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Lighthouse lens repair project is complete
A project to conserve the deteriorating Fresnel lens at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey in Coupeville has been completed. The lens was repaired, cleaned and stabilized to help restore and preserve it.
A team from The Lighthouse lamp shop began stabilization efforts on the 140-year-old lens earlier this year.
The team was composed of Joe Cocking and Nick Johnston, highly experienced glass conservators, and Kim Fahlen, who served as the photographer and record-keeper. Fahlen is a lighthouse docent at Point Loma Lighthouse in California and a celebrated lighthouse author.
The work began with a thorough assessment of the lens condition.
There were a few major concerns, one being the prisms along the hinged brass door. The door was twisted and the glass prisms had become unstable and appeared ready to fall out.
Historically, the glass prisms are held in place with small pieces of wood, referred to as wedges, and putty that consisted of whiting, linseed oil and sugar of lead.
Much of the putty was replaced, prisms were cleaned up and cracks in the prisms were first cleaned with acetone and then filled with resin to prevent the cracked prisms from falling apart. Temperature and humidity needed to be controlled during the repair work.
Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse have purchased special lamps to place in both the fixed and bull’s eye lenses that are on display at the lighthouse.
The public is invited to come to the lighthouse and see the stabilized Fresnel lens during the holidays.
Admiralty Head Lighthouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28 and weekends until Christmas.
After Christmas it will be open the last week of the year. Admission is free and donations are encouraged.
After the holiday season the lighthouse is closed until the first weekend in March.