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Kenrick A.Claflin & Son

10509. Medlicott, Gordon. An Illuminating Experience. Whittles. 2009.

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10509. Medlicott, Gordon. An Illuminating Experience. Whittles. 2009.

10509. Medlicott, Gordon. An Illuminating Experience. Whittles. 2009. 144p. Soft wraps. Liberally illustrated. A welcome addition to the slowly growing library of Lighthouse Keepers’ memoirs. The author’s story begins in 1966 – a time when oil lights were rotated by a hand-wound clockwork mechanism and keepers handled explosive fog signals. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, despite having the technology to land men on the moon, some of our lighthouses were still operated by oil, not only for the main navigation light, but also in the keepers’ living quarters. With some of the offshore stations lacking even the basic facilities of running water, a bathroom or heating life onboard was, to say the least, pretty basic. Little did the author realize that he would witness, and become part of, a new technological age that would sweep through the industry. Unmanned lighthouses being operated by remote control via telemetry links to a computer and satellite information provided by GPS. The narrative gives a great account of daily life working in the lighthouse service covering a long period including the mass-automation of stations and the end of manned lighthouses. In turn exhilarating, funny and sad. (M). $31.95.