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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portsmouth, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Order Fresnel Lens from the Hog Island Light

 
 
Fresnel Lens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, June 23, 2009
1. Fresnel Lens Marker
Inscription. This pavil­ion dis­plays a first order Fresnel lens from the sec­ond Hog Island Light. The lens began ser­vice in 1896. Originally built in 1852, the first build­ing was destroyed by ero­sion and rebuilt in 1896, only to be deac­ti­vated in 1948. The loca­tions of both these lights are now under water off the Eastern Shore.

The Fresnel Lens was named after Augustin Fresnel — the French physi­cist who devised the opti­cal sys­tem around 1822. At about 10 feet high and 2,500 pounds, this lens is among the largest and bright­est of its kind, with more than 250 prisms of opti­cal glass. Only the lens at Makapu’u Point Light, Hawaii is larger.

Established in 1852, the Hog Island Light was located on the north side of the Great Machipongo Inlet on the Eastern Shore of Virginia until its demo­li­tion in 1948.

The restora­tion of the lens and the con­struc­tion of the pavil­ion were funded by the Portsmouth Museums Foundation, Inc. in coop­er­a­tion with the City of Portsmouth and the Fifth Coast Guard District. The ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony of the Fresnel Lens Pavilion took place on November 5, 2003.
 
Location. 36° 50.088′ N, 76° 17.769′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of
Fresnel Lens image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, June 23, 2009
2. Fresnel Lens
High Street and Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is along the seawall, just south of the High Street ferry landing, southeast of the intersection of High Street and Water Street. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth VA 23704, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Elizabeth River (within shouting distance of this marker); In Commemoration of the Last Public Appearance of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (within shouting distance of this marker); Seaboard Air Line Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); John Luke Porter (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Naval Shipyard Museum (about 400 feet away); Cornwallis' Embarkation (about 400 feet away); Revolutionary War at Portsmouth (about 400 feet away); Home Site of William Crawford (d. 1762) Founder of Portsmouth (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2009, by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,137 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2009, by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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