed First Order Lighthouse Apparatus. 

Eoyal Institution, 
3d December 1860. 

I have been engaged at Birmingham for three da3's 
(26tb, 27th, 28th November) with Mr. James Chance, 
in ascertaining for each particular rib of such a panel 
as that referred to above, the best point or points in 
relation to the burner from which the rays should 
issue, that the maximum illumination might be at the 
horizon ; and also testing by practice the method pro- 
posed by Mr. J. Chance of adjusting the ribs to each 
other and to the lamp, so that they should coincide in 
their action. 

A fixed light lenticular panel consists of a chief 
broad middle band, and of other bands or ribs above 
and below it, forming two groups, generally nine in 
each. These, when associated in the panel frame, 
have, according to the accepted rule, their common 
focus at 28 mm. above the burner of the lamp. 

The relation of the flame and burner to the upper 
and lower parts of the lenticular panel is the same in 
kind, though not in degree as their relation to the 
upper and lower reflectors. Thus, the opaque burner, 
which hides much of the flame from the lower reflec- 
tors, also hides flame from the lower part of the len- 
ticular panel, though not in the same degree ; but as 
the lenticular panel is a very chief part of the appa- 
ratus, any desirable correction which can be made 
amongst its parts, if possible, becomes of importance. 

Using a flame such as that represented in the 
report of the I9th October l^'GO, in conjunction with 
a panel of the kind described, and casting the light 
passing through each rib separately in a perfectly 
horizontal direction, we found that the best focal point 
for the middle or chief rib was 20 mm. above the burner 
at the axis ; that the upper ribs, though varying one 
from another, might have the same points of 20 mm. 
taken for their average or common focus ; and that 
the lower ribs required much higher focal points in 
the axis, varying from about 18 to 30 mm. above the 
burner, all of v.hich might be referred to a common 
focus, 11 mm. up and o6 mm. aside towards the 


Supposing that these numbers (or any other) were 
determined upon, then the possibility of adjusting the 
parts of the panel to each other came to be con- 
sidered ; without which possibility it would not, he 
right for the authorities to require that a fini?hed 
panel should be subject to examination by the foci- 
meter, in relation to such given points. The ribs of 
a lenticular panel cannot be adjusted to each other by 
any rotation of them on a horizontal axis, as is the 
case with the ribs of a reflector panel, but only by 
elevation or depression in respect of each other ; and 
now Mr. Chance proceeded to show me, how, by 
ascertaining the best focal point for each rib and 
their relation to the focal point of the great central 
rill, he ascertained how much they were in error ; 
and then what proportion of glass would require to 
be removed from the broad bearing surface of this or 
that rib to bring the whole into nearest approximation 
to the desired position. This he carried into effect 
with the panel which we had had under examination, 
and which had been constructed in the ordinary way, 
and without any particular view to such a correction ; 
and the consequence was that a panel was produced, 
which, when set up with the focimeter upon the 
burner at the numbers given above, and a small flame 
upon the distant (107 feet) dead level for each rib, 
gave a perfect practical result. The space between 
the green and red light was the part of the flame 
observed, and the error for any rib was not more than 
1 mm. except in two cases out of nineteen, in which 
it did not exceed 2 mm. AVhen the great lamp was 
lighted the effect was in accordance with the expected 
result. The coincidence of all the rays in one common 
maximum could only be observed at a great distance, 
i.e., at the dead level horizon ; but each rib could be 
examined for itself c^ud for the dead level of that 

It must be thoroughly understood that the focal 
numbers have relarion to the flame of the great lamp. 
As before stated, the higher and more powerful the 
flame, the greater height should the focal distances 
be above the burner, but even with a very high 
flame we do not find that the focal point of the middle 
belt and upper ribs can be raised higher than 23 or 
24 mm. above the burner, without sending the 
brightest light to the sky. The character and size of 
the flame differ very much at times, and even with 
the same flame persons differ very much in their 
estimate of its magnitude, and the place of its 
brightest part. We have taken a flame corresponding, 
as far as I can judge, with that figured in the report 
of the 19th October 1860. It is easy to obtain a 
higher flame by close attention and for a short time; 
but I do not think that a higher one is often sustained 
in lighthouses. 

In respect of the " Smalls " light, therefore, I 
recommend a focal jjoint for the central and upper 
ribs of the lenticular panel of 20 (or 21) mm. above 
the burner; and for the lower ribs a point 11 mm. 
up and 36 mm. aside in relation to the dead level, 
and a further correction of 3 mm. for the dip to the 
.sea horizon. 

The final examination of an optic apparatus for 
lighthouses can only be carried on, with the degree 
of accuracy which I have described, at the manufac- 
tory, or at a place arranged with all appliances for 
the purpose, or at the lighthouse (when in pUce) 
when there is a gooa clear sea horizon. In the ca;e 
of the ■' Smalls " no difficulty will occur since the 
apparatus is already in the hands of Messrs. Chance. 

Perhaps it may be agreeable to the Trinity House 
to be informed that the changes proposed now and 
formerly are all in accordance with observations made 
by the A.stronomer Royal at Messrs. Chance's in the 
beginning of the year, and which he communicated to 
me personally in April last. 

(Signed) M. Fakaday. 

3d December 1860. 



Korth Foreland Light, 
Tu r. II. Ecrthou, E^q. 27tli August 18(j0. 

I bog with great respect to make the following 
report njion the four-wick burner and pressure lamp 
now in use at this station : — ■ 

To the inquiries of committees at various visits as 
to the height at which the flame could be maintained, 
the lightkeepers have not been able to return a satis- 
factory answer, the flame never having reached the 
desired height, although still closely attended to. 
Still there were times at which the light burnt much 
better than others, and without perceptible cause. 
This led to a consideration of the draught throiigit t/ie 

Whereupon the cylinder was lowered a little more, 
and a small ])iece of piping placed so as to connect 
the pipe of the throttle valve with that immediately 
above, thereby imperfectly forming one continuous 
piece six feet four inches high, through which the 
draught ascends from the burner. 

Tlie efli-'ct of this was soon evident, the flame, 
under the control of the condenser or throttle valve, 
was continued at un average height of at least 3i 
inches, probably nearer 4 inches, with no tendency to 
smoke, consuming 3 pints more oil than on the 
previous night, and although necessarily requiring 
close attention, not that very anxious attention which 
it has heretofore. This was iirst tried on the night 
of the 22d, and continued up to the present time 
with the same result, although the trial is an imper- 
fect one. 

I have, &c. 
(Signed) Jas. Ciiai'MAX. 

