THE LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM

We take a short ferry ride from the tip of Manhattan to the north shore of Staten Island to visit the National Lighthouse Museum.

Aired on September 10, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

THERE'S A NEW MUSEUM IN TOWN WITH AN OLD FAMILIAR FEEL.

THE NEW DESTINATION AT THE END OF THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY.

THE NEW OLD HOME OF THE NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM.

WNET PRESIDENT DR. BILL BAKER TAKES US ON A TOUR AND EXPLORES OUR MARITIME HERITAGE.

THIS IS THE HEART OF THE HARBOR.

RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THINGS, YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE A SHIP COMING ACROSS THE FLICK TLIK AND THEN CRASHING ON ONE OF THE REEFS OUT IN THE HARBOR.

LIGHTHOUSES HAVEN'T BEEN BUILT AND THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND THE ENTIRE WORLD.

THAT'S THE REASON WHY LIGHTHOUSES ARE ARE SO IMPORTANT.

YOU HAVE OVER 600 IN THE COUNTRY AND 15,000 IN THE WORLD.

PEOPLE WANT THAT HISTORY, WE WANT TO SAVE THAT HISTORY.

MANY OF THEM ARE BEING REPURPOSED.

AND THE MUSEUM HERE IS PUT TOGETHER TO PRESERVE AND EDUCATE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

THIS WAS THE HOME OF THE U.S.

LIGHTHOUSE DEPOT.

FROM 1864 TO 1939.

WHAT THE DEPOT WAS WAS ANYTHING FROM A LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER IN AMERICA NEEDED.

WAS ESSENTIALLY MADE HERE ONSIGHT.

BROUGHT HERE TO BE INSPECTED THEN SHIPPED OUT NATIONWIDE.

SO WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT A REGIONAL DEPOT, EVEN THOUGH IT DID FUNCTION THAT WAY.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NATIONAL DEPOT THAT SERVICED AND DELIVERED SUPPLIES NATIONALLY TO ALL LIGHTHOUSES MANY AMERICA.

ADMINISTRATORS WORKED HERE.

THE KEEP ERS WERE FILLED AND TH ARCHITECTS WERE DESIGNING LIGHTS HERE RIGHT IN THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING.

THE LENSES CAME IN FROM FRANCE AND ENGLAND WERE BROUGHT HERE TO THE SITE.

ASSEMBLED THEN DISASSEMBLED AND SENT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

THIS WAS A WAREHOUSE FOR ALL THE LENSES COMING INTO THE COUNTRY ALSO.

THE ONE INTERESTING WORKER HERE THAT WE KNOW WHO SORT OF LIVED ON STATEN ISLAND AND WORKED HERE WAS JUSTICE.

HE WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE HE PATENTED A LOT OF THE OIL LAMPS THAT WENT INSIDE THE LENSES.

INTRODUCING NEW OIL AND IT WAS HIS JOB TO MAKE IT WORK SO HE WAS A PROLIFIC PATENTOR.

WE CREATED EDUCATION HERE GIVE YOU A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT LIGHTHOUSES AND THE HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSES ARE.

BUT YOU ALSO FIND A TIMELINE OF LIGHTHOUSES.

YOU'LL FIND HISTORY OF THE PURPOSE.

AND ALSO HISTORY ABOUT THE SIGHT THAT FWINS BACK TO INDIAN FORWARD.

YOU ALWAYS FIND THE HISTORY OF WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SITE OF THE DURING THE U.S. LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE GENERAL DEPOT.

STORIES ABOUT THE KEEPERS.

NOW I AM LIGHTHOUSE NUT.

SO MUCH OF A A NUT THAT I MAINTAIN AND CARE FOR THIS LIGHTHOUSE.

THE HENRY ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE IN NOVA SCOTIA.

BUT I'M NOTHING COMPARED TO WILL FRED.

A MAN WHO HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD LOOKING AT LIGHTHOUSES.

HE'S BEEN TO 2500 OF THEM.

I WONDER WHY.

WHEN I WAS 14 OR 15, I DELIVERED CAMERA AND I WAS IN THE CAMP MEETING IN GERMANY AND I SAW MAKE THE FIRST PHOTO OF THE LIGHT SHIP.

LIGHT SHIP WAS LIGHT SHIP HERE.

LATER WAS A CLEAR SHIP.

NOW I HAVE SEEN MORE THAN 250 WORLDWIDE.

USA, CLOSE TO 700.

CANADA, CLOSE TO 550 AND AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFTERCAR ACCIDENT BUT I WANT TO GO TO ASIA AND GO TO SCANDINAVIA.

AND I'M ALL THE WORKING WITH THE STORY ABOUT LIGHTHOUSES IN MY LIFE.

BUT IT TAKES YEARS.

BECAUSE I'M OFTEN NOT AT HOME.

WE ARE NOW ALREADY BRINGING, MANY PEOPLE COMING FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND WE HAVE A WONDERFUL MAP SHOWING WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM SO WE ASK THEM TO PUT A PIN IN.

YOU'LL BE AMAZED AT WHO'S COMING AND WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

WE DO LIGHTHOUSE BOAT TOURS AND LECTURES.

WE ARE NOW ABLE TO BRING IN CHILDREN.

TO VISIT THE MUSEUM WHICH WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT.

AND WE'RE GROWING.

WE'RE OPEN EVERY DAY EXCEPT MONDAY.

FROM 11:00 TO 5:00 AND SUMMER AND THE WINTER, 11:00 TO 4:00.

PEOPLE ARE COMING ALREADY AND A THEY'RE VERY EXCITED THEY FOUND THIS HISTORY AND APPRECIATE IT.

FOR METROFOCUS, I'M BILL BAKER.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019