In 1924, when the U.S. Lighthouse Service was operating under the Department of Commerce, it was stated that the Lighthouse Service had more employees decentralized outside of Washington, DC than any other branch of the government, and they were not hesitant in promoting their accomplishments in many different venues to the American public.
Shown here is the Department of Commerce float in a 1924 parade in what the Lighthouse Service called the Cuban-American Exposition; however, it was actually the Annual Cuban Revolution/Independence Day celebration that was held each year in Key West, Florida. The biggest event of the Oct 10, 1924 celebration was the dedication of the San Carlo Memorial Building.
The truck held two exquisitely built models, one of the Sombrero Key Lighthouse and one of the Dry Tortugas Lighthouse. On each side of the truck were Lighthouse Service pennants, the official flag of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Hanging on the back of the truck was the flag of the Superintendent of Lighthouses. If you look closely, affixed to back side of the cab of the truck is a brass lighthouse. These brass lighthouses were also affixed on most official cars or trucks of the Lighthouse Service and on the doors of many of the captain’s quarters on lighthouse tenders and lightships. A uniformed lighthouse keeper marched alongside the float.
This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2017 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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