Happy 174th Birthday

To this old icon:

Completed on December 15th 1848 – at a cost of £15,871 – sure.

But first lit on this day in 1849. And that’s what counts for lighthouse birthdays.

The light, a 4-wick Argand burner, was lit on March 1st 1849. It was filled with rendered fat obtained from indigenous fat-tailed sheep, and produced a stationary white light of 4,500 candlepower.

The current light is ever so slightly more powerful than that, at 7,500,000 candlepower, flashes every 5 seconds and has a range of 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 miles). Interestingly, it doesn’t rely on Eskom for illumination, but on occasion, it has stopped turning because of power outages.

Old school stuff. Pedal faster.