Extract of Letter from Messrs. Cua.xce, dated 
6th December 1860. 

'• "We bi-g lo acknowledge your letter of the .jth 
instant with its enclosure, and to assure you that wo 
.shall at once proceed with the adjustment and con- 
struction of the apparatus for the Smalls Light, in 
conformity with Professor Faraday's recomuiendation 
and with your desire." 


lioyal Institution, 
gjij^ 30th January, 1861. 

I wext on Monday last to the manulactory of 
Messrs. Chance at Birmingham, to examine the 
optical apparatus for the Smalls Light. You arc 
aware that in consequence of certain careful and \n-o- 
longed experimental inquiries, adjustments altogether 
new, both as to their amount aud their nature, have 

been determined upon, and put into practice for the 
first time in this apparatus. 

The manufacturer was instructed to adjust the 
various glass pieces by the following foci, the dis- 
tances given being the foci distances above the burner 
and aside from its axis : — 


L'ppcr reflector bands - 28 up and L'O aside. 

Lower „ „ - 25 up and 40 aside. 

Lenticular refracting panel — 

Central zone and the upper 

ribs - - - 21 up and aside. 

The lower ribs - - 11 up and 36 aside, 

all these adjustments being to the sen horizoti. 

The apparatus has been put together by Mr. James 
Chance with these adjustments, and being in a proper 
place, I had the fociiueter set upon the burner and a 
true sea horizon mark placed in the distance. 

The whole was so true that the ray proceeding to 
the eye through the middle of each piece of class 
])assed by the i'ocimeter at the point desired. The 
greatest departure was but 2 m.m., and very few of 
these occurred. Further, the manner in which, as 
the apparatus revolved or the eye was moved about, 
the object at the horizon passed laterally from one 
panel to another, or vertically from one rib to another, 
showed the perfection of the adjustment of each 
individual piece by the harmony and consistencj- of 
the whole, though there were above 300 pieces of 
glass associated together. 

At night the lamp v/as lighted and observed from 
the distance ; the results accorded perfectly' with the 
anticipations. As the head was raised or lowered each 
piece of glass showed its maximum effect at the right 
place, its light coming in or going out as it should do in 
relation to the distant horizon ; and I think that, as 
i'ar as regards the system of adjustment, the power of 
carrying it into effect, and finally of examining its 
correct application, everything is proved to be prac- 
ticable, and has here been realised. The essential 
points now are to supply a good lamp, and to provide 
that it be kept in good order. 

In relation to colour and striie tlie glass was very 

Captain Bayly and Captain Xisbetwcre present at 
the examination. 

It is to be remembered that the adjustments made 
arc all in reference to the large flame of a lamp having 
four cottons, the utmost advantage having been taken 
of such portions of the flame as were visible in dif- 
ferent directions. These adjustments would not be 
the most perfect for a concentrated light, such as the 
magneto-electric discharge. 

I am, &c. 
(Signed) M. Faraday. 

P. II. Berthon, &c., &c., 
Trinity House. 




Glass Works, near Birmingham, 
Siii, 26th Jaiiu.-iry, 1861. 

I RKCEiVED a letter from you last November, 
in which you intimated that I might make additions 
to the answers, which I had already sent, to certain 
questions issued by the Commission for Lights, &c. 

I have been too much engaged to avail myself 
sooner of this opportunity, but 1 now enclose some 
observations concerning the subject to which those 
questions refer, and also a table, with the general 
theorem for its calcul.ation, in relation to question 
No. 3. 

This table, as you are aware, has been prepared in 
accordance with the suggestions of Captain Ryder, 
one of the Commissioners. 

T am, &c. 
J. F. Campbell, Esq., James T. Chance. 

Secretary to the Royal 

Commission for Lights, &c. 

In April last I replied to some printed questions 
issued by the Royal Commission for Lights, Buoys, 
and Beacons, in reference to the desirability of certain 
data being connnunicated to the manufacturer of 
dioptric illuminating apparatus for Lighthouses, upon 
his receiving an order. 

The attention, which subsequent opportunities have 
enabled me to give to the subject of that kind of ap- 
paratus, has convinced me of the great practical im- 
portance of the suggestions implied in those questions. 

At that time I assumed that the respective foci of 
the dioptric and catadioptric portions, corresponding 
to raj's emerging in the * level direction, had been 
placed in the best positions in relation to the flame, 
and to the wick-holder (or " burner ") of the lamp ; 
and that the only question which depended upon the 
elevation of the apparatus was, whether or not those 
foci should by adjustment be made to become in all 
or some cases the sea-horizon foci. 

The sanction of long usage, combined with the 
highest scientific authority in the first instance, 
justified me in making that assumption. 

No one, however, could inspect an apparatus 
adjusted according to the received focal arrangements, 
in relation to the lamp, without being struck with the 
large proportion of light which was thrown above the 
level direction, and still more so above the sea-horizon 
direction, not only by the two catadioptric portions of 
the light, but even by the dioptric one. But, in expla- 
nation of this apparent waste of illumination, it wa,s 
urged that the customary focal adjustments, although 
they might cause the diversion of so much light 
upwards, were the best ones for transmitting the 
beams from the most effective sections of the flame 
in the direction of the sea horizon ; and it was 
not even necessary to make an allowance for the dip 
of the horizon. 

In the spring of last year the Chairman of the 
Royal Commission put me into communioa*.ion with 
the Astronomer Royal, who on two oceasioMS at that 
time visited these works in reference to the cfusstions 
"aised by the Commissioners concerning dioptric sea- 
■ lights. On one of these visits Professor Airy exa- 
mined the directions of the most effective beams of 
light proceeding from the diflerent parts respectively 
of a first order fixed apparatus, whose focal adjust- 
ments in relation to the lamp were for the most part 
in accordance with the recognized system ; and for 
that purpose he employed a series of posts placed at 

* Tlie -word " Icuel" is used to signify the horizontal direc- 
tion ; that is, the directionwhich is at right angles to thevertical 
axis of the apparatus. 


various distances from the apparatus, and having the 
level direction indicated upon them. 

