Triple Island 3rd Order Lens

Triple Island lens © C. Mills

 

This light was first made available to mariners on January 1st, 1921 to travel to the bustling port of Prince Rupert from the north. It was originally fired by a pressurized gas vapour lamp which would have been visible for over 12 miles (19 kilometers).

Electric generators installed in the late 1960s  replaced this vapour lamp with an incandescent lamp and later with a mercury vapour lamp as seen in some of the photos below.

The lamp, reflector and base all floated on a large bowl of mercury. Even though the light weighed hundreds of pounds, it could be turned easily with one finger.

The Canadian government declared mercury a hazardous substance (like asbestos) in the 1990s and removed it from all work places. Reluctantly, the lamp was no longer usable.

Also, because of the planned automation of the lights which has gone on since the early 1970s, there was no reason to replace or modify the light and its housing – the Coast Guard abandoned it as a an Aid to Navigation.

The photos below show what replaced it. An APRB 252 12 volt battery-operated “flashlight”.

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