Absecon Lighthouse

The Absecon Lighthouse is located in the north end of Atlantic City, New Jersey. If you ever decide to go to Atlantic City, don’t forget to visit the Absecon Lighthouse.

At 171 feet (52 m) it is the tallest lighthouse in the state of New Jersey and the third-tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States after the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina at 198 feet (60.3 m) and the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and museum in Central Florida at 175 feet (53 m) in height.

It has been the tourist attraction since the light went on in 1857. It has 2000 square feet of museum space. They also have a small souvenir shop.

New Jersey’s tallest hotel can be seen right from the top of the lighthouse.

In 1821, a French physicist, Augustin-Jean Fresnel, developed the lens that bears his name. The revolutionary design allowed to add the light from a light source to the beam of a lighthouse, making the light visible from greater distances.

This is the original Fresnel (pronounced Freh-nel) lens that was constructed back in 1854. It was made of smaller pieces of prism glass. There are 252 pieces of prism glass. The lens weighs over six U.S. tons (over 12,800 pounds). Each one of the lead prism glass pieces had to be hand carried over the 228 steps and assembled over the watch room. The lighthouse has a total of 240 steps, with visitors able to climb 228 to the watch room.

The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933. Atlantic City gained popularity as a tourist destination, the hotels built close to the shoreline were higher than the lighthouse, so it could not perform its primary navigational function. Also, the bright lights of Atlantic City were overshadowing the light from the lighthouse.

Every night, the light gets turned on at a reduced power for tourism purposes.

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