National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lighthouse Postcards

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Portsmouth Harbor postcard face - click to enlarge

Portsmouth Harbor postcard obverse - click to enlarge

Locate on NOAA nautical chart

Portsmouth Harbor

State: NH
Year established: 1771
Latitude: 43 deg 4 min 16 sec N
Longitude: 70 deg 42 min 31 sec W
Height above sea level: 52 feet

Original construction:
shingled wood tower

1804: 80-foot octagonal wooden tower
1854: tower shortened to 55 feet
1877: present 48 foot white cylindrical iron tower

Automated in 1960; active aid to navigation

Light characteristic:
Fixed green, visible for 12 nautical miles; fog signal, 1 blast every 10 seconds

Also known as Fort Point, New Castle, and Fort Constitution Light

More information:
Holland Jr., F. Ross, America's Lighthouses: Their Illustrated History Since 1716, (Brattleboro, VT: The Stephen Greene Press, 1972), p. 12
Holland Jr., F. Ross, Great American Lighthouses, National Historic Trust Guide, (Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1989), pp. 120-121
US Coast Guard, Public Information Division, Historically Famous Lighthouses, CG-232, (Washington, DC: GPO,1972), p. 61 [Light characteristics may not be current]