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The lighthouse of Aveiro, on the west coast of Portugal.

A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.

Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, and safe entries to harbors; they also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems.

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Skerryvore (from the Gaelic An Sgeir Mhòr meaning "The Great Skerry") is a remote reef that lies off the west coast of Scotland, 12 miles (19 kilometres) south-west of the island of Tiree. Skerryvore is best known as the name given to the lighthouse on the skerry, built with some difficulty between 1838 and 1844 by Alan Stevenson. At a height of 156 feet (48 m) it is the tallest lighthouse in Scotland. The shore station was at Hynish on Tiree (which now houses the Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum); operations were later transferred to Erraid, west of Mull. The remoteness of the location led to the keepers receiving additional payments in kind. The light shone without a break from 1844 until a fire in 1954 shut down operations for five years. The lighthouse was automated in 1994.

Alan Stevenson was appointed as the engineer for the project aged only 30. He designed a tower 156 feet (48 m) high with a base of 42 feet (13 m), narrowing to just 16 feet (5 m) at the lantern gallery. The lowest sections would be solid, although at 26 feet (8 m) high they were less than half the height of the base of the later light at nearby Dubh Artach. Nonetheless the structure would weigh 4,308 long tons (4,377 t) and the volume of the base would be more than 4 times larger than the entire structure of the Eddystone light and twice that of the Bell Rock. With 151 steps to the top it would be the tallest and heaviest lighthouse yet built anywhere in the modern world, and today it is one of the tallest lighthouses in the United Kingdom.

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Katherine "Kate" Walker (1850s – February 5, 1931) was born in Northern Germany as Katherine Gortler and was an American lighthouse keeper.

Walker tended the Robbins Reef Light in the Lower New York Bay in New York Harbor for more than thirty years after the death of her husband, Captain John Walker, who had been appointed keeper of the light in 1883. In 1886, John Walker was dying from pneumonia. In the hospital, his parting words to his wife were, "Mind the light, Kate." He never returned to the lighthouse again. Katherine Walker was appointed the official keeper of the light by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, four years after her husband's death. During her commitment on the tower she rescued 50 sailors from shipwrecks, and raised two children, Jacob and Mary.

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Photograph: Frank Schulenburg

The Point Reyes Lighthouse is a lighthouse in the Gulf of the Farallones on Point Reyes in Marin County, California. Built in 1870 as a twin of the Cape Mendocino Light, the Point Reyes Lighthouse was automated in 1975 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

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Lavrenty Zagoskin.jpg
There are no words to express the feelings that induce a sailor to offer fervent prayers when he sees this mark of sympathy expressed by his fellow men. Suddenly he sees that he is no longer alone in the midst of the ocean waves: he sees that people are caring for him with paternal solicitude.
Lavrenty Zagoskin, on sighting the lighthouse at Sitka, Alaska, in 1839

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