In 1822, French Physicist, Augustin Fresnel invented a lens that was able to capture 83% of the light sent to the lens while flames on reflectors, which were standard at the time, lost 83% of their light. Needless to say, Dr. Fresnel revolutionized lighthouse optics and made the water safer for mariners. He became a well known name amongst European and American lighthouses.
|Current Fresnel Lens at Port Boca Grande|
The original lens in Port Boca Grande light was a 3/12 order bi-valve, clamshell Fresnel lens. According to Dian McKeithan-Miller, daughter of the last light keeper, Cody McKeithan, “I remember the lens was so beautiful. It was shaped like a clam shell and as it spun around it would open up. It was breathtaking.”
Sadly, in 1966 when the lighthouse was decommissioned, the United States Coast Guard removed the lens which was standard operating procedure. The lens then would either be sent for storage in the northeast or to another lighthouse in need of that particular order.
We are not sure where our original lens went and we would love your help in locating it. The identification number is LHS410. If you come across our lens, please call or email us at email@example.com. Even if we cannot return it to our lighthouse, we would still love to know where it is.
Thanks for the help!