Moonlighting Banned On The High Seas

19th Century Lightship Workers

File:No 1 Nantucket New South Shoal Lightship(1).jpg

In dark dangerous waters, men men worked aboard whaling vessels to provide light at night for ships.In time, Lightship workers in Nantucket, Rhode Island began to weave baskets, which became prized items with tourists.
Lightship duty…probably 90 percent boredom and a lot more than 10 percent shear terror. Duties first, then…time killing activity was the norm. Basket Weaving was a New England past time.
[Lightship] pay was poor [making baskets] became a source of both income as well as a means to pass long boring days and nights…,” according to a U.S.Coast Guard Lightship Sailors International historian.
Unfortunately,  by early 1900s, the workers, considered to be federal employees, were ordered to case basket weaving because the activity,  government officials ruled, was considered
to be moonlighting.

Nantucket Lightshp Basket

U.S. Coast Guard Sailors International, Inc

Home Book Review: Lightship Baskets of Nantucket by
Martha R. Lawrence, Martha Lawrence

What Loneliness Wroug
Riedel, Catherine
Periodical | Yankee. Jul/Aug2007, Vol. 71 Issue 4, p62-62. 1p. 1 Color Photograph.

The article offers information on baskets made by seafarers who manned the lightships …
Periodical | Forbes; 9/21/1998, Vol. 162 Issue 6, p288-289, 2p, 3 Color Photographs
Informs of Nantucket lightship baskets. Origin of the intricately woven baskets.


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