top of page

George Henry Slight

George Henry Slight, born on 30 September 1859 and passing away on 26 June 1934, was a Scottish engineer credited with establishing the Chilean lighthouse service.

Growing up in Edinburgh within an engineering family as the son of George Slight and Elizabeth Marshall, Slight underwent apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. He gained experience working on steamers traveling between Britain and India before joining Trinity House, the organization responsible for England and Wales' lighthouse service.

In 1893, Slight was enlisted by Agustin Ross, the Chilean ambassador in London, under orders from President Jorge Montt to establish a lighthouse system in Chile. His initial assignment upon arrival was the construction of a lighthouse on the Evangelistas Islets, marking the western entrance to the Strait of Magellan. Completed in 1896, the Evangelistas Lighthouse was his first achievement in Chile.

After relocating to Valparaiso, Slight assumed leadership of the newly formed Lighthouse Authority of Chile. Over time, he oversaw the construction of approximately 72 lighthouses along the Chilean coast, ultimately ascending to the position of head of the Chilean Maritime Signalling Service. Although he retired from active maritime service in 1916, Slight continued to offer his expertise in an advisory capacity.

In Valparaiso, Slight married Charlotte Leigh and together they had two sons. His final resting place is marked by a gravestone in the Valparaiso General Cemetery, bearing the poignant epitaph "His lights still shine over the waters of the Pacific Ocean."

George Slight's contributions are remembered through various tributes, including the George Slight Lighthouse Museum at Punta Angeles, Valparaiso, and the George Slight, a rescue and salvage vessel operated by the Chilean Navy.


bottom of page