Perils of the Coast—The Life-Saving Service
Published in Harper’s Weekly, April 16, 1881
After Milton J. Burns, American, 1853 - 1933. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York.
As a teenager, Milton J. Burns voyaged with explorer and artist William Bradford to the Arctic. Familiar with peril at sea, Burns later became the main chronicler of the US Life-Saving Service in the illustrated press, bringing the image of the hardworking surfman to a wide audience. Traveling to Atlantic stations on assignment in 1879, he made a visual record of the increasingly professionalized brigades. In his spread for Harper’s Weekly, Burns shows a life line rescue, a manned life boat, a surfman with ignited signal flare, and a crew firing a Lyle gun to send a rope out to an offshore wreck.