United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar
Astoria is a port city and the seat of Clatsop County, United States. Founded in 1811, it is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains and the oldest city in the state of Oregon. Astoria is located on the south shore of the Columbia River, where the river meets the Pacific Ocean; the city is named for John Jacob Astor, an investor from New York City whose American Fur Company founded Fort Astoria at the site. Astoria was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on October 20, 1876; the city is served by the deepwater Port of Astoria. Transportation includes the Astoria Regional Airport with U. S. Route 30 and U. S. Route 101 as the main highways, the 4.1-mile Astoria–Megler Bridge connecting to neighboring Washington across the river. The population was 9,477 at the 2010 census; the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1805–1806 at Fort Clatsop, a small log structure south and west of modern-day Astoria. The expedition had hoped a ship would come by to take them back east, but instead they endured a torturous winter of rain and cold returning the way they came.
Today the fort is now a historical park. In 1811, British explorer David Thompson, the first person known to have navigated the entire length of the Columbia River, reached the constructed Fort Astoria near the mouth of the river, he arrived just two months after the Tonquin. The fort constructed by the Tonquin party established Astoria as a U. S. rather than a British, became a vital post for American exploration of the continent and was used as an American claim in the Oregon boundary dispute with European nations. The Pacific Fur Company, a subsidiary of John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company, was created to begin fur trading in the Oregon Country. During the War of 1812, in 1813, the company's officers sold its assets to their Canadian rivals, the North West Company; the fur trade would remain under British control until U. S. pioneers following the Oregon Trail began filtering into the town in the mid-1840s. The Treaty of 1818 established joint U. S. – British occupancy of the Oregon Country.
In 1846, the Oregon Treaty divided the mainland at the 49th parallel north, the southern portion of Vancouver Island south of this line was awarded to the British. Washington Irving, a prominent American writer with a European reputation, was approached by John Jacob Astor to mythologize the three-year reign of his Pacific Fur Company. Astoria, written while Irving was Astor's guest, cemented the importance of the region in the American psyche. In Irving's words, the fur traders were "Sinbads of the wilderness", their venture was a staging point for the spread of American economic power into both the continental interior and into the Pacific; as the Oregon Territory grew and became more colonized by Americans, Astoria grew as a port city near the mouth of the great river that provided the easiest access to the interior. The first U. S. post office west of the Rocky Mountains was established in Astoria in 1847 and official state incorporation in 1876. Astoria attracted a host of immigrants beginning in the late 19th century: Nordic settlers Finns, Chinese soon became larger parts of the population.
The Finns lived in Uniontown, near the present-day end of the Astoria–Megler Bridge, took fishing jobs. By the late 1800s, 22% of Astoria's population was Chinese. In 1883, again in 1922, downtown Astoria was devastated by fire because it was wood and raised off the marshy ground on pilings. After the first fire, the same format was used, the second time around the flames spread again, as collapsing streets took out the water system. Frantic citizens resorted to dynamite, blowing up entire buildings to stop the fire from going further. Astoria has served as a port of entry for over a century and remains the trading center for the lower Columbia basin, although it has long since been eclipsed by Portland and Seattle, Washington, as an economic hub on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Astoria's economy centered on fishing, fish processing, lumber. In 1945, about 30 canneries could be found along the Columbia; the lumber industry declined. From 1921 to 1966, a ferry route across the Columbia River connected Astoria with Pacific County, Washington.
