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Storm Panes

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Postby Fred » Sat May 07, 2005 4:04 pm


What are storm panes
My definition is a tempory replacement for broken lantern glazing but there are some references giving that name to the actual lantern glazing
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Postby island » Sat May 07, 2005 6:01 pm


Fred,

I agree with your definition. Storm panes were temporary replacements for broken lantern glass. This is apparent, for example, from Robert Lewis Stevenson, p.52 Accross the Plains where he describes inspecting a lighthouse and finding "the reflectors scratched, the spare lamp unready, the storm-panes in the storehouse."

However, in the U.S. Lighthouse Service the term "storm pane" evolved to mean "the glass surrounding the optic for protection from the weather". Thus "storm pane" became both the in-place lantern glass panels and standby replacement glass panels.

Likewise the large curtains for the lantern windows that were drawn closed during the day to protect the optics and lamp from direct sunlight were known as storm pane shades.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sat May 07, 2005 8:41 pm


In all the USLHS Surveys I have read, the actual lantern glass was referred to as "plates," and "storm panes" appear to have referred to something completely separate, as many Great Lakes light stations were listed as being "not so fitted."
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Postby island » Sun May 08, 2005 6:49 am


Is this another semantics quandary? I think the meaning of this term has evolved over time.

The term "storm pane" does not appear in the 1901 List of Allowances to Light Stations except for storm pane clamps, one set (4) listed in Outfit List.
Glass appears only as "Window Glass, of proper sizes, panes of each...6)

The 1901 Light-Keepers List of Yearly Supplies contains no reference to storm panes or glass beyond that in the Outfit List above. At Whitehead the 1909 list does not show any glass in inventory of the size required by the lantern.

The Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook 1997contains this language:

"Storm panels —The term used by the U.S. Lighthouse Board for emergency or temporary glazing. Historically, storm panels were kept on hand and fitted to the interior of the lantern when the primary glazing was broken in a storm and needed immediate repair.

Clamps—Horizontal members that retain the storm panels at the top and bottom, typically made of bronze"

The term "storm panel" appears in the Lantern Inspection section of the Handbook with reference to inspecting the glass in the lantern, which is not consistant with the defination of storm panel above.

I must confess I used the term "storm pane" in conjunction with this and other past topics to see if anyone would question the meaning of this term. Until Fred asked yesterday no one else had asked for clarificatiion.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sun May 08, 2005 10:59 am


From a personal perspective, I had a diffcult time tracking down posts which fit my personal areas of interest prior to the creation of the Technical forum, since such things could end up appearing in posts about someone's brithday trip to a lighthouse in Florida, which is a little outside my specialized area of interest :D Now, I know where to look.
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Postby Zachary » Sun May 08, 2005 2:13 pm


That's true Terry,
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Postby island » Sun May 08, 2005 2:31 pm


Terry.

You are right. It is nearly impossible to find specific items in past topics on this board particularly for someone relatively new on this board. The search function does help somewhat but not greatly. In many cases a topic evolved or wandered off to other topics that should have been separated from the original. That is a moderator function but it has been very rarely used for that purpose.

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Postby Fred » Wed May 11, 2005 8:20 am


For those interested in the Scottish version of storm panes:-

http://homepages.manx.net/fredd/storm.html

We still keep these in reserve at Maughold Head lighthouse,quite a few of our lights still retain there storm panes but many went missing during refurbishment ready for automation.
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Postby island » Fri May 13, 2005 6:48 am


Fred. Were these storm panes designed to be mounted from inside or from outside the lantern? I can visualize during a storm they would be mounted on the inside.

It is apparent from Fred's post and his link that temporary replacement of broken lanten glass could be easily accomplished for lanterns having diagonal astragals. Most U.S. lanterns had horizontal and vertrical astragals and some with much larger panes of glass. In Maine I believe there are only two lanterns with diagonals. (Rockland Breakwater and Ram Island Ledge)

One can visualize a rectangular pane of glass mounted in a frame and with clamps similar to the triangular arrangement on Fred's site. The glass panels would not be significantly large for a lantern having intermediate horizontal astragals.

For lanterns with larger panes such as Monhegan and Whitehead the glass panes were 2 feet x 5 feet and would present a greater challenge for the keeper not only to install but to move the glass pane to the lantern gallery from storage somewhere below.
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Postby Fred » Fri May 13, 2005 2:23 pm


David
Thankyou for all the additional information,I think a lot is down to language (There is English and there is English?)

Yes you did change them from the inside and I think most of the scottish lights changed to diagonal astrogals over the years as they were refurbished if not originally fitted.

I was in the lightroom at Point of Ayre with recorded gusts of 108 mph and I would not have liked to be out on the balcony or especially on the external cleaning path.

Fred
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Postby island » Fri May 13, 2005 5:53 pm


Looking recently at photos of US lights I have noticed that there are variations in the diagonals arrangements. Some are fully diagonal as shown on Fred's site above. Some are diagonals between verticals. Two that I saw appear to have trapezoid glass panels.

Also I found the following about glass and astragals on http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime/light/ltcomp.htm

"There were four sizes of lanterns created to accommodate the seven standard sizes or orders of Fresnel lenses--a separate design for the first-, second-, and third-orders, and one design for the fourth- through sixth-order lenses. Made of cast iron plate, they were six-, eight-, and ten-sided lanterns, although round and square lanterns were sometimes used for range lights. They had large panes of glass, one pane to a side for the smaller lanterns, and as many as three panes (one over the other) per side for the two largest size lanterns. One of the metal panels was hinged to serve as a doorway providing access to the gallery or walkway on the exterior of the lantern."

"In the late 19th century the helical bar lantern was introduced. Rather than having vertical astragals, they had diagonal ones. On the larger lanterns the astragals crossed. The lighthouse officials believed these type of lanterns gave off a brighter light when housing rotating lenses because the light beam was only partially blocked at any one time by the diagonal astragals versus a split second total eclipse of the light beam by vertical astragals."

This last statement is not completely accurate because diagonals were used on smaller lantern lights also.
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