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What is this implement.?

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Postby island » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:44 am


Lighkeepers employed various tools and implements when working and living at light stations. The item pictured here is an implement of significance to meet an important basic need of the keeper and family. Several of these would be used at the same time depending on the weather thus the use of this implement would not be continuous. The need to use this implement was greater at some stations and perhaps not at all at others. The use of such was not exclusive to light stations. What is this implement.?
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:23 pm


Dave, I have pondered over this question for 3 days now and have not come up with anything remotely plausible. It must be an American thing to which I am unfamiliar. No doubt the answer is simple but it eludes me.
It looks like a sieve of some sort or a steamer which sits on top of another solid pot with boiling water in it. It could also be a container for dirty sox which when left out in the rain allows the sox top get drenched and drained at the same time.

Ya got me old son. :yay:
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Postby island » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:25 pm


Dirty sox. Hmmmm. I might give it a try.

This implement was used in conjunction with meeting a most basic need of the keeper and his family. It was used only outside and very close to, in fact, connected to the dwellings and used only when weather conditions permitted.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:15 pm


OK. So that boils down to eating, sleeping and going to the head. Surely it wasn't used to recycle human waste for fertilizer?
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Postby island » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:20 am


The primary need here is intake. Going to the head is influenced but not the major concern.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:47 am


I must be as thick as a brick. You've given me heaps of clues and I'm still stumped. It sounds like something to do with food, like cathching flying fish during a storm. :lol:
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Postby island » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:05 am


This implement was used to meet a very basic and essential need ----- water.
So what was its purpose and how was it used to meet that need?
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:19 pm


OK. So it's used to scoop up or catch snow and then let it melt into another container underneath it. Obvious isn't it?
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Postby island » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:38 am


You are very close but circling all around it. So before you and I become too dizzy I will give you the answer.

At many light stations collected rain water was the only source of clean fresh water.These implements were used as part of the roof water collection system. One such implement was positioned below the outlet of the each roof gutter pipe with the small end inserted into a pipe mounted flush with the foundation leading to the water cistern in the cellar. These implements or funnels were retained in an upside down position such that when rain commenced the initial rainwater from the roof containing dirt, dust, salt from ocean spray and deposits from birds would be discharged to the ground. Then the funnels were turned right side up to divert clean water to the cistern.

It was not uncomon with children around these funnels would often wander off to become items of creative play leaving the keeper with the chore of finding and retrieving them before they were needed.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:18 am


Just like living with tank water like we did some years ago. What fooled me was the fact that I thought the "pot" was bottomless. The fact that it had a bottom was no clear to me from the photo as the floorboards are the same colour as the item.
Good little puzzle Dave. Thanks for the entertainment and education.
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Postby island » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:42 pm


Good point about the floor boards. Not good planning on my part for this photo. But then us old folks get confused easily and loose our bearings. That is why I made the addition on the floor of my ocean island hang-out.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:43 pm


Handy in case a tsunami picks the cottage up and floats it away. At least you'll know where North is.
That's a cosy looking hideaway, Dave. No wonder you spend time there.
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Postby island » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:41 am


That old house has been there since about 1888. It was built by lightkeeper Isaac Grant two years before he and his wife Abbie Burgess resigned from the Service. My grandfather acquired the house and land in 1947. Access is only by boat. The house has been maintained inside and out basically as it was was when built. I live there much the same way as lightkeepers of old but with no lamp in a tower or fog bell to tend -- and no lighthouse inspectors. The only modern conveniences are a propane stove and propane refrigerator.

But when there one is subject to numerous distractions like these.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:41 pm


A great spot to get away from it all.
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