In 1966, the Astoria–Megler Bridge was opened. The bridge completed U. S. Route 101 and linked Astoria with Washington on the opposite shore of the Columbia, replacing the ferry service. Today, Astoria's growing art scene, light manufacturing are the main economic activities of the city. Logging and fishing at a fraction of their former levels, it is a port of call for cruise ships since 1982, after $10 million in pier improvements to accommodate these larger ships. To avoid Mexican ports of call during the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009, many cruises were re-routed to include Astoria; the floating residential community MS The World visited Astoria in June 2009. The town's seasonal sport fishing tourism has been active for several decades and has now been supplanted with visitors coming for the historic elements of the city; the more recent microbrewery/brewpub scene and a weekly street market have helped popularized the area as a destination. In addition to the replicated Fort Clatsop
Lightship Ambrose was the name given to multiple lightships that served as the sentinel beacon marking Ambrose Channel, New York Harbor's main shipping channel. The first lightstation was established south of the Ambrose Channel off of Sandy Hook, NJ in 1823. From 1823 through 1967, several ships served the Ambrose Channel station. In 1906, the lightship serving this station was relocated closer to the center of the Ambrose Channel. On 24 August 1967, the Ambrose station lightship was replaced by the Ambrose Light. A sail-schooner built of white oak with copper and brass fastenings, Sandy Hook marked the south edge of the Ambrose Channel for 37 years, from 1854 to 1891, she was assigned the number 16 in 1862, prior to which she was known as the Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook was equipped with 2 lanterns, each with 8 oil lamps and reflectors, as well as a hand rung bell for a fog warning. A Thiers automatic bilge pump and fog signal were installed in 1872. Two collisions were recorded during her time in service, the first in 1874 with the steamer Charleston, the second in 1888 with the British barque Star of the East.
Constructed in 1892, the Sandy Hook served post from 1894 to 1908. This steam engine-powered ship was the first US lightvessel to have an all-steel hull and fastenings and the first to use electric lights. After 1908, she was reassigned to relief duty. On 24 April 1919, she was rammed and sunk by a Standard Oil barge while relieving the Cornfield Point Lightship; as a result of this incident, Standard Oil was forced to pay for the construction of LV111, which served as the Lightship Ambrose from 1932 to 1952. The Lightship Ambrose, built 1908, served her station until 1932 when she was reassigned to serve as the Lightship Scotland, a station much closer to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, she would be the first lightship to serve in the relocated position nearer the center of the channel, in 1921 would receive the first radio beacon in either the channel or the US assisting navigation of the congested channel in dense fog. She would be the last steam-powered vessel to hold this post, she has kept the name of her most famous station, Ambrose.
In 1964, she was retired from the Coast Guard, in 1968, she was given to the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan, moored at Pier 16 on the East River. In 1989, the lightship was declared a National Historic Landmark; the station was manned by LV111 from 1932 to 1952, a period of time encompassing all of World War II. This would be the first diesel powered ship to mark the Ambrose Channel. Although the station was active throughout World War II, the Ambrose was never armed, but did gain a radar in 1945; the Ambrose was involved in a number of collisions during this time. In September 1935, she was rammed by the Grace Liner Santa Barbara, with both ships sustaining heavy damage. In January 1950, it was "brushed" in heavy fog by an unidentified vessel, suffering damage to the radio antenna and losing her spare anchor. Eleven weeks in March the Santa Monica, another Grace Line vessel, rammed the Ambrose in a dense fog, rupturing her hull, she was repaired, redeployed to Portland, Maine. Retired from lightship duty in 1969, she passed through several owners before being sold for scrap in 1984.
In 1952, the Lightship Ambrose was commissioned and became the last lightship to mark the Ambrose Channel when she was replaced by a Texas Tower lightstation on 24 August 1967. She was reassigned as a relief ship on the Massachusetts coastline from 1967–75. After being renamed Relief and the Nantucket II she was reassigned to Nantucket Shoals, she alternated with her sister ship, the Lightship Nantucket, on station relieving each other every 21 days and was retired in 1983 after 31 years of service. WLV 613 had various assignments following her retirement including being used for public relation events and law enforcement missions, she was sold to New England Historic Seaport on 7 July 1984 and was present for the rededication ceremony for the Statue of Liberty in 1986. By 2006 she was sold to the Wareham Steamship Corporation and was berthed on Main Street in Wareham, Massachusetts. Media related to Ambrose at Wikimedia Commons U. S. Coast Guard - Information on lightships
Lightvessels in the United Kingdom
The history of lightvessels in the United Kingdom goes back over 250 years. This page gives a list of lightvessel stations within the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar; the world's first lightvessel was the result of a business partnership between Robert Hamblin, an impoverished former barber and ship manager from King's Lynn, David Avery, a regular investor in small projects. In 1730 the pair secured a government licence to moor a ship – with a prominent light affixed to it to serve as a navigation aid – at the Nore in the Thames mouth. Hamblin and Avery intended to profit from the vessel by collecting a fee from passing merchant vessels; the licence was opposed by Trinity House which considered that it possessed a monopoly on construction and maintenance of navigation aids in British waters. After extensive legal dispute the licence was revoked in 1732 and Trinity House assumed direct responsibility for the proposed lightship; the Nore lightship commenced operations in 1734.
