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Glossary of Lighthouse Optics Terminology

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby Optics » Fri May 06, 2005 4:31 am


The World Lighthouse Society has produced a "Glossary of Lighthouse Optics Terminology" see: http://www.worldlighthouses.org/owg/glossary.htm

It is available on CD and covers a large area of terminology with both words and graphics. The CD is inexpensive and has been reviewed by lighthouse service personnel such as Trinity House engineers prior to publication.
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Postby mikev » Fri May 06, 2005 5:33 am


Just for the record, Tom played a major role in that glossary production (I know, because as another member of the WLS Optics Work Group I got to watch and testdrive beta copies) along with Egbert Koch of Germany, Esbjorn Hillberg of Sweden and Peter Williams of Wales. They did a superb job. A lot of work went into reconciling regional terminology.
:yay:
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Postby island » Fri May 06, 2005 7:43 am


Questions to Tom or Mike.

Why was Morse Code included as a glossary topic?

What are examples of the regional terminolgy that was reconciled?

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Postby mikev » Fri May 06, 2005 11:03 am


I should defer to Tom (Optics) because his expertise is stamped all over this glossary. But since he's not aboard at present, here's the first stab at answering your questions.

Morse Code is glossarized (is that a word?) as a light characteristic, not as the wireless communications system. It's also an example of regional difference. In the U.S. this was known as the Mahan System, as in Minot Ledge's famous 1-4-3 identifying characteristic.

The e-mail discussions over terminology and usage reminded me very much of the postings on this site, when someone asks a term and the group runs with it. I don't recall all of them, Tom would have a better handle. But I do recall extensive discussions of lens orders and mm equivalents (sound familiar?) including the American usage of "steamer lights" for what are known elsewhere as 7th and 8th orders. And the glossary notes such things as Incandescent Oil Vapor Burner/Paraffin Vapour Burner (IOVB or IOV vs. PVB), bulb changer/lamp changer, and so on. If someone wants to be nasty they could ask this group what an Otterblenden lens is (using the glossary is cheating, but there are 3 other names for it).

By the way, this is not only an illustrated glossary, but a BEAUTIFULLY illustrated one. My favorite is the "Glass Lantern Dome," if you want to start that discussion rolling again.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't add one credit to my earlier list. There's a more complete list in the glossary itself (acknowledging contributions, for example, from the work group's Japanese member and others) but my shortened list above should have included Frans la Poutre, who actually put this thing together.
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Postby island » Fri May 06, 2005 12:06 pm


Mike,

Thanks for the Morse Code answer. This begets another question. What other lights besides Minots were adapted to the Mahan system?

As for being nasty ----- that fellow from Sweden with the German sounding name :? , Baron Fredrik Von Otter --- well, basicically he applied an Italian technology to lighhouses ----Venetian blinds. :) (It was not really Italian, it was U.S.--John Hamston, New Orleans, 1841)
Another usage of such connects to Mr. Morse (above). :)

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Postby mikev » Fri May 06, 2005 12:19 pm


You're too good, David! ^:)^ (the other names are shutter and twinkle, which would also make a heck of a dance team).

Can't answer the Mahan question off the top of my head. I seem to remember a Keeper's Log magazine piece on that a while back (Tom?). The system didn't catch on. Minots survives for romantic reasons.

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Postby island » Fri May 06, 2005 12:57 pm


Were any such shutters used at U.S. lights. Cape Charles, nine flashes in 30 seconds, is the only other Mahan light I know about.

The closest to that I know of but not for the light was the signal light in the CG watch tower near the light station at Whitehead.

The Mahan system was a good plan on paper. It would have been a significant challenge to apply to all lights, even to major lights. It would have been Mahan mayhem. :)
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Postby Optics » Fri May 06, 2005 1:46 pm


I know that shutters were used at Tawas in Michigan (that was the home of the Twinkle light) and they were used in some range lights in Maryland or Delaware, but I can't remember exactly where, probably elsewhere as well.

There were many many places in the glossary where American terminology differed from English terminology and there were differences with others as well. Lamp changer vs bulb changer, the use of the discriptor "beehive," kerosene vs mineral oil. We all learned a lot in trying to put this CD together and in many places we listed both terms for a thing so that everyone would know what we were talking about (also known as ...).

Probably the biggest discussion and most differently named item was the drain valve on the mercury float trough. (drain valve, petcock, drain tap, clean out and a few others that we refused to include. Every country had reasons why its term was (the only one that could be correct because...).
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Postby LeadingLight » Sat May 07, 2005 8:54 am


In addition to the information that is already given: a sample page of the WLS Glossary can be seen on the page Tom linked in the message on top of this item.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sat May 07, 2005 1:25 pm


Here is an interesting application of Venetian blinds in the Detour Reef Light in a photo I took on 6/30/2003.
They appear to be regular “K-Mart issue!”

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Postby island » Sat May 07, 2005 2:57 pm


So Detour Reef has been restored to replicate the K-Mart era. 8O

No efficiency star for this keeper. The condition of the paint on the lantern roof looks like Coast Guard era for sure.

(I was a lighthouse inspector in my previous life.) :twisted:
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sat May 07, 2005 3:27 pm


David,

Coast Guard era for sure! Since the restoration, I am sure the lantern looks as good as it did when it was painted after its' move from the old Detour Point light and incorporation into the 1931 structure out on the Reef.

I am sure Mike (Hersh) will supply us with photos of the lantern when he returns from his stint as volunteer keeper at the station in July.
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Postby island » Sat May 07, 2005 3:48 pm


Mike needs to know that Lighthouse Regulations require the inside of the lantern to be painted white. (No! Mike. Not the storm panes!) 8O :)
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue May 10, 2005 9:23 pm


Since this post took a diversion into the discussion of storm panes, I decided to split the topic to make things easier to locate. The new topic is titled "Strom Panes," and may be found at the following URL:
http://www.lighthousing.net/modules.php ... pic&t=4321

Feel free to continue to posting on the original topic of the Lighthouse Glossary.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 30, 2005 9:21 pm


Regarding Dave's prior mention that
Lighthouse Regulations require the inside of the lantern to be painted white.

I revisited DeTour Reef Light this past weekend, and the interior of the
lantern has been painted white, So Mike will probably be able to get
away without having to work on this one!

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Quite a difference from my previous photo post of the same lantern taken in 2003.
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