This historic Fresnel Lens once lit the Inner Range Light on the South Pier of the Duluth Ship Canal right across from the Maritime Center. The lens was installed about 1901.
The Coast Guard installed a new phenolic (plastic) lens in 1995 and then loaned the original Fresnel lens to the Maritime Center.
Although priceless, the estimated value of this lens is about $250,000. The lens is a classic rotating 5th Order Fresnel lens with six flash panels and retains its original mechanical clockworks.
During the summer of 2001 "lampist" Jim Dunlap from New York began the refurbishing process. He dismantled the six flash panels & bulls-eyes. The pieces were cleaned, re-bedded in putty and reassembled.
The lens base was moved from the second floor and reinstalled in the Knowlton Gallery by Builder's Commonwealth of Duluth. The housing & clockworks are now being cleaned and polished by Peter Valencia, a volunteer from New Orleans.
This winter an electric motor was installed to turn the gear which will then turn the lens. A very small light, about the size of a Christmas tree bulb will be added.
Please visit us soon and see what your participation has made possible!
Model of North America on Display
The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is loaning the James J. Hill House our model of the NORTH AMERICA (name was changed to NORTH WEST) which has owned by Mr. Hill.