The observations of Professor Airy on ihat occa- 
sion, combined with subsequent experiments, which I 
was thereby induced to make, rendered me sceptical 
as to the existing system of adjustments for the 
larger kind of dioptric lights ; and, shortly after- 
wards, in the construction of some first order appa- 
ratus for the Russian Government, besides allow- 
ing for the dip of the horizon, I departed consider- 
ably from the accustomed rules, so far as it con- 
cerned the positions of the sea-horizon foci of the 
upper and lower series of the totally reflecting 
zones. The chief change was made in the adjust- 
ment of the lower reflectors, by raising from lOmm. 
to 12mm. higher above the burner, than what had 
been previously done, the place of intersection of the 
axes of the pencils of light transmitted by the succes- 
sive zones respectively to the sea-horizon. This 
change, while it seemed to benefit decidedly the dis- 
tant sea, transferred from the sky to the sea an im- 
portant angle of vertical divergence of very effective 
illumination. Since that time. Professor Faraday, 
on behalf of the Trinity Board, arranged a most 
complete set of experiments at Whitby, which, as the 
Commissioners are aware, impressed upon the minds 
of those who witnessed them a conviction that the 
old system of adjusting the upper reflectors, no less 
than the lower ones, admitted of considerable modi- 

Professor Faraday and myself have subsequently 
been making some experiments upon the adjustment 
of the refracting portions of the fixed dioptric appa- 
ratus; and, although it would scarcely be suitable for 
me to enter here upon the details of those experi- 
ments, I may safely assert that they have unquestion- 
ably raised doubts concerning the received focal 
adjustments of the refractors in relation to the 
burner. Those experiments, indeed, quite confirm 
the observations made by the Astronomer Royal when 
he inspected last spring at these works, on the occa- 
sion already referred to, a first order fixed apparatus. 

The primary problem, then, is, to determine the 
best positions in the flame of the sea horizon foci of 
the refracting portion, and of the two reflecting por- 
tions, respectively, of the apparatus ; and whether these 
positions are to be constant for all elevations of the 
lantern, and for all the peculiarities of different 
localities ; or whether in any one of the three por- 
tions above named the adjustment of the sea horizon 
foci in relation to the lamp should be adapted specially 
to the elevation of the light and to the peculiar 
requirements of the place which has to be lighted. 

I use the term sea horizon foci, because I take for 
granted that every portion of the apparatus should, 
in all cases, be adjusted in reference to the sea 
horizon direction and not the level direction. For 
the refractors and the lower reflectors it is quite 
essential, as I am about to show, to make the adjust- 
ments with reference to the sea horizon ; and inasmuch 
as there is no practical difficulty whatever in causing 
rays of light from any given points in the flame to 
emerge from the apparatus in the direction of the sea 
horizon quite as accuratelj' as in any other direction ; 
therefore, apart from any real advantages to be gained 
by thus taking the dip of the horizon into account, 
the omission of that correction implies an inexpedient 
disregard of accuracy of adjustment generally. It 
should also be borne in mind that any error in arriving 
at the level direction is as likely to send the light 
still more above the sea horizon direction as to bring 
it downwards. 

The first questions which the manufacturer would 
wish to have answered, before proceeding with any 
adjustments, would be, what are the special require- 



jnents of the particular locality ? Is it desired to 
Bend the most effective beams of light to the furthest 
•listance, although the mariner might thereby be 
deprived of the advantage of light as he approached 
shore ? Or is it necessary to illuminate the sea up 
to a moderate distance from the Lighthouse, notwith- 
standino- that this provision might slightly diminish 
the intensity of illumination at and beyond the 
horizon ? Or, in the case of a fixed light, is its 
intended site to be such, that, within certain points of 
the compass, the furthest range of visibility must lie 
chiefly provided for ; while within other angles of 
the horizontal arc to be lighted the part of the sea 
near to shore should have its share of illumination ? 
Let us then consider whether any portion of a 

vertical divergence equal to the dip of the horizon, 
illumiuates nearly three-fourths of that distance 
(accurately 0.732). To show, on the other hand, 
how little is gained by increased vertical divergence 
at the sacrifice of brilliancy at the horizon, it may 
be added that an angle of vertical divergence, also 
equal to the dip of the horizon, illuminates only a 
small fraction of a mile as we approach within one 
or two miles or so from the tower. 

III. Upper Reflectors. — It is in this portion of a 
dioptric apparatus, and generally in this only, that it 
is feasible to provide for the illuminatiou of the sea 
towards land, by a corresponding adjustment of the 
sea-horizon foci, without any serious diminution of 
the light received by the distant sea. This circum- 

dioptric and catudioptric apparatus could h.ave its stance arises from the relative positions of the fl.amo 
adjustments accommodated to the particular circum- and of the reflecting zones, by which there is a con- 
stances of its intended destination. For this purpose 
it will be convenient to refer separately to each of the 
three component parts of a complete light, namely, 
the lower reflectors, the middle belt of refractors, and 
the upper reflectors. 

I. Lower Reflectors. The position of these zones 

relation to the burner, which intercepts from them 

siderable range due to the breadth of the flame, for 
illuminating the sea-horizon effectively, and yet fur 
])roviding a large angle of vertical divergence below 
the sea-horiion direction. 

Undoubtedly there are certain oblique sections of 
the flame which would produce, through the respec- 
tive reflecting zones, the maximum intensity of illii- 

a laro-e iwrtion of the flame, confines their vertical minatiou in the direction of the horizon ; and ii 
divergence within so narrow a range, that if they cases where the distant sea alone has to be provided 
were lidjusted with reference to the illumination of for, the sea-horizon foci of the upper reflectors should 

the sea near to shore, the sea-horizon would, in all 
cases except those of a low elevation, receive either 
no light at all, or only a very faint one. The best 
use, therefore, which can be made of the lower re- 
flectors is, to transmit to the sea-horizon the light 
from the most brilliant iiarts of the flame, which cor- 
respond with the respective zones. These parts lie 
within narrow limits, which evidently change their 
position according to the height of the flame. The 

be placed in those sections resjiectively. 

Generally, however, a slight diminution of light 
at the horizon will be admissible for the sake of illu- 
minating the parts of the sea near to the tower, and 
in such cases the positions of the sea-horizon foci in 
relation to the burner must depend in some degree 
on the intended elevation of the apparatus above the 
sea. Sujipose, for example, that light were required 
up to one nautical mile in each of the two instances 

only practical way is, to choose such a height of of elevations of 1.50 feet and 250 feet respectively. 

flame as is likely to be actually maintained, and then The requisite angle of vertical divergence from the 

sea-horizon direction downwards would in the former 
case be 1° 13' 15'', whereas in the latter one it would 
be 2° ti' 15", that is, 53' larger. 

There is of course a limit to this angle of vertical 
divergence, and accordingly, for high elevations we 

to place the sea-horizon foci at the greatest distances 
above the burner which are compatible with the 
most effective illuminatiou of the sea-horizon by each 
of the reflectors respectively. 

