Thursday, July 9, 2009

Light Up My Life

I am fascinated by lighthouses and their lenses.  We saw some amazing Fresnel lenses on our trip. 

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A 1st order Fresnel lens.  Note the size next to us as we look through the glass!  This extremely heavy lens turns effortlessly on the ring of “Chariot” wheels.

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A 4th order Fresnel lens and the modern version that replaced it in the Crescent City light.

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The 3rd order Fresnel lens still in the Point Cabrillo lighthouse. 

This 1st order Fresnel lens came from the Point Arenas lighthouse and is on display in the Maritime Museum in San Francisco.  It was taken at eye level, but the mechanical workings were below the ground level in a pit.  It sustained quite a bit of damage when the Coast Guard dismantled it and left it out without protection in the elements.  A lens like this would cost more than 2 million dollars to replace.

Tomorrow: A Botanical Study!

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