It's romance, adventure, history, and mystery combined in one beautifully illustrated volume! The author, a recognized expert and historian, presents the absorbing chronicle of lighthouses and recounts the lives of their indomitable builders and keepers. He describes ancient lighthouses built by the Phoenicians and Greeks, then details development of lighthouses from seventeenth-century wood-fired beacons to today's state-of-the-art solar-powered lights. Readers are treated to a fascinating chronicle of lighthouse technology and architecture, with focus on how lighthouses have evolved over the centuries. Full-color cutaway diagrams show the inner workings of a lighthouse and describe how its lens system operates. The book's other fascinating topics include: Lighthouse engineers, designers, and builders ... Lighthouse lore, myths, and legends ... Lightships and relief vessels ... The arrival of automation ... Tourism and lighthouse conservation and preservation. Shown and described are lighthouses from all over the world, including the 190-foot-high Cape Hatteras light on the North Carolina coast, moved more than a half-mile inland in 1999 to avoid destruction from coastal erosion; the famous Eddystone Lighthouse, located off the treacherously rocky coast of Plymouth, England; the luxurious lighthouse fit for a king in Courdouan, France; the series of modern, all-aluminum towers dotting the Japanese coastline; and many others. Fascinating lighthouse stories include hurricane survival at Sombrero, West Indies; the ice-encrusted lighthouse that collapsed in a Great Lakes blizzard; the terrifying lighthouse fire at Skerryvore, Scotland; the mysterious murder at a Florida Keys lighthouse; and many others. Intensely readable text is enhanced with more than 300 beautiful color photos, watercolor renditions, and sketches.