The choice of these foci may vary slightly with 
the differences of optical judgment of difterent per- must be content with the light not approachii 
sons • but whatever positions of the foci may be near to the tower, the distance from the tower 
determined upon, it is evident that all adjustments 
just be made to the sea- 

of these lower reflectors m 
horizon direction. 

II. The Refractors. — The main point, especially 
in .the case of a fixed light is, to determine the 
briLrhtest sections of the flame corresponding with 
the^'middle belt, and all the other refracting bands 
above and below respectively ; and then so to adjust 
these various refracting parts in relation to the 
burner that their respective sea-horizon foci shall be 
placed in the corresponding brightest sections of the 
flame. These focal positions can only be obtained 
by experiment, and they will vary with the height 
of the flame and the optical judgment of the ob- 
server ; but the limits of variation are confined within 
the height of only a few millimetres. One thing, 
however, is quite certain, that the sea-horizon foci 

which the sea can be illuminated being nearly pro- 
portional to the height of the tower for a given size 
of apparatus. 

I append a table which may be useful in deter- 
mining the best positions of the sea-horizon foci of 
the upper reflectors for any particular situation and 

This table was framed according to the suggestions 
of Captain Alfred Eyder, R.X., one of the Koval 
Commissioners, and is extremely convenient for ex- 
hibiting, in addition to the other information which 
it aflbrds, the heights in the axis of the flame which 
subtend at the middle of the refractors certain angles 
of vertical divergence. 

I have added the general exiu'essions which connect 
the angle of visible dip of any point on the sea for a 
given height of tower with the distance of that point 

must not be placed below the corresponding brightest from the Lighthouse, in order that the accompanying 

parts of the flame, for the sake of increasing the tal)le may be extended as it may he required, 
vertical divergence below the sea-horizon direction, In regard to the ada))tatJon of the upper reflectors 

for that increment would be very small, whereas the in any degree to the illumination of the sea to 

loss of liirht at the horizon would be considerable. the tower, it may be argued that such a height of the 

The importance of accuracy of adjustment to the flame ought always to bo maintained as will effect 

sea-horizon, both of the refractors and of the lower that purpose through the medium of the refractors. 

reflectors, is enhanced by the consideration that the 
same parts of the flame, within a narrow range (not 
exceeding one quarter of an inch even for a high 
elevation! such as that of 500 feet), which illuminate 
the sea-horizon, also illuminate about three-fuitrlhs 
of the whole distance from tlie sea-horizon to the 
base of the tower. 

In i-eferencc to this inqxirtant consideration, it 
mav be useful to rennuk that an angle of verticid 
di\'ergence equal to-oni- fourth of the dip of the 
liiirizon illuminates (Mie-hall' of the whole distance 
from the horizon to the tower ; and that an angle of wl 

With that reasoning I entirely concur, but still the 
flame will be sometimes allowed to become somewhat 
low, and the mariner, on approaching land, might 
consequently be deprived of the customary beacon. 
Kow the great advantage aftbrded by the upper 
reflectors is that the parts of the sea near to land are 
illuminated by them, even when the jiame is low, so 
that they serve to compensate for the non-eft'ectiveness 
of the refractors when the flame is low, as well as to 
increase their eftectiveness when the flame is high. 

It nun' l>c said that the accuracy of adjustment 
wliich is imjilied in the foresoinK remarks is not 



generally practicable. There is, however, a plan of 
proceeding which removes all difficulties. Before a 
single piece of glass is adjusted in its place, the whole 
of the metallic framework should be fitted together 
just as it will be at its final destination, and the glass 
must be adjusted while the framework is in that 
state of vltimate completeness. Every part of the 
ajjparatus may then be adjusted to the sea-horizon 
direction just as accurately as if the glass were being 
placed in the frames at the Lighthouse itself, with a 
well defined sea-horizon for the object, which, how- 
ever, is not in this climate of frequent occurrence. 

I doubt, indeed, very much, whether such accuracy 
of adjustment would have been practicable in the 
ordinary course of manufacture, hart it not been for 
the employment of that internal method of inspecting 
the direction of light proceeding from an external 
object, which was pursued by the Commissioners and 
by the Astronomer Royal in the examination of various 
Lighthouses during last year, and which I have found 
to lie almost indispensable in determining the most 
advantageous positions of the sea-horizon foci of the 
refractors and reflectors. 

A first wder fixed apparatus, which has just been 
completed at these works (or the Trinity House, being 
intended for the Smalls Lighthouse, was in course of 
construction last summer, but, by the direction of the 
Elder Brethren, the final adjustments of this appa- 
ratus were expressly delayed until December last, for 
the purpose of adopting all the latest modifications 
which might seem desirable, in consequence of the 
various experiments made both here and at Whitby 
by Professor Faraday, to which I have alluded. This 
apparatus, accordingly, includes the innovations of 
adjuslment to which I have referred in the foregoing 

While, therefore, I have now been making addi- 
tional remarks in reply to the first three cjuestions of 
the Commissioners, my former answer to the fourth 
question is not ajiplicable to present circumstances. 

James T. Chance. 

To find the equation between the distance from the 
Tower of any point on the sea and the angle of its 
visible dip : 

Let C be the light on the tower C E ; 

E P Q the sea ; 

C T the direction of a ray of light without refraction ; 

C m P its actual path ; 

C N and PM are horizontal ; 

N P and C M are vertical ; 

N C T is the visible dip at C of the point P ; 

Join C P ; 

Let r = radius of curvature of the sea at E ; 

N C T = ^ C E =: A C N = .r N P = ^; 

y = .r tan S + T P ; 

and as T C P is very small, 

_ • 08. X- 

cos- S r cos-' S 

T P = T C P- 

because TCP may be taken ■=. 


.-. TP = (-08 -f- -08 tau-S)— =_ .qs —approximately 

for such values of 8 as occur in practical questions ; 

hence y = x tan S -|- -08 ^ 

also ^=CE-fEM = A + 


therefore x- — "^ x tan S + " '" — o 
0-84 0-84 

— r tan 5 


:- h 0-,s4 

0-84 V 1 V r • tan- 8/ 

(the positive sign is not required). 

At the sea-horizon, where bothvalues of a; are equal, 
J _ 2A 0-84 _ Q 
r • tan - 8 
Let A = visible dip of the sea-horizon 

D = distance of the sea-horizon from the tcwer 

Then tan A 

= y 



and D = 

a / z r h 

V 0-84 



sin 6 

-— ^ tan 6 • sin— - for finding x from 3 

and tan I = - 
If 8 be small 

'h + 


for finding 8 from x. 

0-84 r '^ r-J 

5 A 
Let 8 = — j-, then a; = i^, that i.s, one half of the 

whole distance from the sea-horizon to the tower is 
illuminated by an angle of vertical divergence equal 
to |th of the visible dip of the horizon. 

