Beacon Beam Tells Hours of Night (Sep, 1931)

The original OCR output for this was much cooler before I fixed it. Who doesn’t want a Bacon Beam?

Beacon Beam Tells Hours of Night

A GIGANTIC nocturnal sun-dial, using light instead of shadow to tell the time, is to be installed by the municipality of Guayaquil, Republic of Ecuador. The light source will be an electric searchlight which, revolving once every 12 hours, will indicate the time by illuminating surrounding landmarks at the same time each night.

Guayaquil is at present constructing beautiful gardens along the waterfront of the port. In the center of these gardens, a Moorish tower is being erected to hold an old historic clock dating back to 1841. A large airport beacon will be mounted on top of this tower and will make one complete revolution every twelve hours.

The beacon, a 24-inch unit with a 1,000-watt lamp, will be operated by impulses from a telecron electric clock, the current being transmitted to a solenoid-operated turning mechanism every five seconds through the medium of a standard traffic timer. Thus the beacon, as it turns, will indicate the time by illuminating various landmarks at the same time each night.

The powerful light directing the beams toward the landmarks will be automatically^ thrown into operation at sunset and turned off at sunrise, being out of service during daylight hours.

  1. Richard says: April 23, 201012:07 pm

    Intrigued, I did a search to see if this thing still exists. Apparently the “Moorish Clock Tower” (Torre del Reloj Morisca) is still a landmark in Guayaquil. It looks like construction of the current version was started in August of 1930, and completed in May of 1931. The architecture was modified in 1937. But I can find no evidence that it ever had the spotlight on top as described in this article. I even found blurry historical photos of it from 1932 and 1935, with no hint of the searchlight, but instead a domed roof that looks like the current one.

    A current photo is here: http://commons.wikimedi…

  2. Firebrand38 says: April 23, 20101:06 pm

    Richard: Excellent work! I agree, it doesn’t look like there was ever a provision for installing a rotating search light up top.

  3. Rick Auricchio says: April 24, 20107:19 pm

    It’s possible the light was there for a while, removed, and the dome added in its place.

    I would think it unlikely that the spotlight could reach distant points, especially when you notice the hill and trees in the background.

  4. Stephen Edwards says: April 26, 201011:19 am

    I pity the fool whose house is in line with this thing at 3:00 AM.

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