Point Vicente Lighthouse
Image by mikepmiller
built in 1926 on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The light source was dimmed during World War II to avoid aiding the enemy. It was automated in 1971 by the United States Coast Guard. The original third order Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room.
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is an important landmark and beacon light relied upon by thousands of ships and pleasure craft. It provides a means of fixing their position, and ensuring their safe passage up and down the coast. The Point Vicente Light Station has been guiding sailing vessels to and from the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors since March 1926. It was first operated and maintained by the United States Lighthouse Service for 13 years prior to the service being merged with the U.S. Coast Guard, which was delegated all aid-to-navigation responsibilities in 1939. The lighthouse was manned until 1971 when it was automated by a remote electronic aids-to-navigation monitoring system. The cylindrical tower is 67 feet (20 m) tall, and the masonry structure is built on the edge of a 130-foot (40 m) cliff. This places the center of the lantern 185 feet (56 m) above the ocean, and because of this elevation, the 1.1 million candlepower-beam can be seen 29 miles (47 km) away. The most striking feature in the lighthouse is the classical third-order rotating Fresnel Lens located in the lantern. This particular lens was manufactured around 1910 in Paris, France, by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne, the oldest lens making company in the world. This lens is made up of hand-ground prisms held in place by a cast brass frame. The prisms and frame represent an excellent example of the precision achieved by optical scientists and the lens making art in utilizing the known principles and properties of light.
This lighthouse also incorporates a pleasant-sounding foghorn to audibly warn ships during times of low visibility which are common to the area.
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