Spring Cleaning at Bodie Island Lighthouse

April 21, 2017 Posted by: Michael Barber
Cultural Resource Manager Jami Lanier and Volunteer Doug Stover cleaned the Bodie Island Lighthouse lens on April 18.  Fall and spring are optimal times to clean the lens, before and after the busy tourist season and also when the sun isn't too strong. Tuesday proved to be a good morning for cleaning the lens since it was overcast.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens, manufactured by Barbier & Fenestre, from Paris, France in 1871 and is one of the few remaining original lenses of this type. The lens stands 12 feet in height with 344 glass prisms, with an inside diameter of 6 feet, 9/16 inches, and the light can be seen for nineteen miles out to sea. The 156-foot lighthouse was originally equipped with a fixed light illuminated by a vapor lamp. When electricity replaced oil in the early 1930s, the steady beam was replaced by the current 1000-watt flashing light. On July 13, 2000, the United States Coast Guard transferred ownership of the Bodie Island Lighthouse to the National Park Service. Three years later, the original first-order lens was also transferred to the National Park Service. In 2013, the lighthouse opened for climbing for the first time. Although access to the lantern room is restricted, the beautiful lens can be clearly seen from the grounds of Bodie Island Light Station.

Jami Lanier cleaning Bodie Island Fresnel lens

View from Bodie Island Lighthouse

Fresnel Lens

Article submitted by:
Jami Lanier, Cultural Resource Manager


Last updated: April 21, 2017

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