A Special Presentation “Lightships” by Captain Robert Dinsmore, USCG Ret. will be held at the Maine Lighthouse Museum on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2 pm. A lightship is a floating lighthouse located where a regular lighthouse cannot be constructed. They mostly were stationed off the entrances to ports, or marked the boundaries of offshore shoals and reefs. My talk will describe the history of lightships from Roman times to the present. The first U.S. lightship was in 1820 and the number reached a peak of 60 lightships in 1910 compared to 1,460 lighthouses. I will show photos of many of the early lightships which mostly were located in New England waters. Descriptions of lightships over the years will be discussed along with the evolving designs. My talk will include the equipment carried by lightships, the crew’s life, the dangers by storms and collisions. How lightships figured in the development of maritime radio, echo sounding and sonar will be portrayed. By 1980 there was only one lightship remaining, the Nantucket, and that was discontinued in 1985. Nine remain in museums today and five are in private hands.
The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located at One Park Drive in Rockland. For more information you may call the museum at 594-3301, visit our website at www.mainelighthousemuseum.org or Follow us on Facebook. Parking is available at the Trade Winds Motor Inn across the street. Suggested Donation $5 per person.