Provincial Historic Site
Light Technologies
First illuminated in the spring of 1858, the beaming light at Point Amour came from an Argand concentric wick lamp, combined with a reflector and a 2nd order Fresnel lens (developed by French physicist Augustin Fresnel). Five large, flat wick lamps would consume about 200 gallons of whale oil each shipping season, and would exhibit a fixed white light for up to 18 nautical miles. Over the years, the beacons changed from fixed, to flashing, to "occulting" white lights, as mariners could easily distinguish one lighthouse from another based on the beaconing system. Point Amour Lighthouse continues to be easily identifiable through its 16 seconds of flashing light, followed by a 4 second eclipse.
At the turn of the century, the lighting apparatus evolved from kerosene lanterns, to petroleum-vapour lamps, on to the present day electrical system. Although beacons and equipment have changed over the years, the Fresnel lens that was installed at the time of construction remains in use yet today.
Webmaster Login
Site Content & Design 2014
The website is managed by the
Labrador Straits Historical Development Corporation.