A further lightvessel was placed at the Dudgeon station, off the Norfolk coast, in 1736, with others following at Owers Bank and the Goodwin Sands. Many others were commissioned during the nineteenth century off England's east coast and the approaches to the Thames, where there were many treacherous shoals. Following their acquisition of the patent, all English and Welsh lightvessels were maintained by Trinity House, with the exception of the four vessels in the approaches to the River Mersey, which were maintained by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board until 1973, those in the Humber Estuary, which were the responsibility of the Humber Conservancy Board. In order to act as effective daymarks Trinity House lightvessels were painted red, with the station name in large white letters on the side of the hull, a system of balls and cones at the masthead for identification; the first revolving light was fitted to the Swin Middle lightvessel in 1837: others used occulting or flashing lights. White lights were preferred for visibility though red and occasionally green were used.
Communication with lightvessels proved to be a major problem for Trinity House. After a series of shipwrecks, an experiment was conducted whereby a nine-mile undersea cable was run from the Sunk lightvessel in the Thames Estuary to the post office at Walton-on-the-Naze; this was plagued by delays. As a result of a motion brought forward by Sir Edward Birkbeck, a Royal Commission was established to look at the issue of'electrical communication' and gave its first Report in 1892; the world's first radio distress signal was transmitted by the East Goodwin lightvessel's radio operator on 17 March 1899, after the merchant vessel Elbe ran aground on the Goodwins, while on 30 April that year, the East Goodwin vessel transmitted a distress signal on its own behalf, when the SS R. F. Matthews rammed it in a dense fog. Safety was further improved by the development of more powerful lamps and through the replacement by foghorns of the gongs used as fog signals; until the 20th century, all Trinity House vessels were permanently manned.
An 1861 article in the Cornhill Magazine described lightshipmen as being paid 55 shillings a month: the vessels were supplied, the crews relieved, once a month. It was noted that "a general tone of decent and superior conduct" was observed, that the men were "very respectable swearing and profane language are prohibited" and that every man was supplied with a Bible as well as "a library of varied and entertaining literature". By the start of the 20th century, Trinity House lightvessels had a crew of 11, of whom seven would be on active duty at any one time, it was an demanding and dangerous profession, it would take 15 to 20 years of service to be promoted to master. The majority of British lightvessels were decommissioned during the 1970s - 1980s and replaced with light floats or LANBY buoys, which were vastly cheaper to maintain: in 1974 at the time of Trinity House's original development project, lightship annual running costs at £30,000 were ten times those of the LANBY; the remaining UK lightvessels have now been converted to unmanned operation and most now use solar power.
The following are lightvessel stations. Individual vessels were transferred between different stations during their existence but they kept their Trinity House LV number. Stations themselves were changed during wartime, when lights were only displayed in response to specific shipping needs, it is that photographs on various websites showing named lightvessels, may appear to be structurally different to comparable records on other web pages due to the fact that the particular LV might have been withdrawn from a station after photographing and being towed away for drydocking and possible direction to a new station and therefore a different lightvessel would have been substituted at the named station on withdrawal of the previous LV. This has been most evident on those LVs that have been withdrawn and shipped to another port at home or abroad to become a floating museum, floating restaurant,'clubhouse', etc. Scarweather LV and Helwick LV have for
National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat
A lightvessel, or lightship, is a ship that acts as a lighthouse. They are used in waters that are otherwise unsuitable for lighthouse construction. Although some records exist of fire beacons being placed on ships in Roman times, the first modern lightvessel was off the Nore sandbank at the mouth of the River Thames in England, placed there by its inventor Robert Hamblin in 1734; the type has become obsolete. A crucial element of lightvessel design is the mounting of a light on a sufficiently tall mast; this consisted of oil lamps that could be run up the mast and lowered for servicing. Vessels carried fixed lamps, which were serviced in place. Fresnel lenses were used as they became available, many vessels housed these in small versions of the lanterns used on lighthouses; some lightships had two masts, the second holding a reserve beacon in case the main light failed. The hulls were constructed of wood, with lines like those of any other small merchant ship; this proved to be unsatisfactory for a ship, permanently anchored, the shape of the hull evolved to reduce rolling and pounding.
