|

Horse-powered Daboll trumpet

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:56 pm


Daboll trumpets were installed at a number of light stations through the 1860’s powered by steam and caloric engines, with some of them apparently remaining in service as late as the turn of the twentieth century.

However, drawings included in the 1851 “Report of the Officers Constituting The Light-House Board….” show a Daboll trumpet powered by a vertical compressor with its twin cylinders operated by a crankshaft.

While one of these drawings shows the compressor driven by a hand crank and flywheel, two of them show the crankshaft operated by horse-power (of the equine variety.)

One shows the horse hitched to a bar protruding from a vertical pole equipped with gears which transferred power to the crankshaft as the horse walked in circles around the vertical pole, and the other shows the horse on a treadmill which drove the crankshaft by a belt and helical gear combination.

I have included a much reduced scan of the latter below

Image

Does anyone know if such a horse-powered system was ever installed anywhere by the Lighthouse Board?
Terry Pepper
GLLKA Executive Director
http://www.gllka.com

Seeing The Light
http://www.terrypepper.com

Image
User avatar
Terry_Pepper
LH.net Administrator
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:00 am
Location: Michigan

Postby island » Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:35 pm


In 1851, an experimental air fog whistle and reed horn was installed at Beavertail Lighthouse at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. At first this sound signal was powered by a horse-operated treadmill.

Per Malcolm Willoughby, Lighthouses of New England, "The last time horse-power was literaly used was in 1852 for the air whistles at Beavertail and Little Gull Island, New York."
island
Lt. Commissioner
 
Posts: 2035
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:00 am

Postby island » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:45 am


--more horsing around in the fog.

From E.R. Snow Famous Lighthouses of New England, "Celadon Daboll seems to have been an interesting character. When his fog horn did not please a perspective purchaser, he would sell a fog whistle. If there were those who objected to working the hand pump which furnished the whistle blast, Daball would arrange a treadmill or horse windlass.'

More from Willoughby, citing the official 1951 report regarding the horse-driven signal at Beavertail: “Fog seldom lasts all day. It will require about one-third of the time (during fogs) to work the horse, to keep up a regular series of signals. Keeper makes fog signals when he wakes up and finds a fog. No means of ascertaining if it is foggy: generally gets up at 1 A.M. to trim lamps. Whistle house 24 x 20 feet; wheel 10 feet in diameter, working into a 14" pinion; 3 minutes per signal, or 12 minutes for four signals. Only twenty signals per hour were possible with this apparatus."[/i]
island
Lt. Commissioner
 
Posts: 2035
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:00 am

Postby Hersh » Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:54 pm


Wow, I never would have guessed...

8O
Mike Hershberger
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Image
http://www.harbor-of-refuge.com
User avatar
Hersh
Lighthouse Master
 
Posts: 3970
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Goshen, IN

Postby island » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:24 pm


I wonder what the horse did when it heard the first blast from that horn. :)
island
Lt. Commissioner
 
Posts: 2035
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:00 am

Postby beachbum1616 » Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:17 pm


Island said:
--more horsing around in the fog.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Horses powering fog signals. There is always something new interesting to learn about operations and happenings at our light stations.
Stephen

Image
User avatar
beachbum1616
Lighthouse Master
 
Posts: 4080
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:18 pm


If I had read further in the 1851 “Report of the Officers Constituting The Light-House Board,” I would have come across the following report by Captain Green Walden of the Revenue Cutter MORRIS on page 467, after visiting the Beaver-tail point light on June 3, 1851 at the request of the Secretary of the Treasury:

Near the light-house I found a whistle used as a fog signal with a reservoir of two hundred and twenty-five gallons capacity – two large air pumps working into this by a crank, connected with which is the arrangement of machinery for the horse-power, and by which arrangement forty or fifty pounds of pressure is obtained in about four minutes time. The machinery is exceedingly simple, being destitute of complication, is easily understood, even by the most illiterate.

Besides the whistle, a fog-horn has been attached, which can be used to good advantage as a fog signal on board of light-ships, the machinery being so arranged that it can be detached from the horsepower if necessary.

A substantial building is also provide in which the machinery and horses are kept. Everything seems to have been provided in this building to give certainty and security to this signal.


Like my mother used to say "Terry, if you'd look a little further than the end of your nose, you might find what you are looking for!"
Terry Pepper
GLLKA Executive Director
http://www.gllka.com

Seeing The Light
http://www.terrypepper.com

Image
User avatar
Terry_Pepper
LH.net Administrator
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:00 am
Location: Michigan

Postby island » Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:03 pm


The machinery is exceedingly simple, being destitute of complication, is easily understood, even by the most illiterate.


Sounds like a typical Revenue Service officer of the time with apparent distain for that which was not of a ship.

I wonder how the fog signal was sounded when the tanks were up to the desired pressure.
island
Lt. Commissioner
 
Posts: 2035
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:00 am


Return to Lighthouse Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron