The first lighthouse
The first documented lighthouse was built in 200 BC on the island of Pharos by the Egyptian Emperor Ptolemy. It was the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is thought to have been 492 ft (150 meters) high – about three times taller than modern lighthouses. Romans emperors built many lighthouses to assist their navigators. In 90 AD, Emperor Caligula ordered a light house at Dover, England. It is the oldest lighthouse in England and still stands in the Dover Castle grounds. The world’s tallest brick lighthouse, the Lanterna at Genoa, was built in 1543. It still stands proud at 246 ft (75m) tall. The world’s first stone lighthouse was the Smeaton Eddystone (picture below), built just south of Plymouth, England in 1756 by John Smeaton, the “Father of Civil Engineering.” It was lit with only 24 candles. The Eddystone lasted 47 years until it was floored by fire. It was then dismantled and built on a neighboring rock. Today, lighthouse lights are the equivalent of 20 million candles.