In addition to being the largest lens in the United States

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In addition to being the largest lens in the United States

Post by jancancook on Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:12 am

In addition to being the largest lens in the United States, at the time of its construction, this was the second highest focal plane, after Cape Mendocino Light in California which is at 422 feet (129 m).[17] It is now the third highest light in the U.S., behind the 462 feet (141 m) - Point Loma Light (old), California [18] and Cape Mendocino.[19] It is still an active aid to navigation.[16][20]

Originally the light was provided with a three mantle oil vapor lamp.[3] To start the lamp, a supplementary alcohol burner was required, and this was the source of a tragedy in 1925. The first and second assistant keepers were changing watches in the wee hours of April twenty-fifth when the former suggested to the latter that the alcohol reservoir be filled. This was accomplished, but some of the alcohol spilled. The first assistant lit a match, triggering an explosion. The second assistant was standing in the doorway and escaped serious injury, but the first assistant, Alexander Toomey, was badly burned and died the next day. His pregnant wife gave birth to a daughter shortly thereafter, and three months later she too died.[3][14]

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