National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lighthouse Postcards

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Thimble Shoal postcard face - click to enlarge

Thimble Shoal postcard obverse - click to enlarge

Locate on NOAA nautical chart

Thimble Shoal

State: VA
Year established: 1871
Latitude: 37 deg 0 min 52 sec N
Longitude: 76 deg 14 min 24 sec W
Height above sea level: 55 feet

Original construction:
brown hexagonal cottage atop screwpile foundation

1880: cottage replaced after destruction by fire
1891, 1898: damage by ship rammings repaired
1909: screwpile lighthouse destroyed by ship collision
1914: present 3-story red cylindrical cast iron tower on caisson

automated in 1964; active aid to navigation

Light characteristic:
flashing white every 10 seconds visible for 20 nautical miles; horn blasts once every 30 seconds, continuously

More information:
Turbyville, Linda, Bay Beacons - Lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay, (Annapolis, MD: Eastwind Publishing, 1995), pp.104-109