Norwegian Light Beacon Lighthouse
In the center of Big Spring Park near the Huntsville Museum of Art
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Organizations: Alabama Lighthouse Association
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The light beacon and fog bell in Big Springs International Park were presented as a gift from Norway in 1973. The light beacon served as one of the guiding lights to mariners from 1903 to 1966 being situated on the west coast of Norway at Langbakneset. It is typical of some 1800 beacons which have been erected on the rugged Norwegian coast with all its fjords and islands. The first beacons of this type were put in 1883. In the year 1973 Norway still uses about 1300 of these "oil light beacons." For practical reasons the oil burner is now being replaced by an electric light source or acetylen gas burner, needing little attention compared to the old oil burner type installation which required refueling every week. Refueling was usually carried out by the local fisherman engaged as a tender. The fog bell was in operation at Aksdalesnes near Stavanger from 1929 to 1964, and the tower is a copy of that used for some 15 land based fog bells on the Norwegian coast. The first of these were put up more than 100 years ago. Sailing vessels with their relatively slow speed made use of this type of fog signal, but modern ships require more efficient fog signals for their navigation.
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