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Technology Trivia question

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

Postby Terry_Pepper » Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:01 pm


The photograph below was sent to me by Ken Czapski of UP Engineers and Architects, and was taken during an engineering survey he conducted at a Light Station on Lake Superior in June 2004.

Any ideas what the stuff apparently growing beneath the window might be?

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For bragging rights, identify in what specific part of the station it was found.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:30 pm


Looks like seaweed to me, Terry. My daughter is a marine biologist and she will be here tomorrow for the weekend. I'll ask her opinion.

Maybe it's a new type of spaghetti. :lol:
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Postby Hersh » Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:06 pm


Looks like something out of a horror movie.

My only guess would be some kind of mold, but that's a spit in the wind.
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Postby mikev » Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:29 am


Just as a guess, some kind of lichen...

As a second guess, the low-to-the-floor window sill would seem to favor some kind of service room but I'm thinking this is Granite Island Light, recently privately purchased/renovated, and that had low windows in the second-floor living areas. Keeper's bedroom?

And UP Engineering, is that Pat Coleman's firm? Ran into him a few years back at a Winter Cities conference in Marquette, really nice guy.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:25 pm


Mike,

Pat Coleman is indeed the Presdent of UP Engineers and Architects. They are a wonderful company, were responsible for a lot of planning work at Whitefish Point, the designe of the Granite Island rehab, and were the Engineering Company involved in the restoration of the DeTour Reef Light. They will certainly be one of the Engineering firms we (GLLKA) will ask to submit bids for our Engineering grant at the Cheboygan River Front Range Light.

Anyobody eles have any other ideas as to what the "stuff" in this photo might be?
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Postby Pharoslvr » Sun May 01, 2005 10:39 am


My guess would be some type of seaweed, also.
I used to have a cabin up near Tawas and had some of that stuff growing underneath in the crawl space. It seems to take root (and flourish) in a musty, damp, low (or no) light environment.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sun May 01, 2005 4:48 pm


It's not seaweed.

Anybody else like to give it a try :?:
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Postby Pharoslvr » Sun May 01, 2005 5:18 pm


So, what is it?
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sun May 01, 2005 5:57 pm


What say we give it a couple more days and see if someone can come up with the correct answer.
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Postby island » Sun May 01, 2005 6:02 pm


Looking closely at the upper ends of the strands they do no look like a normal growth arrangement. It almost looks like the strands are protruding from the concrete most apparent at the right side of the photo below the sill.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Sun May 01, 2005 6:02 pm


My daughter agrees that it's not seaweed. Her guess is some type of lichen or moss something like the Chinaman's Beard fungus that grows on trees.
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Postby island » Mon May 02, 2005 5:13 am


The individual strands do not appear to be the result of normal plant or fungus growth. The "free ends" appear to be of the same diameter as the attached ends and the strands appear to be about the same diameter. I do not know of any natural growth that would fit this description, not that there is not, but not to my knowledge.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 02, 2005 3:19 pm


I will let this go for one more day, and if nobody has come up with the correct respnse, I will post the answer. David is definitely moving in the right direction.
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Postby island » Mon May 02, 2005 4:22 pm


I do not know where to go further with this. Fiberous materials and synthetic materials, often in strand form, are sometimes added to concrete mix for specific property enhancement. I question this being such strands in the photo because of the great abundance of the strands that are present.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 02, 2005 4:55 pm


David basically has it.

This photograph was taken on the second floor of the Manitou Island light station in Lake Superior.

The exterior walls of this building are concrete, and the insides of the walls are lined with a tightly matted fibrous material made from what appears to be compressed and extruded wood pulp (somewhat like today’s flake board.) This fibrous material was then given a skim coat of plaster, and painted. We assume, but have yet to prove, that this fibrous material was used to help absorb sound.

Moisture entering the second floor window, which was broken for a period of time, not only caused the plaster to peel off, but infiltrated the fibrous matting of the wall, causing the compacted fibers to expand and push away from the wall.

Below, you will see another of Ken's photos, this one shot on the first floor of the fog signal building showing where the skim coating of plaster and paint has peeled away, exposing the fibrous material. However, in this instance, the fibers have not become so waterlogged that they have separated and come away from the wall.

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