The Lighthouse Children by Mary Bradford Crowninshield

Mary Bradford (Mrs. Schuyler) Crowninshield (1844-1913) wrote the books of this series. Although there are three different titles, there were really only two books. The third book, Lighthouse Children Abroad, is a reprint of the second title, The Ignoramuses. Generally when I think of ignoramuses, I think of dolts or morons. It is sort of a mean spirited word. Apparently back in 1887 it meant ignorant without malicious intent.

Crowninshield was the wife of a U.S. Lighthouse inspector. The first book follows the adventures of two boys and a girl on a lighthouse inspection tour along the coast on Maine. The second book details the follow up adventures of the first book's family as they travel in Europe.

An extensive biography of the author can be found here:

The first title was published by D. Lothrop and Company. Its reprints (beginning in 1887) and the later books were published by D. Lothrop Company. There are many full page line drawn black and white pictures. Most were illustrated by L. J. Bridgman. Some of the illustrations of geographical points of interest are unattributed.

As was typical of the travelogue books of the era, the books are oversized and were published with two different covers: the more expensive cloth with gilt and the illuminated board covers. The first printings were just in cloth. Later both the cloth and the board covers were published. I have not seen book #2 in board covers and I do not think it exists. The cloth books were $2.50 when they first went on sale. Later the price came down to $2.25 while the illuminated board books were $1.75. (Books #1 and #3)

1. All Among the Lighthouses 1886
2. The Ignoramuses 1887
3. Light House Children Abroad 1889

This is the cloth cover of book #2.

Here are the two formats for book #3. The illuminated board cover book has the title of book number 1 but the title page and contents are actually the same as the cloth bound book #3.