Framework

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March 14, 1935: The Point Vicente Lighthouse on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

March 14, 1935: T.A. Atkinson, first assistant keeper of the Point Vicente Lighthouse, polishes a small globe whose light is greatly magnified by lenses. This photo was published in the March 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

March 14, 1935: Point Vicente Lighthouse First Assistant Keeper T.A. Atkinson behind the heavy prismatic lenses of the lighthouse. This photo was published in the March 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

March 14, 1935: The Point Vicente Lighthouse on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

March 14, 1935: Point Vicente Lighthouse Head Keeper Anton Trittinger displays the district efficiency pennant awarded for the third straight year to the Palos Verdes beacon. This photo was published in the March 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

March 14, 1935: First Assistant Keeper Thomas A. Atkinson, right, and another man are shown with the Point Vicente Lighthouse's equipment.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

March 14, 1935: The Point Vicente Lighthouse. In the foreground are Clarence Atkinson, 5, and Mildred Atkinson, 2, children of T.A. Atkinson, the lighthouse's first assistant keeper. This photo was published in the March 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

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Point Vicente Lighthouse honored for efficiency for 3rd straight year

When the Point Vicente Lighthouse on the Palos Verdes Peninsula was honored for its efficiency for another year, the Los Angeles Times reported the event in a March 15, 1935, story:

The most efficient lighthouse on the California coast.

For the third straight year the Point Vicente lighthouse, flashing warnings to mariners on the tip end of the knob of land which swerves into the ocean between San Pedro and Redondo, has received this honor.

The efficiency flag, which designated the lighthouse reservation as the most efficient and best maintained in the district, yesterday was in the hands of Anton Trittinger, head keeper of the light.

There hasn’t been a wreck on the dangerous reefs which extend into the ocean from the point since the light was built by the government eight years ago.

Prior to that time a navigator had to have good ears on a dark night if he was close to the shore – the point was guarded by a whistling buoy which failed to do its work unless a swell was running.

A tiny 1500-watt lamp, looking slightly larger than an ordinary reading globe, is magnified into a beam of 900,000 candlepower through the huge revolving prismatic lenses.

Stabbing into the darkness across the waters, this light easily may be seen a distance of twenty miles. Its flashes are regulated so that navigators see two gleams every twenty seconds. In this way, the Point Vicente light may be identified, every lighthouse on the coast having a different speed of rotation.

As a double measure of safety, a huge fog-horn, with a similar signal, “awhoos” across the waters in a murky weather. A huge gasoline engine, which requires two men to start, furnishes the compressed air for it. An auxiliary compressor is in readiness if anything happens to the regular equipment.

In the same manner, an auxiliary generator is part of the equipment for the light – to be used in case anything happens to the commercial supply of electricity which furnishes power for the beacon.

Head Keeper Trittinger and his two assistants are constantly on the job, always being in attendance on the equipment. All three live in Spanish-style houses on the lighthouse reservation.

First Assistant Keeper T.A. Atkinson has four children whose playground is in the shadow of the huge light. The youngest, Mildred, 3 years of age in May, was born at Point Vicente. Her next oldest brother, Clarence, 5, had the bleak Farrallone Islands, where his father was stationed for several years, as his birthplace. …

Point Vicente Lighthouse was converted to an automated light in 1971. Four of the seven photos in the above gallery were published in the March 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times. The photographer is unknown.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. October 5, 2014, 8:59 pm

    But, what about the shipwreck, The Dominator? A Greek cargo vessel as I remember…? Or, as we kids used to remember, like it was the 'denominator' – because it was 'on the bottom'. I don't think it actually can still be seen, or can it? Why did that ship crash anyways…?

    By: mfocusi@earthink.net

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