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A SHORT BRIGHT FLASH. Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse.
By Theresa Levitt. Softback, 0.23kg, 140mm x 210mm, 281 pages. Line Drawings. Published 2015.
Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) shocked the scientific elite with his unique understanding of the physics of light. The lens he invented was a brilliant feat of engineering that made lighthouses blaze many times brighter, farther, and more efficiently.
Battling the establishment, his own poor health, and the limited technology of the time, Fresnel was able to achieve his goal of illuminating the entire French coast. At first, the British sought to outdo the new Fresnel-equipped lighthouses as a matter of national pride. Americans, too, resisted abandoning their primitive lamps, but the superiority of the Fresnel lens could not be denied for long. Soon, from Dunkirk to Saigon, shores were brightened with it...
The Fresnel legacy played an important role in geopolitical events, including the American Civil War.
Levitt’s scientific and historical account, rich in anecdote and personality, brings to life the fascinating untold story of Augustin Fresnel and his powerful invention
NZ$38.00 + delivery.
by Guinever Nalder. Paperback, 0.72 kgs. 170mm x 240mm, black & white and full colour photographs. Published 2017
Southern Lights recounts the story of how New Zealand's lighthouses were established through the transfer of technology from Scotland to New Zealand over a period of almost 90 years. This resulted in most of New Zealand's lighthouses being fully or partially built using Scottish materials and expertise. The major Scottish contribution was the professional services provided by the firm founded by Robert Stevenson although by the time the first lighthouses were built in New Zealand, Robert had died and his eldest son Alan had retired.
The firm of David and Thomas Stevenson thus took on the first commissions and its successor companies over a period of 80 years were Consulting Lighthouse Engineers to the New Zealand Government. They arranged tenders, advised on technology, supervised manufacture and despatch of lighthouse components and stores, and much more, proving invaluable to the New Zealand Agent-General in London.
It was on this basis that in the period 1859 to 1941 38 major lighthouses were built; 30 of which were constructed between 1865 and 1897. Despite New Zealand's limited industrial base, this arrangement ensured they had access to Scottish lighthouse technology and expertise. Thirty-three were built using Scottish designed and built lanterns and apparatus and Scottish-designed lenses, although these were of French or English manufacture. Of the other five, two were eventually replaced by Scottish lighthouses, two were upgraded with Scottish technology, and the fifth remains the sole example of English lighthouse design, although in its time was supplied with Scottish equipment. Scotland also supplied trained professionals who manned the lights, designed and administered them.
NZ$65.00 + delivery.
LIGHT THROUGH A LENS.
By Neil Jones & Paul Ridgeway. Hardback, 0.98kg, 260mm x 255mm, 158 pages, Full colour photographs.
In 1514, Henry VIII granted the Corporation of Trinity House a royal charter establishing it as an authority in maritime matters within his kingdom. Later its remit was expanded to include responsibility for the provision and maintenance of aids to navigation. 500 years later the organisation is still responsible for the operation of lighthouses around England, Wales and the Channel Islands. Though automated now, these lighthouses are maintained in all their unique and idiosyncratic splendour, proving popular architectural landmarks with locals and visitors alike.
To celebrate Trinity House's quincentenary, this beautiful photographic book features the best photography from the Corporation's own archive, much of which has never been seen by the public before. The fascinating images seek to show some of the unusual diversity of the ancient, complex and somewhat misunderstood institution, with accompanying passages to describe what happened during those five eventful centuries.
This photographic account of these iconic structures dotted around the most vulnerable stretches of coastline is to be treasured by anyone who finds the haunting beam of a lighthouse at sea an immensely comforting sight.
NZ$50.00 + delivery.
LIGHTS IN THE LANDSCAPE.
By Grant Sheehan. Hardback, 1.30kg, 245mm x 320mm, 159 pages, Full colour photographs.
A spectacular photgraphic journey from New Zealand's most northern lighthouse at Cape Reinga to its most southern, on Dog Island in Foveaux Strait.
This book shows not only the Lighthouses, but also the landscape around them, capturing the wild beauty of the coastline, the unpredictable weather and the wildlife in these, mostly isolated, areas. Sheehans photgraphs, showcase the iconic buildings and the sharp textural landscapes around them, captured in light conditions, that range from stormlight and moonlight to stunning nightscapes with star filled skies.
