Maritime history has been influenced by the lighthouse since 270 BC, when Ptolemy II of Egypt commissioned the great beacon at Pharos Island, Alexandria-one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Since then, the lighthouse has undergone many changes and become an enduring symbol of salvation, fortitude, and heroic folklore. Increasing awareness of these historic landmarks has inspired this revised, fully updated, and expanded edition of The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses, a panoramic, lavishly illustrated history of the legendary and picturesque lighthouses of North America. Every kind of lighthouse is featured here, from the boldly striped, 196-foot tower overlooking the notorious Diamond Shoals off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to the many octagonal and pyramidal beacons built to guide sailors into North American harbors. Still other forms were devised for the special needs of frozen subarctic shores, the sandy southwest Gulf Coast, and treacherous, wave-swept offshore reefs where the lighthouse had to be anchored to the rocks by pneumatic piles, screwpiles, or caisson-laid foundations. Great feats of engineering were required for the construction of these isolated landmarks upon which so many lives depended. Lightships, foghorns, and modest beacons, like those marking harbor channels, are also covered in this comprehensive volume. A detailed gazetteer of U.S. light stations has been fully updated for this new edition, covering every lighthouse in the U.S. Maritime Heritage Program Inventory and many more historic beacons.