As iron and steel were used in other ships, so were they used in lightvessels, the advent of steam and diesel power led to self-propelled and electrically lighted designs. Earlier vessels had to be towed to and from station. Much of the rest of the ship was taken up by crew accommodations; the primary duty of the crew was, of course, to maintain the light, but they kept record of passing ships, observed the weather, on occasion performed rescues. In the early 20th century, some lightships were fitted with warning bells, either mounted on the structure or lowered into the water, the purpose of, to warn of danger in poor visibility and to permit crude estimation of the lightship relative to the approaching vessel. Tests conducted by Trinity House found that sound from a bell submerged some 18 feet could be heard at a distance of 15 miles, with a practical range in operational conditions of 1–3 miles. Holding the vessel in position was an important aspect of lightvessel engineering. Early lightships used fluke anchors.
These were not satisfactory, since a lightship has to remain stationary in rough seas which other vessels can avoid, these anchors are prone to dragging. Since the early 19th century, lightships have used mushroom anchors, named for their shape, which weigh 3-4 tons, they were invented by Robert Stevenson. The first lightvessel equipped with one was an 82-ton converted fishing boat, renamed Pharos, which entered service on 15 September 1807 near to Bell Rock, had a 1.5 ton anchor. The effectiveness of these anchors improved in the 1820s, when cast iron anchor chains were introduced; as well as the light, which operated in the fog and at night, from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise, early lightvessels were equipped with red day markers at the tops of masts, which were the first objects seen from an approaching ship. The designs varied, filled circles or globes, pairs of inverted cones being the most common among them. Lightships, for purposes of visibility had bright red hulls which displayed the name of the station in white, upper-case letters.
A few ships had differently coloured hulls. For example, the Huron Lightship was painted black since she was assigned the black buoy side of the entrance to the Lake Huron Cut; the lightvessel that operated at Minots Ledge, Mass. from 1854 until 1860 had a light yellow hull to make it visible against the blue-green seas and the green hills behind it. David Avery and Robert Hamblin in 1731 placed the earliest British lightship at The Nore near the mouth of the River Thames; this was a private venture that operated profitably and without the need for government enforcement of payment for lighting services. Further vessels were placed off Norfolk in 1736, at Owers Bank in Sussex in 1788, at the Goodwin Sands in 1793. Over time, Trinity House, the public authority charged with establishing and maintaining lighthouses in England and Wales, crowded out the private light vessels. Trinity House is now responsible for all the remaining lightvessels England and Wales, of which there are eight unmanned lightvessels and two smaller light floats.
The British were the first to deploy unmanned lightships, called crewless lightships in the early 1930s, which could operate for six months to one year. The first lightvessel conversion to solar power was made in 1995, all vessels except the'20 class' have now been converted. The'20 class' is a larger type of vessel that derives its power from diesel electric generators. Where a main light with a visible range in excess of 20 nautical miles is required, a'20 class' vessel is used, as the main light from a Trinity House solar lightvessel has a maximum range of 19 nautical miles. Hull numbers: 19, 22, 23 and 25; the first United States lightship was established at Chesapeake Bay in 1820, the total number around the coast peaked in 1909 with 56 locations marked. Of those ships, 168 were constructed by the United States Lighthouse Service and six by the United States Coast Guard, which absorbed it in 1939. From 1820 until 1983, there were 179 lightships built for the U. S. government, they were assigned to 116 sep
A foghorn or fog signal is a device that uses sound to warn vehicles of navigational hazards like rocky coastlines, or boats of the presence of other vessels, in foggy conditions. The term is most used in relation to marine transport; when visual navigation aids such as lighthouses are obscured, foghorns provide an audible warning of rock outcrops, headlands, or other dangers to shipping. All foghorns use a vibrating column of air to create an audible tone, but the method of setting up this vibration differs; some horns, like the Daboll trumpet, used vibrating plates or metal reeds, a similar principle to a modern electric car horn. Others used air forced through holes in disk, in the same manner as a siren. Semi-automatic operation of foghorns was achieved by using a clockwork mechanism to sequentially open the valves admitting air to the horns. Audible fog signals have been used in one form or another for hundreds of years simply bells or gongs struck manually. At some lighthouses, a small cannon was let off periodically to warn away ships, but this had the obvious disadvantage of having to be fired manually throughout the whole period the fog persisted.
