St. Augustine Lighthouse Matted Print, Medium


Beautiful colored matted print of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Comes sealed in a poly sleeve stamped with the cities crest. Available in blue or black matting.

11″ x 14″ matted
8″ x 10″ picture

Also available in small size


This print is an offset lithograph reproduced from a wood engraving in the 1875 edition of “Harperʼs Monthly Magazine.”

The first tower in St. Augustine was built by the Spanish in the late 1500’s to function as a watchtower, not as lighthouse. This was replaced by a building that was built, rebuilt and enlarged over the next 200 years by the Spanish. In 1824 a lens was installed by the U.S. Government making it Florida’s first official lighthouse. This lighthouse eventually collapsed from erosion by the sea in the 1870’s.

Construction of the current St. Augustine Lighthouse was begun in 1871 and finished in 1874. The tower structure has 224 steps and is 165 feet tall. When this lighthouse was first built, the lamp was fueled with lard oil.

The white building at the foot of the tower is the Fuel Storage House. In order for the lard to be used, it had to be in liquid form, so the fireplaces at each end of the building were kept burning to heat it. Later an incandescent vapor lamp fueled by kerosene was used. In 1936 the light was powered by electricity.

This lighthouse is classified as a “First Order” with a 20,000 candlepower light. In ancient times, candles were the illuminating source for lights. As technology increased over the centuries, new light sources were found but intensity continued to be measured by the equivalent number of candles that would have been needed to attain that brightness.

Lighthouses have a dual purpose; to warn the mariner of imminent danger, and to serve as a landmark. All lighthouses have distinguishing daymarks, no two are exactly alike. The daymark allows mariners to establish their location. The St. Augustine Lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation with a red top and black & white spiral stripes.

All lighthouses have what is called a signature, or pattern of light. This is how mariners are able to identify their location at night. The signature of the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a short white flash every thirty seconds and can be seen twenty miles at sea.

The St. Augustine Lightkeepers’ House was built in 1876. It was home to the lightkeeper and the assistant keeper along with their families from 1876 until 1955. The two story house was a duplex, split down the middle, one side mirroring the other.

Downstairs there were two rooms; the kitchen, eating area and the parlor. In 1885 the summer kitchens were added (these small out buildings now contain a kitchen and restrooms). Upstairs, were two bedrooms on each side of the house. In 1907 indoor plumbing was installed and a small bathroom was squeezed in between the two bedrooms upstairs. The house contained a basement which is unusual for Florida. It was used for storage but more importantly it contained two large water cisterns that held the rain water collected from the roof.

In 1955 the lighthouse was automated leaving no further need for Lightkeepers. It now contains a museum and gift shop. The tower is open for tours.


SKU: 13701-B Categories: ,
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