Famous Lights

Navesink Lighthouse

The information contained in this section is taken verbatim from HISTORICALLY FAMOUS LIGHTHOUSES - CG-232. Although the format has been changed slightly for better reading and display. BJ 'n Cindy

Navesink Light, N. J., on Navesink Highlands, south of the entrance to New York, was established in 1828. It consisted originally of two rubble towers. In 1862 two brownstone towers replaced these, the north tower being octagonal and the south tower square. They are 73 feet high and connected by a dwelling. The present light is exhibited from the south tower only and shows a flashing white light every 5 seconds, 246 feet above water and visible 19 miles. The light in the north tower was discontinued in 1898.

In 1841 the first Fresnel lens to be used in this country was imported from France and installed in the south tower. In 1898 an electric arc lamp replaced oil lamps in the south tower, this being the first primary lighthouse in the United States to use electric light. The electric arc lamp was equipped with a bivalve lens of the new lighting type. This lens, weighing over 7 tons, revolved in 10 seconds, and gave a flash every 5 seconds, lasting 0.3 seconds. The Navesink Light was the only shore station having a plant for generating electricity. Its estimated candlepower was 25,000,000 making it the most powerful coast light in the United States. Although on account of the curvature of the earth, the light itself could not be seen more than 22 miles, its beam was reported to have been observed in the sky at a distance of 70 nautical miles.

After the establishment of this electric flashing light many complaints were made by residents of the neighborhood of the great discomfort and annoyance caused by the brilliancy of the flash. This was remedied by darkening several of the lantern panels on the landside. The light was later changed to an electric incandescent light of 9,000,000 candlepower. With the improvement in floating aids, however, this lighthouse lost some of its early importance, and the candlepower was reduced to 5,000 candlepower. It was changed to unwatched in 1949. The light was discontinued in 1952 and used as a daybeacon until 1963. (3) (4)