'South Foreland Lighthouse', Dover, Kent, 1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated plate from 'Lighthouses and Lightships' by W H Davenport Adams, published in 1875. The South Foreland lighthouse overlooking the White Cliffs of Dover was first built in 1636. Originally a wooden structure, it was rebuilt in stone in 1843. It is famous for its asociation with telecommunications and was the site of Guglielmo Marconi's (1874-1937) pioneering experiments in wireles communication. On 24 December 1898, Marconi succesfully received the first signals from offshore at the lighthouse. The lighthouse was also used in the first cros-channel wireles communications between England and France in 1899.