The High School and Middle School students that attended this trip had a rare treat.  Two of the light keepers (retired Navy engineers) were on site and gave us a tour of not only the lighthouse but the basement and the actual lens house.  In the basement the engineers explained how they rigged all the automated systems that regulate both the interval and rotation of the twin spotlights.  Up in the lens house the keepers demonstrated how they maintain the electrical systems that keep the light operating smoothly.  The top of this structure provided clear breathtaking views of Fire Island.

Our students were shown how ship wrecked passengers were rescued in the old days utilizing a makeshift pulley system, delivered by cannon!  They also learned how a Fresnel lens amplified an oil lamp into a beam that could shine out into the ocean.  This technology was state of the art prior to electric lights.  The four ton, 1st order Fresnel lens was recovered from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and is now proudly on display in its own building.

Thanks to Mr. Portuese and Mr. Carroll for making this happen!

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