Lighthouse windows and lighting apparatus were susceptible to damage depending on the proximity of the explosion. One incident of lax handling of explosives nearby resulted in a concussion that propelled the lighthouse keeper at Fort Amherst, seated, to the other end of the room. In the United States, whistles were used where a source of steam power was available, though Trinity House, the British lighthouse authority, did not employ them, preferring an explosive signal. Throughout the 19th century efforts were made to automate the signalling process. Trinity House developed a system for firing a gun-cotton charge electrically. However, the charge had to be manually replaced after each signal. At Portland Bill, for example, which had a five-minute interval between fog-signals, this meant the horns had to be lowered, the two new charges inserted, the horns raised again every five minutes during foggy periods. Clockwork systems were developed for striking bells. Captain James William Newton claimed to have been the inventor of the fog signalling technique using loud and low notes.
The first automated steam-powered foghorn was invented by Robert Foulis, a Scotsman who emigrated to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Foulis is said to have heard his daughter playing the piano in the distance on a foggy night, noticed the low notes were more audible than the higher notes: he designed a device to produce a low-frequency sound, as well as a code system for use with it. Foulis presented his concept to the Commissioners of Light Houses for the Bay of Fundy for installation on Partridge Island. While the Commissioners rejected Foulis's plan, one commissioner encouraged Foulis to submit detailed plans to the Commission. For reasons unknown, the plans were given to another Canadian engineer, T. T. Vernon Smith, who submitted them to the Commissioners as his own; the foghorn was constructed at Partridge Island in 1859 as the Vernon-Smith horn. After protest by Foulis and a legislative inquiry, Foulis was credited as the true inventor, but he never patented or profited from his invention.
The development of fog signal technology continued apace at the end of the 19th century. During the same period an inventor, Celadon Leeds Daboll, developed a coal-powered foghorn called the Daboll trumpet for the American lighthouse service, though it was not universally adopted. A few Daboll trumpets remained in use until the mid-20th century. In the United Kingdom, experiments to develop more effective foghorns were carried out by John Tyndall and Lord Rayleigh, amongst others; the latter's ongoing research for Trinity House culminated in a design for a siren with a large trumpet designed to achieve maximum sound propagation, installed in Trevose Head Lighthouse, Cornwall in 1913. One of the first automated fog bells was the Stevens Automatic Bell Striker; some fog bells were placed under water in dangerous areas, so that their sound would be carried further and reverberate through the ship's hull. For example, this technique was used at White Shoal Light; this was an earlier precursor to RACON.
From the early 20th century an improved device called the diaphone invented as an organ stop by Robert Hope-Jones, developed as a fog signal by John Northey of Toronto, became the standard foghorn apparatus for new installations. Diaphones were powered by compressed air and could emit powerful low-frequency notes. In 1982, the Dutch broadcaster VPRO aired a live foghorn concert on national radio, relaying the sound of the foghorns in Emden, Nieuwpoort, Den Helder, Urk and Kornwerderzand, mixed with studio music by sound artist Alvin Curran. Since automation of lighthouses became common in the 1960s and 1970s, most older foghorn installations have been removed to avoid the need to run the complex machinery associated with them, have been replaced with electrically powered diaphragm or compressed air horns. Activation is automated: a laser or photo beam is shot out to sea, if the beam reflects back to the source, the sensor sends a signal to activate the foghorn. In many cases, modern navigational aids have rendered large, long-range foghorns unnecessary, according to the International