Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2014

From The Archives: 180 Voices in the Fog

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This photograph, which recently came into our possession, shows a new experimental fog horn in April of 1950. It was reported that the new fog horn was “Up to the Minute in Design,”and employed 180 individual speakers in a five-sided array high atop the Experimental Lightship LV 99 - WAL522. Two sides of that device are shown here. Reportedly, such a loudspeaker would assure a maximum of projected sound, giving the mariner an “all around” warning.

Also shown in this view taken while the ship was at the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard in Maryland from the starboard bow of the ship, are the beacon light atop the masthead, the radio antenna for the remote control that operated the crewless lightship from shore, and the radio beacon antenna.

Apparently this type of fog horn was also tried in Europe, but it saw very little use in the United States. During the cold war the Experimental Lightship LV 99 - WAL522 mysteriously disappeared from the logs of the Coast Guard shortly after this photo was taken. After spending tons of money on this vessel, the ship was decommissioned on May 4, 1956 and apparently sold for scrap. To learn more about this vessel, refer to the story, “Lightship – Warship – Experimental Ship – Mystery Ship” that appeared in the May/June edition of Lighthouse Digest, and can also be found in the on-line archives at www.LighthouseDigest.com.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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