National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lighthouse Postcards

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Portland Head postcard face - click to enlarge

Portland Head postcard obverse - click to enlarge

Locate on NOAA nautical chart

Historical chart

Portland Head

State: ME
Year established: 1791
Latitude: 43 deg 37 min 23 sec N
Longitude: 70 deg 12 min 28 sec W
Height above sea level: 101 feet

Original construction:
present 80-foot brick-lined stone tower

Automated in 1989; first lighthouse on Maine coast and still active aid to navigation; former keeper's house is now a museum

Light characteristic:
Flashing white every 4 seconds, visible for 24 nautical miles; fog signal 1 blast every 15 seconds

More information:
Holland Jr., F. Ross, America's Lighthouses: Their Illustrated History Since 1716, (Brattleboro, VT: The Stephen Greene Press, 1972), pp. 80-82
Holland Jr., F. Ross, Great American Lighthouses, National Historic Trust Guide, (Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1989), pp. 91-92
US Coast Guard, Public Information Division, Historically Famous Lighthouses, CG-232, (Washington, DC: GPO,1972), p. 31 [Light characteristics may not be current]