Friday, May 3, 2019

The "Real Fog Horn of Duluth" - Gone but not forgotten!

The workings of Duluth's foghorn inside the South Breakwater Light Station (img: Zenith City Press)

Duluthians have either loved or hated the fog signal since it was first used in 1885. In 1915 the steam-powered twin whistles installed in 1901 were replaced by locomotive whistles, which in turn were replaced in 1923 by electrically powered twin Type F diaphone horns whose deep “Bee-Oh” tone could be heard for twenty miles. Almost immediately Duluthians complained. The horn was much too loud and rattled windows; in the hillside neighborhood, the horn disrupted conversation and woke the sleeping. In 1968 the Coast Guard retired the horn, replacing it with a much quieter single-tone horn. While some Duluthians rejoiced, others dearly missed the old horn's deep toot and felt the City had lost part of its very identity. They called the new signal a “peanut whistle."
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  1. Thank you for that interesting tidbit on the fog horns

  2. Nice zoom on the harbor cam.
    Strange shape like a cruise ship located past the Dutch ship.

  3. I'm too young to have heard it but it would be cool if they were to blow it a couple times a year for "old times sake".

    I've traveled to Halifax NS several times and there they fire a cannon at noon every weekday from the fort on the hill. We've had good fun bringing new people to the city up to the fort at noon to unknowingly experience the cannon first hand. Quite entertaining!

  4. I do not live around harbor but I would expect the fog horn to blow it is part of history people just don't understand move back away I miss fog horn on cams All has to get along

    1. People in the Central Hillside area are some of the lowest income in the city. Moving up the hill is impossible for many. Check your privilege!

  5. As a child visiting my Grandparents on the hillside that fog horn put us to sleep. Duluth lost a piece of history very very sad.

  6. The Karens of Duluth need to stop being complainers. They live in a port city, for goodness' sake! Why move to Duluth if all you're going to do is complain about the duluth/port sounds??

  7. I grew up on Park Point in the 50's & 60's. The original foghorn didn’t sound like this one. It was slower and lower and much more nostalgic. Wish I could find a recording of it.

  8. I grew up in Duluth about 10 blocks from the fog horn. I never heard anyone complain about it - ever! At night, it was a lullaby.