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“To Preserve and Promote the Lighthouse Heritage of Long Island”

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Long Island's Lighthouse Heritage | Long Island's Lighthouses | Historic Artifacts, Documents & Photos | Lens Research

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Lens Research

Long Island has been home to many beautiful lenses, both in our lantern rooms and in our museums. In order to ensure the continued preservation of these valuable artifacts, the Chapter is working to catalog them as part of the National Historic Lens Survey.

The Long Island Chapter actively researches the history of historic lighthouse lenses and lamps. As part of this research, we have documented the lenses and currently on Long Island, and those formerly on Long Island for which the current location is known or any photographs exist.

georgelens.JPG (11965 bytes)

Chapter volunteer researcher George Bacon documents the details of a Fresnel lens.

Former Location Current Location Type of Lens/Lamp Manufacturer/ Country of Origin

Date of Mfr.

0. Shinnecock Bay, 1918 Unknown 1st order group flashing, with IOV lamp Unknown Unknown Photo shows  IOV lamp, reflector, classical lens
1. Fire Island lighthouse
Franklin Institute,
1st order flashing classical
8 panel
1850s Fire Island has tried to regain this lens several times
2. Little Gull Island lighthouse 1869-1995 East End Seaport Museum 2nd order fixed classical Unknown Mfr./
1860s Very good condition
3. Eatons Neck lighthouse lantern room Same since 1856 3rd order fixed classical with reflector plate Henry-LePaute/
1850s Only LI lighthouse with an active Fresnel lens
4. Montauk Point lantern room 1903-1987 Montauk Point museum 3 1/2 order bivalve

Barbier, Benard & Turenne (BBT)/

1900 Beautiful condition (minor prism chipping) with windup clockworks
5. Unknown Horton Point museum 4th order fixed classical L. Sautter/
1850s One of the earlier Fresnel lenses in the US
5a. Race Rock lantern room Unknown 4th order bivalve/classical, red/white flashing Unknown Unknown One of the more unusual lenses
6. Plum Island lighthouse 1897-1994 East End Seaport Museum 4th Order flashing
6 panel
Barbier & Benard (B&B)/
1897 With operating windup clockworks
7. Unknown Fire Island museum 4th order fixed flashing
4 panel
Flashing Panels: MacBeth-Evans/US

Fixed Panels:

Difference between French crown glass & American Flint Glass is obvious on this piece
Markings: "U.S.L.H.S. No. 4-20"
8. Unknown Montauk Point museum 4th order flashing
6 panel
Unknown Unknown One catadioptric prism missing
"BF 56"
With windup clockworks mechanism
9. Unknown Montauk Point museum 4th order flashing
4 panel
American Gas Accumulator (AGA)/
Elizabeth NJ
1933 "Type AGA 1140-A1"
Serial No. 511
Prisms were made by BBT
Only two panels on display
10. Unknown Montauk Point museum 5th order fixed classical with reflector plate
4 panel
Unknown Chipping on some prisms - On display with 5th order lamp -
11. Unknown Montauk Point museum 375mm lens Unknown Unknown Markings:
"I.L.P. 768-4" and "No. 397"
White lens with red cylinder to give red characteristic
12. Montauk Point lighthouse lantern room Montauk Point Museum Incandescent Oil Vapor (IOV) Lamp Unknown Early 1900s? One of few such artifacts on display

Special thanks are owed to the following people for their assistance with our lens and lamp research:

  • George Bacon, Chapter volunteer, for his research and photography;
  • Tom Taylor, Florida Lighthouse Association President, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse historian, and lighthouse author;
  • Thomas Tag, noted lamp and lens authority and author;
  • The Montauk Point lighthouse and museum;
  • The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society;
  • Cliff Benfield, Horton Point's modern-day keeper, and National Lighthouse Center and Museum Trustee;
  • The East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation.