Submitted by Robert E. Pearce

Amalgamated Gas Accumulator, Nevada, September 2007
A photo taken of an identification plate located on one of the old Nevada airway beacons. 

History of the Amalgamated Gas Accumulator
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.

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