No picture of Hope Town is complete without the Elbow Cay Lighthouse in the background
The thing is, this lighthouse is not just another pretty face…she is a dying breed! She is the only continuously used kerosene powered manual lighthouse. That’s right! It has to be hand lit each night and hand cranked every 4 hours in order for her to do her job!
So, due to our busy-body friends, Brad and Sabrina ,(meant in the most wonderful of ways, of course) we got to see this all in action. The lighthouse keeper let us climb up the spiral staircase and watch him get her started.
Kerosene tanks that get pressurized
First order Fresnel lens
From 1851, Chance Brothers also became a major lighthouse engineering company, producing optical components, machinery, and other equipment for lighthouses around the world. James Timmins Chance pioneered placing lighthouse lamps inside a cage surrounded byfresnel lenses so as to increase the available light output; these cages, known as optics, revolutionised lighthouse design. Another important innovation from Chance Brothers was the introduction of rotating optics, allowing adjacent lighthouses to be distinguished from each other by the number of times per revolution that the light flashes. John Hopkinson, the noted English physicist and engineer, invented this system.
It was a very cool experience. Thanks, JV, for getting us out there!!