Again, let J = 2 A, then a- = 2 dA — /| \ 

.*. D — a,- = • 7320o X D, that is, nearly three- 
fourths of the whole distance from the sea-horizon to 
the tower is illuminated by an angle of vertical diver- 
gence equal to the visible dip of the horizon. 

James T. Chance. 

A"o/p — I am indelited to the Astronomer Royal for 
information as to the correction for refraction. " 

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The following Kcport was sent by the Commi??ioncvs 

of Northern Lighthouses on oth February 1861 :— 

Eeport to Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses 

on Experiments on Lighthouse Flames, by Messrs. 

D. and T Stevenson, Engineers to the Board. 

In consequence of the result of the experiments 
on lighthouse flames, which were instituted at Bir- 
mingham by Mr. Chance, and at which Mr. Thomas 
Stevenson, by request of the Royal Commission, was 
present, we intimated, on 10th December, our wish 
to repeat the experiments which were made by us at 
Edinburgh in July last. These showed that with 
the lamp 28°"° below the horizontal axis, the larger 
portion of the light was thrown lielow the line, 
a result difl'erent from what had previously been as- 
certained at Birmingham. It was therefore desirable 
that the Edinburgh exi)eriments should be verified, 
and we were accordingly authorized by the Commis- 
sioners to do so. 

After l)eing very much retarded by the occurrence 
of unfavourable weather, we have at length succeeded 
in getting suitable nights for experimenting. Instead 
of again using the annular lens, which was the instru- 
meul employed in our former observations, we 
thought it better to use the cyliudric refractor as that 
instrument had been selected for trial by Mr. Chance, 
and in this way the Binuaigham and Edinburgh ex- 
periments are rendered comparable, the same kind of 
instrument having been used on both occasions. 

The result of the experiments just completed li'^s 
been a verification of those made with the annular 
lens. The following conclusions are deducible from 
the four diagrams which accompany this Report, .and 
which represent observations that were made with 
the burner placed at the French standard height of 
28mm below the centre of the refractor : — 

1st, The most powerful portion of the luminous 
beam" in three of the series of experiments dips 0"^ 30' 
below the principal axis or earth's tangent, and in 
one of them about 0"^ 47'. 

2nd, A large portion of the luminous beam is very 
nearly of equal power. The whole of this portion 
also dips below the axis. 

3rd, Above the axial line the light loses power 
somewhat suddenly. 

When the flame is of the standard height and form 
used in the Northern Lighthouses it does not there- 
fore appear to be necessary, even in the highest 
dioptric station in Scotland, to raise the burner above 
the standard height in order to throw the beam of 
strongest light upon the horizon; the strongest light 
bein^^in all cases (assuming the arrangement to be 
correct) already fully below the horizon, for the level 
of the intensest section of the flame averages in these 
experiments about f of an inch above the French 

We have furnished the Eoyal Commission with a 
copy of the photograph of the Northern Lighthouse 
flame, so that they will be able to compare it with 
the one used at Birmingham, which being considei-- 
aV>ly smaller may account for the difleience between 
the results of the Birmingham and Edinburgh ex- 
periments. (Signed) D. and T. Stevenson. 
Edinburgh, oth February 1861. 

and burner of the different stations on the sloping 
face ot Salisburgh crags were marked by pegs, and 
ascertained in different ways, all of wliich gave very 
nearly the same results. The methods adopted 
were the measurement of the vertical angles by 
the theodolite, the ascertainment of the level of 
each peg by means of the spirit level ; and lastly, 
these results were tested very accurately in the 
following manner : — The heights above the burner, 
of the images of the pegs, were carefully ascertained 
in the lightroom by means of a millimetre scale with 
a sliding index, the zero of which corresponded with 
the top of the burner, which was carefully set 28™™ 
below the level of the centre of the refractor. The ob- 
servations were made by three independent observers, 
and with two photometers of different construction. 

Figs. I, 2, 3, and 4, show the different observations, 
and Fig. 5 is the mean result. Fig. 6, is a section 
showing the relative positions of the apparatus and 
the sloping bank from which the observations were 
made. It will be observed that in consequence 
of the slope there is a slight difference in the dis- 
tance of the different points of observation from 
the instrument ranging from 1,284 to 1,357 feet, the 
maximum difterence being 73 feet. In case this 
difference should have affected the results, we tested 
the intensity in the same plane at a distance of 1,357 
feet, as compared with 1,284 feet, and found that the 
difference of intensity at these distances could not be 
measured, so that in our observations the variation 
due to the sloping face may be disregarded. 

It is of course understood that the diagrams refer 
solely to the refracting part of the first order fixed 
light apjiaratus, and that they do not represent 
qudiititative valuations of the difl'erent intensities of 
the light, but only show accuratel)' the direction of 
the light of maximum iutensit_y, and also the order of 
tlic beams of different intensity in the vertical plane. 

(Signed) U. and T. Stevenson. 
Edinburgh, 26th February 1861. 

Continuation of Observations by Mr. J. Chance. 
Since my former remarks were written, the Commis- 
sioners of Northern Lighthouses have kindly sent me a 
copy of a report which Messrs. Stevenson had recently 
communicated ujion the subject of lamp-flames, aiul which 
gives the experimented results obtained by them in reference 
to the position of the most illuminating part of the flame. 

Those results differ most widely from similar ones pre- 
viously ascertained at Birmingham by methods of observa- 
tion not the same as those adopted by Messrs. Stevenson. 

Even, however, if the same mode of observing the relative 
intensities of illumination had been jmrsued in the two 
cases, a difference in the respective results would have been 
antieijiated, because the flame employed at Edinburgh was 
higher than the maximum flame used at Birmingham. 

But I am by no means satisfied that the admitted difference 
in the two flames accounts for the whole, or even the greater 
part, of the discrepancy in the results. 

The position of the most effective part of the flame, as 
determined at Edinburgh, is at least half an inch above that 
ascertiiined at Birmingham with the maximum height of 
flame then attainable. 

In a first order fixed light lately finished for The Smalls, 
the sea horizon focus has been designedly placed in that 
part of the flarae,iwhich was assumed to be the most effective, 
but which is fifteen milhmetrcs below the position which 
the results obtained at Edinburgh would assign as the 
brightest part. 

