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Marking time in January 2013

Monday 21 January 2013

Port Said lighthouse

Another one for the bucket list: I must have seen it as I passed through the Suez Canal (twice, in 1965 and 1966), but I don’t remember it. It marks the northern entrance to the canal.

It was the world’s first concrete lighthouse tower, and was de­signed by François Coignet and completed in 1869​—​the first Aus­tralian example of this type was Green Cape lighthouse (first lit in 1883).

The Port Said lighthouse was among the first to be lit by elec­tric­ity, using a carbon arc powered by de Meritens dynamos​—​the first (and only) use of this system in Australia was at the second Macquarie lighthouse (first lit in 1888).

Hazelle Jackson has a fine collection of images and text about the lighthouse, part of her online social history of Port Said.

According to an article in Al Ahram the lighthouse is protected by Egyptian monuments protection law, but people are con­cerned for its future.

Lighthouse and breakwater at the entrance of the Suez Canal, Port Said, a wood engraving from the Illustrated London News, 22 July 1882.

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Port Said lighthouse

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