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Lens for Portland Head Light

Contributed by Museum at Portland Head

Second Order Lens for Portland Head Light. Fresnel lenses of this size were used at Portland Head Light between 1865 and 1883, and again from 1885 to 1958. This is the original second order fixed lens used at Portland Head Light until the installation of the airways beacon in 1958.
Fresnel lenses were classified by order referring to the strength of light emitted. These ranged from Huge first – order lenses, which were visible to twenty-one miles, to smaller sixth- and seventh-order lenses, which were visible at lesser distances. Lenses of the second and fourth order were used at Portland Head Light. The lenses, combined with changes in the design of the lanterns that held them, vastly improved the navigational lighting system.

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Other Information


  • Title: Lens for Portland Head Light
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • Town: Cape Elizabeth
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Glass and brass
  • Dimensions: 87 cm x 60 cm
  • Object Type: Physical Object

For more information about this item, contact:

Museum at Portland Head
1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
(207) 799-2661
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