.V portion of this distance of 15""". would be due to the 
difference between the heights of flame maintained in Scot- 
land and England respectively; but I do not believe that 
the whole of this discrepancy of the adjustments sanctioned 
•: exneriments referred to in the foregoing i" the two countries is to be explained by tlie difference of 

1 1 A .1 > o 4- i.'',i;.,i.„..r^l, Tl,^. laniijs and lamp-tlames. 
■e made at Arthur s Seat, ^'|;"J;"^Sl';^,^i;",' l 'am very glad to learn that the Trinity House are in- 

vestigating thoroughly the question of lamps, and the best 
mode of maintaining high flames ; but supposing that 
point to be settled, and assuming a given height of wick 
and flame as the standard ones, which are to he always, and 
everywhere, maintained, there still remains considerable 
doubt as to the position in relation to the burner (or wicks 
holder), n-hieh the sea horizon focus ouglit to occupy, in 
order that the sea horizon may have the brightest illumina- 
tion ; and until this problem is conclusively settled, all 
ojrtical adjustments of diojrtric apparatus must remain in- 
determinate. It seems, therefore, to be of fundamental 
importance that measures should be adopted, without delay, 
to reconcile the experimental discrepancies which at present 
exist.— March 23, 1861. James T. Chance 

Note to their Report of oth February 1861, on the 
Experiments on Lighthouse Flames, by Messrs. D. 
and T. Stevenson, Engineers to the Northern 
Lighthouse Board. 
Report wer 

lighting apparatus was placed in a lantern glazed 
with plate glass, the instrument employed being a 
first-class cylindric refractor, and a four-wick mecha- 
nical lamp similar in all respects to those used in the 
Northern Lighthouses. The place where the obser- 
vations were made was the steeply sloping face of 
Salisburgh crags, distant about 440 yards from the 
experimental light-room. The observations were re- 
peated on several evenings with nearly similar results. 
Those shown in the diagram were the last m.adc, and 
from greater precision having been attained in the 
arrangements, are regarded as in every respect the 
most accurate. The positions iu reference to the leus 


S.1 ^g 

■-= ^° S. ~~ 5- ^. 

-~ UepressifJTV ^ £lei'atwn. 

I ' i. " ' i ' ' I ' ■ i ■ ■ i 

%° ^" S. s. " ^= 

Depression ^ JiRe^'atLcn 




The following Abstracts have been made from the 
Keplies to the Questions circulated by the Cora- 
mission, which are as follows : — 

No. of 


in each. 



Sent to the three General 



Sent to Authorities having 


charge of more Light- 
houses than one, so far as 
was then known. 



Sent to Authorities having 

Floatinc; Lights 

charge of Flo.iting Lights. 



Sent to Authorities h.aving 
charge of Lights ; 184 in 



Sent to Authorities having 
charge of Floating Lights. 



Sent to Authorities having 
charge of Buoys and Bea- 
cons; 184 in number. 



Sent to Lloyd's Agents, 
184 returns. 



Sent to the Mercantile 
Marine, 1,000 sent out, 
144 returns. See Abstract. 



Sent to Mariners ; about 
3,000 circulated ; 793 



Sent to Men of Science, 
50 returns. 



Sent to the same, and to 



Sent to Foreign Govern- 
ments, 13 returns. 



Sent to Steam Companies 
whose vessels pass Colo- 
nial Lights, 3 returns. 


This Circular is made up from Letters sent at 
various times to the three General Lighthouse 
Authorities. These were framed as much as possible 
so as to ask the same questions in all cases; but, from 
the varying constitution of the authorities, the ques- 
tions could not be identical, and consequently the 
replies vary somewhat in their order. The informa- 
tion obtained has been embodied in the Report, and 
the details are given in Vol. II. 


LIGHTHOUSES.— (General Return.) 
itracts and J. Nttiiie and address of General Light- 
'^' house Authority. 

Copies of this form were sent to all Lighthouse 
Authorities in the United Kingdom whose names 
could bo ascertained, and who appeared to have more 
Lighthouses than one under their jurisdiction. The 
Custom House Authorities furnished a list. The 
Board of Trade were applied to, but they could give 
no information as to Local Authorities. Tlie returns 
will be found at the pages marked opposite to the 
questions in the Cii'cular. See Vol. II. 

The description of the several Lighthouse Aathor'i- ■^/'stracU and 
ties will be found in the Report at page 22, and a ^"'""'a'y- 
list of the Local Authorities at page 280, Vol. II. 
There are in all 184 Authorities in the United King- 
dom having charge of Lights, &c., whose existence 
is now known to the Lighthouse Commissioners; but 
there are Lights for which there are no returns. 
None of the Superintending Authorities had lists of 
the Local Authorities, which they are supposed by 
the Act of Parliament, in some degree, to superintend; 
and the returns are incomplete, partly because the 
Lighthouse Authorities were not ascertained at first, 
and i)artly because many of them furnished no returns 
to the Circulars which were sent to them, though 
several pressing letters were in some instances 
written on the subject at long intervals. 

2. List of Hghthouses under the super- 
intendence of this Authority, with a 
general Chart showing their positions, 
and a special return for each light- 

[uestion, and lists prepared by •See Vol. II. 
and liepoTt. 

See replies to thi 
the Commissioners. 

See also the published Admiralty list of Lights. 
See also the map at the end of Vol. I., on which 
the Lighthouses and the Local Authorities are 

3. General principles which regulate the 
choice of site for lighthouses. 

No general principles regulate the choice of sites 
in the United Kingdom ; they are selected as occasion 
demands ; and much correspondence has taken place 
amongst the Authorities relative to some particular 

The Trinity House choose sites which embrace the 
largest arcs of the horizon, and " best indicating the 
dangers of the locality." 

The Scotch Commissioners refer to a memorandum 
by Mr. Stevenson, which states certain general prin- 
ciples ; but the Scotch Authority acts, subject to the 
Trinity House and the Board of Trade. The prin- 
ciple of the Ballast Board is to select the most salient 
points, but that Authority is subject to the same 
control. The Local Authorities cannot act upon any 
general principles. 

In France, see page 669, Vol. IL, there is a general 
system; and in countries where a system of lights is 
about to be introduced, such as Spain, a general prin- 
ciple is to be adopted. 

4. What is the height for a light above 
the water which it is considered inex- 
pedient to exceed ? 

The average of the opinions of 136 mariners is in 
favour of 206 feet, see Abstract: page 587, Vol. 11. 
The highest light on the coast of England is Lundy, 
540 feet above the sea. 

The Trinity House considers that the height is 
entirely dependant on the locality. The Commis- 
sioners of Northern Lighthouses think it advisable, 
if possible, not to exceed 150 to 200 feet. The Irish 
Board are of the same opinion. But lighthouses in 
Scotland and Ireland are placed at a greater eleva- 
tion, as Barrahead, 680 feet in Scotland, the Scelligs, 
372, in Ireland. 

