Those Beautiful Lighthouse Lenses

Ever seen something practical, but it was just so mesmerizingly beautiful you couldn’t stop looking at it? You wanted to see it safe and protected forever as a piece of art…

That’s the way I feel about Fresnel Lenses. They were/are beautifully cut glass lenses used in lighthouses. Many are well over a hundred years old, and happily some of them have found safe homes in maritime or lighthouse museums.

Today, I’ll share briefly about how the lenses worked, a story about Fresnel lenses during the American Civil War, and a couple that I’ve seen in museums. Continue reading

Lights On The Coasts

It’s time to start another subject in our series 19th Century American Maritime. For the next three months on Wednesdays, we’ll be talking about lighthouses.

Today, we’ll start with a very quick review of some lighthouse history, going back to ancient times, the middle ages, and the early modern era. We’ll briefly discuss the importance of lighthouses and conclude with a short introduction to lighthouses in America. Of course, in the following weeks, we’ll delve more deeply into American lightkeeping.

Why lighthouses? Hint: a new novel – coming soon! Continue reading