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Power StrugglesScientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity Before Edison$
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Michael Brian Schiffer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195829

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195829.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

A Beacon of Modernity

A Beacon of Modernity

(p.271) 20 A Beacon of Modernity
Power Struggles

Michael Brian Schiffer

The MIT Press

This chapter scrutinizes the various challenges that emerged regarding the adoption of electric arc lights. Lighthouse keepers needed training to maintain the different parts of the arc lights that were not required in oil lamps. Arc lights were also expensive to set up and in case of breakdown required at least one to three hours to be restored. As time went on, most of the lighthouse-maintaining agencies decided against the electric lights because of high installation and maintenance costs. However, electricity operated-lighthouses became a status symbol for certain countries since their presence implied that the country’s economy was capable of installing such a high-cost technology. Following the changes brought about in England and France, other European countries started adopting the electrical lighting systems in lighthouses.

Keywords:   lighthouses, electric arc lights, lighthouse-maintaining agencies, electricity-operated lighthouse, England, France

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