The accompanying text gives a brief history of each lighthouse, of the events that (may) have taken place there, and, for those lighthouses still in operation, the appropriate technical details.
Grant Sheehan also pays justifable tribute to to the keepers and their families.
'Anythin' for a quiet life, as the man said when he took the situation at the lighthouse'.... (Charles Dickens)
NZ$75.00 + delivery.
LIGHTHOUSES OF THE WORLD.
By Marie-Haude Arzur. Hardback, 1.36kg, 167mm x 338mm, 237 pages. Full colour photographs.
Lighthouses hold a perennial fascination for many of us - an indicator of danger, a beacon of the sea, laced with history and romance and a magent for coastal walkers and visitors. Within these pages is a beautifully presently panorama of over 150 lighthouses from 56 countries around the world, all of which are accessible and many of which can be visited.
From lighthouses boldly beaming their lights from cliff tops, to those clinging precariously to the edge of cliff faces, this is a spectacular and unusual celebration of lighthouses from every continent. This novel format presents them in all their glory.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
GUARDIANS OF THE LIGHT DVD.
Howard Taylor Productions. Duration: 45 minutes.
The Lives of Lighthouse Keepers.
The days when lighthouse keepers sat up all night to keep the lights going are over. In this documentary the men and women who lived on the isolated islands and craggy cliffs of New Zealand’s manned lighthouse stations talk about a lifestyle that ended last century.
NZ$36.00 + delivery.
THE TALL WHITE TOWER.
By W.E.H.Creamer (completed by Terry Cole). Paperback, 0.47kg, 148mm x 210mm, 248 pages, monochrome photographs. Published in 2013.
In Terry Cole's words:
We are perhaps fortunate that my Uncle Eric, (W.E.H.Creamer) had the insight to put on paper what he remembered of his family's life in the New Zealand Lighthouse Service. Obviously the early years were recounted to him by his parents but they none the less provide the completion of the tale.
In later life he visited some of the Stations at which his parents served and this reminded him of some of the events and hardships that were thrust upon them.
Captain Bollons and the GSS Hinemoa are well documented in various archives.
As you will read, from quite an early age, he was always writing things, as school projects or to send off to the Boy Scout Magazine. He also wrote other manuscripts about his days fishing for a living on Pioneer 2.
This book represents the events as they actually happened and this is borne out by my own research into things he described happening to him and his family. Other authors describe some of the stations in similiar vein to my uncle Eric and have used parts of this book, of which a manuscript copy is held by the Turnbull Library, in their own publications, and the "Papers Past" website has given me confirmation of many of the events he gives as taking place.
When he wrote his manuscript in the mid 1960s, he could not have envisaged that his nephew would finish the task and put it in print. I am honoured to have been the one who did it."
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
PASS SAFELY SAILOR
By Bill Kemp. Pbk, 148mm x 210mm, 160 pages, black & white photo's.
Lighthouses conjure images of isolation and romance. Bill Kemp's account of lighthouse keeping in some of New Zealand's most far-flung corners fills in the gaps we can only imagine. Bill and his growing family spent many years keeping a vigil over the sea, and in the process met engaging characters and developed a keen appreciation of nature's power and beauty. Bill relates tales of day-to-day bravery of common folk who live at the mercy of the weather, of comradeship, hijinks and disaster. Find out how it feels to be in the centre of a hundred-year storm, how adaptable you need to be when everyday life is dictated by the vagaries of the weather, and how solitude breeds creativity. Pass safely Sailor is a warm and often funny remembrance of days when lighthouses were operated by dedicated men and women, and sailors knew that someone was keeping a watchful eye over them.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
THE LIGHTHOUSE STEVENSONS.
By Bella Bathurst. Paperback, 128mm x 198mm, 284 pages, monochrome drawings.
Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous of the Stevensons, but not by any means the most productive. The Lighthouse Stevensons, all four generations of them, built every lighthouse around Scotland, were responsible for a host of optical and structural innovations, and achieved feats of engineering in unbelievably forbidding conditions. The same driven energy that Robert louis put into writing, his ancestors put into lighting the darkness of the seas. Theirs is a story of high endeavour and remarkable ingenuity, beautifully told by Bella Bathhurst in this contemporary classic of historical biography.
NZ$31.00 + delivery.