Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cape Cod Light

Cape Cod Light
Originally uploaded by Prof. Jas. Mundie
While we were staying on Cape Cod I spent a rainy afternoon climbing up the tower of the lighthouse that was neighbor to our cottage.

The Cape Cod Light was originally erected in 1797 on a cliff in Truro standing 160 feet above a treacherous stretch of Atlantic shoreline. It was to be the first lighthouse in the nation with a flashing light - affected by means of a clockwork eclipser revolving around a multi-wick spider lamp - to help mariners distinguish it from the fixed beacon of Boston Light.

The original wooden tower was replaced with a round brick structure in the 1830s. A new lighting system of lamps and reflectors was installed during the following decade, during which the tower was substantially remodeled.

In 1857 the tower was rebuilt again, and a first order Fresnel lens installed. In 1901, an even larger Fresnel lens array standing 12-feet high and weighing over a ton was installed. This massive lantern floated in a bed of 600 pounds of mercury. Electric power was introduced in 1934, which created a beacon with 4,000,000 candlepower visible up to 75 miles in clear weather. This lens was replaced with high-wattage aero-beacons in the 1950s. Today, the current beacon (above) uses a tiny 110-watt lamp that is nonetheless visible for up to twenty-miles through the amplification provided by its Fresnel lenses.

In 1996, the lighthouse was moved 450-feet from its previous position due to cliff erosion.  Today the lighthouse stands picturesquely in the middle of Cape Cod's oldest golf course.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing your works on display with F.A.N. Gallery at USArtists Fine Art Show in September!


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