Digest>Archives> February 2002

Harbour Lights Introduces Their First Clamshell Fresnel Lens


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Harbour Lights, manufacturer of limited edition lighthouse collectibles has introduced their first lighted replica of a Clamshell Fresnel Lens.

It was back in the early 1800’s that Augustin Fresnel, a French inventor, was looking for a way to improve the intensity of man-made light for use in lighthouses. One day, he noticed the singed curtains through the window of a home. In the center of their decorative cut glass lay a “bulls eye” inset. A perfectly circular singe mark lay behind the bull’s eye. Bad for the homeowners—good for mariners! He excitedly began his experimenting with a bulls-eye design and got immediate results. On July 23, 1823, Fresnel installed his first lens!

The nearly sold out Harbour Lights lens was fashioned after the magnificent 3 1/2 order Bivalve lens found in New York’s Montauk Lighthouse. The dual faced optic was installed in 1903 after having been displayed at the Columbia Exposition in Chicago. The historic lens is now on display in the Montauk Lighthouse Museum’s Oil Room.

This unique collectible is available from Lighthouse Depot for $88.95 as item #42650 by calling 1-800-758-1444 or on line at www.LighthouseDepot.com

This story appeared in the February 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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