Are the Blinking Lights on the BWL Towers a Secret Morse Code Message?
Do the blinking lights on the three Lansing Board of Water & Light towers spell out a secret message in Morse Code? Keep reading.
In 1981 Lansing was searching for a name for the three smokestacks on the Lansing Board of Water & Light's Eckert Power Plant.
Names that were suggested include:
QUAKER, VIKING, and BIG RED (after local high school mascots)
SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABEDNEGO
TOM, DICK and HARRY
HUEY, DEWEY, and LOUIE
FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY
TIC, TAC, TOE
No, no, no.
None seemed to click.
It was Lansing State Journal columnist Jim Hough that offered the names “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” as suggested by his wife. The names came from an 1889 children's poem, originally titled “Dutch Lullaby”. In the poem, three children sail through the starry skies in a wooden shoe, fishing for herring in their nets of silver and gold.
This poem was intended to help children fall asleep, as mentioned in the last verse: “Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head;
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.”
So there is no big mystery about the names of the towers...but some have wondered about the blinking. Is it some sort of Morse Code message? There is a popular rumor that the message is “Eckert Tower, Lansing Michigan”...however, this has been dispelled. Sorry...no big secret there.
The BWL is to be decommissioned by the end of this year (2020) but the majority of residents want the towers saved. The board will sell to an owner who will keep the towers intact. The three are an iconic, nostalgic part of Lansing that will hopefully be kept for generations to come.
Finally, which individual towers are Wynken, Blynken, and Nod? It doesn't matter which end ones are Wynken and Nod, but Blynken is always in the middle.
WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD
Lansing State Journal