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Shakespeare and all the other writers who said beauty fades spoke the obvious. Unless they are properly maintained, even beautiful lighthouses eventually fall victim to the ravages of time. But some old photographs of such structures, thankfully, are here to stay. The following pictures were all taken more than a century ago. Yet, they still retain the power to captivate and prompt the viewer to think about the beauty and splendour of lighthouses

Those beauties held so long in gaze
Have melted from my mind like snow,
But still I see through rifted haze
The wizard tower and portico

— Katharine Lee Bates, from ‘The Lighthouse’

View of the Petit Minou lighthouse, c. 1873–in or before 1883
Anonymous photographer
Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Light House Point, New Haven, c.1900
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Eagle Island Light, Penobscot Bay, Maine, 1884
Dr. Joseph John Kirkbride (American, 1842–1899)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Portland Head Light, c.1902
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, 1893
Edward L. Woods (American, active 1880s–1900s)
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum

The Nubble, York, Maine, 1900
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Tillamook Rock and lighthouse / S. B. Crow, Astoria, Oregon, c. 1891
Anonymous photographer
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Kvalen lantern just north of Haugesund (Norway), 1910
Anders Beer Wilse (Norwegian, 1865–1949)
Courtesy of Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library of Norway)

Crown Point Light House (Lake Champlain, Crown Point, New York) c. 1910
Bain News Service, publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Lighthouse and Jetty, le Havre, 1857
Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1884)
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Ruins of Charleston lighthouse, Morris Island (vicinity), South Carolina, 1863
Haas & Peale, photographers
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Electric Lighthouse, South Head, Sydney, NSW, late1880s or 1890s
Anoynmous photographer
Courtesy of the Royal Australian Historical Society

~ Barista Uno

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