Wednesday, 26 October 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM USA

Bernadette sent me two beautiful lighthouse postcards to my collection. Thanks a lot!
The Absecon Light is a coastal lighthouse located in the north end of Atlantic City, New Jersey overlooking Absecon Inlet. The station’s name, Absecon, honors an Indian tribe that at one time lived on the New Jersey coast. 
The 169 ft (51.5 m) brick tower was first lit on January 15, 1857 and is the third tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. Electrified in July 1925, the light station still retains its original first order fixed Fresnel lens. The lighthouse succumbed to what is often described as progress: by 1933 Absecon could no longer be distinguished from the lights of Atlantic City. It was deactivated on July 11, 1933 and remained inactive 64 years. A major restoration of the tower was completed in 1998 and the keeper’s house was reconstructed and opened in October 2001. Nowadays the lighthouse is privately maintained and open to the public: after ascending the 228 steps of the tower amazing views of the Atlantic City skyline wait for you.
The cold Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream oppose each other just off Cape Hatteras, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina coast.  This current forces ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. The first lighthouse (95 ft/29m) in Cape Hatteras was lit in October of 1803, but it was considered unsatisfactory during haze or low fog. In 1854, it was extended to 150 ft (48 m) and was fitted with a new first order Fresnel lens. But this first light station was never considered adequate and the construction of the current Cape Hatteras lighthouse began in 1868.
The new 200 ft (61 m) round brick tower was first lit on December 1, 1870 and is the tallest U.S. lighthouse. Mounted on an octagonal red brick base the light received a distinctive black and white spiral pattern and its light can be seen for 24 miles (39 km) out at sea. Due to erosion of the shore, once almost a third of a mile from the Atlantic, the Cape Hatteras Light teetered at the very edge of the tides by the late 1990s.  In 1999, a $12 million relocation and restoration project moved the entire light station 2900 ft (885 m) southwest in 23 days. For lighthouse enthusiasts like me, Cape Hatteras still stands 208 years after its construction and we can climb the 248 steps to the gallery and the lantern. The lighthouse is located just off Route 12, near the village of Buxton, and is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 35°1502N 75°3143.7W

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