Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mothers of the Sea - Female Lighthouse Keepers

Mystic Seaport's Bethany Bromwell is the proud new author of Mothers of the Sea: Female Lighthouse Keepers and Their Image and Role Within Society ,
the definitive work on women lighthouse keepers.

Lighthouses are an endearing symbol of our nation's nautical past. However, these structures are quickly disappearing from the landscape and with them often go their history and the important part that they played in the development of the United States. The stories of the men and women who cared for these structures during their times of use are also lost. This book examines the often overlooked role of the female lighthouse keeper. Female keepers were women who took on a traditionally masculine position. They held a government job and performed intense physical labor at a time when women were considered incapable of such jobs. This study examines the history of individual female lighthouse keepers and the contributions they made within the context of maritime history and public policy, as these issues related to American and British society over the last 200 years. It also considers the affects that governmental changes had on these women and what role they have played in popular culture both in the past and today.

As a past, fascinating, and informative presenter at the Maritime Lunchure, Bethany graduated from Gettysburg College in 2006 where she majored in History. In May, 2008 she graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Masters in Public History. She currently works at Mystic Seaport where she continues to research women and the sea.

Blog Archive