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143 Story & Photos

Timmy's Kids Foundation

The, ‘I Love You’ or ‘I Miss You’, lighthouse is perched facing out into the Atlantic, on the very exposed Minot’s Ledge named after George Minot an 18th Century Boston Merchant, who lost a valuable ship on the rocks prior to the lighthouse. The ledge is part of the Cohasset Rocks ¹, off Massachusetts, USA. 

When in 1894 a new flashing lantern was installed in the 34 year old lighthouse it had a 
1-4-3 sequence² and very soon the number sequence was taken to represent ‘I Love You’ or ‘I Miss You’ 
(I =1 flashLove =4flashes, You =3flashes). 
Over the years this simple lighthouse code has been a comfort to sailors from the area, their sweethearts and families. The story is now widely known and the code is much loved for itself.

   Other than its role in saving lives and shipping the lighthouse came to prominence, so the story goes, when the Coastguard proposed changing the light sequence and converting it to a computerised system. It may have just been a rumour, but naturally, there was an outcry from the local population over the proposed loss of their ‘secret’ message in the flashes. However, it is still flashing its ‘143’ message much to the delight the local people and the many romantics around the world who use this code.

adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A20478314