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Yankees in the Limelight [at Port Hudson]

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  • carlw4514
    I have no idea if anyone is interested in this, but I have been trying to find out what technology was used to illuminate Farragut s fleet as he tried to pass
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2003
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      I have no idea if anyone is interested in this, but I have been trying
      to find out what technology was used to illuminate Farragut's fleet as
      he tried to pass Port Hudson in the night in March 1863. Supposedly
      this was adapted from Locomotive headlights.
      -So far, the best I can come up with is the fact that it was known
      early in the 1800's that jets of burning gases could be directed
      towards a block of lime to create a brilliant light; the lime became
      white-hot from the technique. The expression "in the limelight" comes
      from theatrical use of this. I can't find a confirmation that this in
      fact was used for locomotives.
      -Lighthouses experimented such things as oil lamps and different
      wicks, some combinations of which produced brighter lights.
      Lighthouses were looking to have lower maintenance, however, and
      didn't seem to use the lime.
      -My best guess so far is that Secesh searchlights there at Port Hudson
      were some modification of the limelight technique.

      Carl
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