Nevada, September 2007
A photo taken of an identification plate located on one of the old
Nevada airway beacons.
History of the Amalgamated Gas
AGA AB was started in
1904 near Stockholm, Sweden, by Gustaf Dalen, a 35-year-old engineer and
ingenious inventor. The very next year AGA developed an automatic
lighthouse mechanism that included the sun valve and the intermittent
light regulator (the first innovations patented by AGA). Acetylene, with
its bright light, was an excellent fuel for lighthouses, but it was too
expensive when burned all day.
AGA's intermittent light
regulator reduced fuel consumption by 90 percent, and the sun valve cut
consumption by another 4 percent. This meant lighthouses could be
operated at a low cost and left unattended for long periods of time. In
1912, AGA won a contract to build a lighthouse system for the Panama
Canal and Dalen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his
inventions in lighthouse technology.
In 1911, AGA founded American
Gas Accumulator Co. in New Jersey and in ensuing years many lighthouses
were installed around the Great Lakes. Although AGA's stock in American
Gas Accumulator Co. was sold in 1949, new operations had been
established in other fields in the United States.