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Behold as a mechanical foghorn in Shetland awakes from its year-long slumber

Designed to help ships navigate through hazards such as reduced visibility, foghorns first started appearing on coastlines in the 1850s. While imperfect messengers, these elaborate and powerful steam whistles were nonetheless considered an improvement on the systems of lights, rockets and cannons that predated them for centuries, until simpler horn designs, and later, GPS, rendered them obsolete. This brief piece from the UK filmmaker J J Jamieson transports viewers to the Sumburgh Lighthouse in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland, for the annual sounding of its recently refurbished foghorn. With an artful editing style, the short video captures the intricate, elegant mechanics that awake the powerful horn from its slumber, and send it bellowing across the scenic coastline.

Via Kottke

Director: J J Jamieson

20 December 2021

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