Fresnel Lenses

Hyper-Radial Lens Locations

The following listing shows every known hyper-radial Fresnel lens and its original location, when it was made and where it is now.

Hyper-Radial Lenses by Thomas Tag

This document describes hyper-radial or hyper-radiant lenses that are used in lighthouses. It will give you their story from how and why they were created, to how many there were, and where you can see one today.

The idea for lenses of this large size (1330 mm focal length) was mentioned by Thomas Stevenson, Engineer with the Northern Lighthouse Board, in 1869 and first proposed by John Richardson Wigham, Engineer supplying the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 1872, and again proposed by Thomas Stevenson in 1885.

American-Made Fresnel Lenses by Thomas Tag

Most people, even most lighthouse enthusiasts, do not know that Fresnel lenses were made in America.  The following story will tell how an American glass maker, a disgruntled Frenchman, the need for an astronomical telescope in Japan, $11.95 of erroneous import duty and a strong desire of our government for ‘Made in America’ led to the manufacture of American Fresnel lenses.