H. Ferdinand Foghorn


In 1937 the south pier structure was finally electrified and an air diaphone fog signal system was installed, a large air horn powered by two compressors. This horn sounded for two seconds, followed by eighteen seconds of silence. When fog was heavy or the wind was blowing just right, the sound reverberated all over town. The longer initial blast and shorter, lower final tone sounded like BAAAAAA-boom. For some reason locals likened it to the popular Walt Disney cartoon character Ferdinand the Bull, thus the foghom became known as “Ferdinand.” Even with this new addition the old signal bell was retained for use in emergencies to make sure a fog signal was operational at all times.


Drone photograph taken after repainting on the South Pier Light had completed, Summer 2016. Photo used with permission by Mihm Enterprises.

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