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Originally built in 1958, the Oak Island lighthouse stands 153 feet tall. This lighthouse was the second brightest lighthouse in the world at the time it was constructed. The structure has a 30-foot wide octagonal base and has 24 pilings 67 feet deep.
During the 19th century, a new type of lens for lighthouses was developed by Augustin Fresnel. This lens was constructed of carefully shaped glass prisms. The prisms were set in a metal frame to reflect and refract light.
Fresnel’s lens was lighter and easier to manufacture than a regular optical lens. It also allowed for the creation of short-focal-length lenses. Fresnel’s lens also intensified light so it could be seen from a greater distance.