Women and the Sea logo
Introduction
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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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Timeline
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Resources
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In This Chapter

Introduction

Abbie Burgess
Ida Lewis
Fannie Salter

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Introduction

Lighthouse keeping was another traditionally male maritime occupation that, in fact, was often performed by women. Many women took on the work after a husband or father died or could no longer handle the tasks involved. It was a difficult life: most lighthouses were in lonely, remote places, and many were swept by ferocious weather. In addition to keeping wicks and lamps in constant working order—no easy task—the keepers were expected to assist with rescues when a vessel wrecked nearby. Despite the very real dangers of the job, women such as Ida Lewis and Fannie Salter served as lighthouse keepers for years, earning praise for the excellence of their work in a "man's job."






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