The difference was dramatic. The old light could be seen five or six leagues at sea, but Lewis’s penetrated the night to the distance of 12 leagues (a league was three nautical miles). The old lamps were horribly inefficient, requiring 31 gallons of whale oil per week. The new cleaner-burning lamps needed only nine.
|A nineteenth century drawing of Lewis’ lighthouse lamp. US Coast Guard Historian’s Office.|
and magnifying lanterns.” By the end of 1812, Lewis had received at least $16,000 from the government for installing his lamps and reflectors.
these were installed in the spar deck to light the cabin or gun deck below. The large copper lantern might have been used for signaling or as an anchor light. The crew might have kept the other lamp and “illuminator & reflector” handy, ready to be used when they required a strong light.
|A detail from an 1816 plan of Constitution‘s orlop deck by Charles Ware. The red arrow points to the two light boxes in the magazine’s filling room. National Archives plan #14949.|
NY), 7 July, 1811.
voucher to Winslow Lewis & Co., 16 Sept. 1813, in Fourth Auditor of the
Treasury Accounts, RG 217, Box 38, NARA.