Martha Coston

Martha Coston (1826-1904)

  • patent for her Pyrotechnic Night Signals on April 5, 1859
  • By 1859, the success of the signal was well documented by a specially appointed board of Naval Examiners by Navy Secretary Toucey. After a month long testing period, a report was published in February, 1859. In brief summary, the report contained three main points: (1) Coston signals are better than any other known to them; (2) the Board strongly recommend them for the use of the navy; and (3) Signals being the means whereby orders are given, or wants made known at sea, a good code of them plainly intelligible to the persons addressed is absolutely necessary to the efficient conduct of a fleet.