LIGHTSHIP Portsmouth (LV 101 then WAL 524)
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Lightship Portsmouth was designated LV 101 when commissioned, but her name changed every time she moved to a new station. She served for 48 years off the coasts of Virginia, Delaware and Massachusetts.
Her hull is of a steel whaleback design, which helps to keep it on an even keel in stormy seas. It was one of only two such rounded-hull lightships ever constructed. The ship's illuminating apparatus first consisted of a 500 mm lens with six flash panels set in a rotating motion by weight-driven clockwork. The light itself was derived from a kerosene lamp of 24,000 candlepower set inside a cylindrical lantern. LV 101 was equipped with a number of fog signals as well: a 6 inch air siren was on deck, complimented by a submarine bell and a thousand pound bell which was operated by hand. Over time each of these was updated.
In 1964 she was decommissioned and shortly later became a museum in Portsmouth, VA.
Lightship Portsmouth is a National Historic Landmark.
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