Responses to Louisiana Clayton Dart
The lens was actually manufactured by Sautter Lemonnier et Cie in 1878 (the caption under the lens photo and the second paragraph of the article itself have a typo - Levonnier instead of Lemonnier)
In the third paragraph of her article, she writes that the lamp "has six prisms at the top and three at the bottom. In the center are five bull’s eyes, or lenses, of seven inches each.” Actually, the lens has 10 flash panels, each with a bull’s eye lens, so 10 not five bull’s eyes. Above each bull’s eye lens in each flash panel are six prisms; below are three prisms.
Contrary to what is written in the sixth paragraph, the lamp never ran with whale oil; kerosene was used from the very start until electricity came.
I love the part about the light coming to Port San Luis (Port Harford at the time) on four different ships. Don’t know where that came from. Indeed, the various pieces of the lens apparatus were shipped in five different crates (crates 991 through 995). The lens apparatus was shipped from the lighthouse service’s supply depot on Staten Island to the 12th district lighthouse engineer in San Francisco in December 1889. From there, the lens apparatus would have been shipped to Port San Luis, most likely on the tender ship Madrono. Doubt four ships were involved, but have no proof. And the ship didn’t "land in the surf." A wharf was built by the contractor who built the light station (at his expense) to facilitate the unloading of supplies.
But these are nits, really. It’s a wonderful article. And her description of how the light was maneuvered into the museum is wonderful to read. I hadn’t seen this article before and it adds greatly to my research, so I thank you for it.
The History Center thanks Kathy Mastako for providing these comments.