Lighting America's Beacons
U.S. Lighthouses Under the Department of Commerce
The Bureau of Lighthouses
In 1910, Congress established the Bureau of Lighthouses under the Department of Commerce. For 29 years, the Bureau—commonly known as the Lighthouse Service—managed the nation’s lighthouses, fitting them with updated technology and supervising the lighthouse keepers who kept lights burning through the night, often heroically coming to the aid of vessels in distress.
[Left] An illustration of the Boston Light. Completed in 1716, it was the first lighthouse built in the U.S.
~ Photo Source: National Archives and Records Administration