Posted by: mlapgrants | May 1, 2018

Development of Fog Signal Technology at the Thunder Bay Island Light Station

The technological changes to fog signal equipment influenced the physical appearance of the Thunder Bay Island Light Station.  In 1853, funds for a fog bell were appropriated, and it was installed later in the 1850s.  In 1871, Congress appropriated funds to build a wood-framed fog signal building with a steam fog whistle, and in 1877 a duplicate fog signal building with a steam fog whistle was built.  This redundancy was common at light stations to ensure the fog signal was functional in the event one of them malfunctioned or was being repaired (see photo).  In 1906, a new “fireproof” brick fog signal building replaced the wood structures (see photo).  The fog signal was updated to a Type C air diaphone system in 1923, and to a Type F diaphone in 1932.

The fog signal history is a part of the Historic Structure Report (HSR) being prepared by OX Studio and Smay Trombley Architecture as part of a grant project funded by a National Maritime Heritage Program grant from the National Park Service, and a Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program grant from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).1904 Fog Signals1913 Fog Signal


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