The Local Authorities do not give valuable infor- 
mation; and, on the whole, it appears that on the coasts 
of the United Kingdom from 150 to 200 feet is the best 
height ibrplacing alight, so as to gain the greatest pos- 
sible range and avoid clouds. Every locality, however, 
has its own peculiarities, which should be considered 

N 4 



Abstracts and before a light is placed on a new site. For example, 
^ummari/. g, light placed on the cliff above the Needles was 
found to be so often enveloped in clouds that it was 
necessary to transfer it to the Needles rocks, — sacri- 
ficing range, and expending a large sum, to gain a 
clearer atmosphere at the foot of the clifl'. 

The formation of clouds depends on so many local 
circumstances, that it is impossible to lay down any 
rule. The atmosphcie of the Mediterranean is gene- 
rally clear, but in particular states of the weather, 
and with a blue sky and strong wind, thick clouds of 
mist are sometimes condensed for weeks together 
about the tops of Gibraltar rock and Apes Hill. The 
lighthouse at Gibraltar is placed low down on 
Europa point. 

5. The different descriptions of illuminating 

apparatus (dioptric, catoptric, &c.) 

1. Dioptric-lights placed behind glass apparatus 
which refracts the rays. 

2. Catadioptric-lights placed behind glasses, some 
of which refract, and others both refract and reflect ; 
or behind such glasses, and also in front of glass or 
metal reflectors, which reflect some of the light 
towards the glasses which subsequently refract it. 

3. Holophotal, consisting of a special arrangement 
of glass lenses and silvered or glass reflectors, by which 
it is intended to utilize all the light produced from a 
given source. Some rays are reflected, some refracted; 
some both reflected .ind refracted. 

4. Catoptric, consisting of lights placed in front of 
metallic reflectors. 

In dioptric and catadioptric lights, so called, a 
single lamp with 1, 2, 3, or 4 wicks is used. In holo- 
photal lights a single large lamp is occasionally used, 
as at Hoy in Scotland. Occasionally the principle 
has been applied to a number of the old parabolic 
reflectors, each altered, and each with a separate 
source of light, as at Rona, also in Scotland. Catop- 
tric lights generally consist of from 1 to 30 parabolic 
silvered reflectors, each with a separate lamp. The 
aperture of these reflectors is generally large, and the 
angular aperture and consequent divergence consider- 

6. General principles which govern the 

selection of the particular description 
of illuminating apparatus adopted at 
each site. 

No definite principle exists in the United Kingdom. 

The Trinity House consider that it is dependant 
upon the extent of arc to be illuminated. 

The Scotch Board state no principle which can be 
called general, but state considerations which bear 
upon the flame, and the i)articular locality. The 
Irish Board state similar considerations, but also 
point out the necessity of considering the distinctive 
character of neighbouring lights. Local Authorities 
have no general principle. The French have a general 
principle, which has been laid down and acted upon7 
see page 669, Vol. II. ; and that piinciple is about to 
be copied by countries which contemplate establishing 
a new system of lights. In the United Kingdom, prac- 
tically, nothing is decided on this point; and dioptric, 
catoptric, and catadioptric apparatus are placed witli- 
out reference to site. 

7. The different characters of illuminating 
apparatus (fixed, revolving, &c.) em- 

Fixed, revolving, flasliing, and revolving lights 
with alternate colours, for England ; the same for 
Scotland, with the addition of holophotal and inter- 
mitting lights. 

In Ireland all the ordinary varieties; Local Autho- 
rities throughout the kingdom generally fixed. 

By fixed lights are meant lights which are visible in 
particular directions, either all round, or within an arc 

of the circle only. Revolving lights illuminate only cer- 
tain arcs of a circle at once, and their beams revolve so 
as to illuminate larger arcs, or the whole circle at inter- 
vals. The effect is that of a light waxing and waning 
for a time, and succeeded by an interval of darkne-ss. 

Flashing lights only differ from revolving by the 
greater rapidity of their intervals. 

Fixed varied bj' flashes is a fixed light of certain 
power, alwaj's visible in certain directions, and varied 
by recurring flashes of greater power and brilliancy, 
such as at Grisnez, Calais, &c The effect is pro- 
duced b}' making portions of the apparatus fixed and 
other parts moveable ; or by moving the whole ap- 
paratus, of which a portion consists of annular 
bands. The distinction does not exist in catoptric 
lights, and is liable to this disadvantage : such a 
light may appear to be a revolving light, when 
be_yond the range of the fixed light. 

Intermittent are fixed lights which are from time 
to time obscured by covering them up with opaque 
substances. Tlie principle causes a waste of oil ; for 
the light is entirel}' lost while obscured ; whereas in 
revolving lights it is condensed, and is alwaj-s visible 
in some direction. At Rathlin and at JNIine Head 
one-sixth of the oil is burned to waste, and the light 
might still be mistaken for a fixed or perhaps a re- 
volving light. Similar lights exist in Scotland. The 
light is much less powerful than the revolving and 
flashing lights. 

Double lights are sometimes used ; two entire esta- 
blishments in separate towers, sometimes two in the 
same tower. Such lights exist in England, Scotland, 
and Ireland ; though they are not mentioned under 
this question. See Whitby, where there are two, and 
the Caskets, where there are three. This distinction 
is the most costly of all. It is one of those used in 

8. General principles which govern the 
selection of the character of the illumi- 
nating apparatus (fixed, revolving, 
&:c,), and colour adopted in each site. 

There does not appear to be general principle 
which is acted upon in the United Kingdom. The 
English and Irish Boards have regard to other lights 
in the locality. 

The Scotch Board refers to a treatise by ilr. Steven- 
sou, in which the principle stated is nearly the same 
as that which is stated in the French return ; but from 
the correspondence relative to the lights at the Butt 
of Lewis and at other sites, it appears that the Com- 
missioners of Northern Lighthouses are not allowed 
to carry out the principles which are laid down iu the 
treatise to which they refer. 

" 1st. The most prominent points of a line of coast, 
" or those first made on oversea voyages, should be 
" first lighted ; and the most powerful lights should 
'■ be adapted to them, so that they may be discovered 
" by the mariner as long as possible before his reach- 
" ing land. 

" 2nd. .So far as is consistent with a due attention 
" to distinction, revolving lights of some description, 
" which are necessarily more powerful than fixed 
" lights, should be employed at the outposts on a 
'• line of coast. 

•' 3rd. Lights of precisely identical character 
" and appearance should not, if possible, occur 
•' within a less distance than 100 miles of each other, 
" on the same line of coast which is made by over- 
" sea vessels. 

