Objects | Engineering


Lighthouse Light, about 1847

The Museum of Hartlepool, Tees Valley

Maritime, Firsts

1800 – 1899

This lighthouse was the first coal-gas powered lighthouse in Britain, and potentially in the world.

It cost the sum of £5,750, which is the equivalent of £14,000,000 in today’s money. Contemporary accounts record that at first there was some difficulty in making a gas burner that gave out a bright white light. This was quickly solved, with the first lighting taking place on the 1 October 1847.

While the lighthouse tower was designed and built by the famous architect Stephen Robinson, the engineer who was responsible for the creation of this innovative gas-powered light, and for solving the problem, remains unknown.

The full sized “Light” is approximately 2.5m high and 4m in diameter, and comprises of 8000 parts, including multiple lenses to focus a beam of light as a visual warning for local shipping.

Maker Unknown

On display at The Museum of Hartlepool

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