LIGHT-HOUSES are of great antiquity, and there is room for much interesting study in regard to them. The most celebrated one in ancient times was on the island of Pharos at Alexandria, 280 B. C. The style and workmanship are represented to have been superb, and the material was a white stone. 

The height was about 550 feet, and the light, which was always kept burning, was visible about forty-one miles. 

This tower existed for 1,600 years.  These signal lights are rapidly increasing, but no country, perhaps, rivals France in its system of light-houses. It has four classes. Those of the first order indicate localities, and serve as a guide to vessels, which do not come near the coast. The second and third order point out bays, reefs, and roads; and those of the fourth order are placed at the mouth of rivers, and entrances to ports.

Revolving lights are the most common. 

These are so arranged as to cause illuminations and eclipses, and the rapidity with which these succeed each other forms the distinctive sign of the light-house.

In the English Channel, which lies between France and England, there is a group of rocks called Eddy-stone. These are daily submerged by the tide, and can only be discovered by the waves which eddy about them. The frequent shipwrecks on these rocks led to the erection of a light-house on them in 1696-1700. It was built by the learned and eccentric Winstanley, but being of wood it was completely swept away in a storm three years after its completion, the builder being submerged with the tower.

Another light-house was built in 1706-1709, also of wood, with a stone base. For a time it withstood the storms, warning sailors from the fatal rocks, until one night the building, from an unknown cause, took fire and was burned.

The present building, which is SO beautifully represented in this picture, was constructed by Mr. Smeaton in 1757-1759

It is noted for its strength and the engineering skill it displays. The trunk of an oak-tree is said to be the model from which it was built.

It stands on the sloping side of one of the rocks, and is built of blocks of Portland oolite, of one or two tons' weight, incased in granite, the granite being dove-tailed into solid rock. The base is about twenty-six feet in diameter. The tower is eighty-five feet high, rising from the base in a gentle curve. The light is a fixed one, at the height of seventy-two feet above the water, and can be seen at the distance of thirteen miles. Smeaton put on it no boastful inscriptions like those of Winstanley, but on its lowest course he put, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it;" and on its key-stone, above the lantern, the simple tribute, "Laus Deo!'' (Praise to God!) and the structure still stands, holding up its beacon-light to the storm-tossed mariner.