" 4th. In all cases, the distinction of colour sliould 
" never be adopted, except from absolute necessity." 

8. Drawing of each description of illumi: 
nating apparatus (dioptric, catoptric, 
&c.), and each character of light 

Drawings have been furnished by tlie Trinity 
House. These are lithographs from the trade lists 
of manufacturers. 



The Scotch Board have furnished a gi'eat number 
of well-executed drawing?, many of wliicli arc re- 
]n-esentations of apparatus designed by the gentle- 
men who made the drawings, and which are now in 
use. The Irish Board have also furiushed well- 
executed small drawings. Of the Local Authorities, 
many have furnished drawings, which are all bound 
together and preserved. 

10. Fill up Table. 

The tables will be found in Vol. II., at the pages 
marked opposite to this question on the circular. 

11. State what stores are usually supplied 

by open contract, and the means 
adopted for testing all stores suppMed. 

Nearly all stoi-es arc supplied by open contract, to 
the three General Lighthouse Authorities. The 
means of testing them arc stated at length in the 
rejilies, and seem to be effective. 

12. General principles which govern the 

selection of log signals, and of the 
lighthouses to which they are sup- 

None are used, except bells. Many suggestions 
have been made. See replies to Circular I. 26. at the 
pages marked. 

13. If a general code of tide sign.ils is in 

force, give it ; and if not^ state general 
principles v.'hich govern the selection 
of tide signals, and of the lighthouses 
to which they are supplied. 

No general code exists. No such signals are used 
at large lighthouses, and every local authority which 
shows tide lights, or other signals, has its own system 
of signals and its own code. A national system, and a 
general understanding on this point, seems to be 
much wanted ; and the more applicable such a system 
is to the whole world, the better it will be. 

14. Nature and dates of any memorials or 

applications for lighthouses on new 
or old sites since January 1845, and 
nature and dates of replies. 

Refer to the replies, which are voluminous. See 
Circular II. for the pages. 

15. Total income and total expenditure on 

maintenance of lighthouses, in each 
year since January 1845. 

By adding together the sums returned by the three 
General Authorities, the following result is obtained. 


Total Income. 










. 434,216 







- 411,894 







- 435,358 







- 436,342 







- 430,480 







- 374,933 







- 403.369 







- 395,730 







- 422,897 






- 313,275 



135 448 




- 311,961 







- 352,163 







- 310,780 


1 ) 





- 296,886 





16. Course pursued for ascertaining the 
vahie of the various improvements of 
a scientific character subnn'ttcd to 
the General Authority making this 
The answers only apply (o a particular class of 
scientific suggestions — those which can be tried expe- 
rimentally in a lighthouse ; and these are practically 
tested by the engineers emploved by the Lighthouse 

The Local Authorities apparently have few sugges- 
tions made to them. 

1/. Dates of all applications by the above 
General Lighthouse Authority for 
power to construct or re-construct or 
alter the lighthouses, since 1st 
October 1853, with date of final 
approval; and in case of non-com- 
pliance, the reasons given for any 
deviation from the application. 

See the replies, Vol. II. at tlic pages marked on the 

They are voluminous, and give an iusiglit into the 
working of the present system oF Government. A 
mass of correspondence has also been sent to the 
Commission, and some of the subjects therein referred 
to are mentioned in the oral evidence. 

IS. Furnish a copy of any General Rules 
and Regulations issued for the Inspec- 
tion and management of lighthouses, 
and copies of all printed forms in use 
relating to lighthouses, classified and 
Copies have been furnished but arc not published, 
as they are very voluminous; the papers are all pre- 

19- General Remarks. 

The English and Irish Boards furnish some infor- 
mation relative to their correspondence with the 
Superintending Authorities, and other matters, which 
illustrate the action of the present system of govern- 

The .Scotch Authority m.ikes no remarks under 
this question. 

CIRCULAR U.— continue,]. 
FLOATING LIGHTS— (General Return.) 

1. Name and address of general Lighthouse 


Trinity House, Vol. IL, p. 107 ; Ballast Board, 
p. 263 ; Liverpool, p. 335 ; Hull, p. 316 ; Stockton- 
on-Tees, p. 362 ; Carlisle, p. 301. 

2. List of floating lights under the super- 

intendence of this Authority, with a 
general chart showing their positions, 
and a special return for each floating 

See the returns at the pages indicated in the cir- 
cular, Vol. IL Trinity House 33 ; Ballast Board 4 ; 
Liverpool 3 ; Hull 2 ; Stockton on-Tees 1 ; Carlisle 
1. Total 44. 

3. State general principles which regulate 

the choice of positions for floating- 

As near the danger as is consistent with safety, cr 
as leadino; lights ia narrow channels. 



Aistracis and ^ Number of spare floating lights — where 
Suminar,/. j_^^^^ iiioorcd — proportiou of crew 

attached to them— if fully equipped 
with stores. 

Trinity House 4 ; Balla.,t Board 1 ; Liverpool 2 ; 
Hull 1. ■ 

5. General principles adopted for distin- 

guishing floating lights from one 
another" by day and by night, and 
from other vessels by day. 

Name written on side ; colour ; arrangement and 
number of lights, of masts : masthead balls, and blue 
lights; shape and rig. 

6. Is there any marked peculiarity in the 

light exhibited by a floating light 
which ensures it from being mistaken 
for ships' lights, or others. 

Superior brilliancy, variation in intensity, inter- 
vals of darkness, colour, number of lights, relative 
positions of lights. 

7. The different description of illuminating 

apparatus (dioptric, catoptric, iVc.) 

Catoptric and dioptric. The forms of some of the 
reflectors used at Liverpool and Hull vary froin the 
others. A dioptric light is used at 8tockton-or-Tecs. 


General principles which govern the 
selection of the particular description 
of illuminating apparatus (dioptric, 
catoptric, eS:c.) adopted in each posi- 
Catoptric is geueraliy retained, but there are 
three dioptrics. 

9. The different characters of illuminating 

apparatus (fixed, revolving, &c.) em- 

Fixed and revolving. 

10. General principles which govern the 

selection of the character of the illu- 
minating apparatus (fixed, revolving, 
&c.), and colour, in each position. 
Dependent on lights in the vicinity. 

11. Fill up table. 

See Returns. 

12. Drawing of each description and cha- 

racter of illuminating apparatus em- 

Drawings have been furnished. 

13. General principles which govern the 

selection of fog signals. 
Gongs are almost always used. Bells were dis- 
continucil in Ireland to avoid