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Two New Fresnel Lenses Go On Display!
Exciting things are happening in the Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building. Two newly restored and significant lenses have recently gone on view, adding to our stunning display of Fresnel lens technology. Both lenses are of the sixth order, the smallest of the classical Fresnel orders, and were acquired in 2015.

The first is a rotating, flashing clamshell style lens produced by the French lens firm Barbier, Benard & Turenne sometime between 1901 and 1905. Conservation of the glass panels and frames was conducted by Jimmie Vanover with curator Ellen Henry. Although most of the lens was in excellent condition, the center dioptric of each bullseye panel was missing, and it was decided to restore this lens by replacing the missing glass and reproducing the rotational mechanism, pedestal, internal lamp stand, and a reflector panel that was also missing. Dan Spinella of Artworks Florida agreed to produce the missing glass from high-quality cast acrylic that is tinted to match the color of the original glass that remains in the lens. Dan also designed and produced the missing reflector panel, lamp stand, rotational mechanism, and pedestal.

The second lens is a classical beehive style sixth order fixed lens produced in 1882 by Barbier et Fenestre, an earlier incarnation of the same company that produced the clamshell. No glass was missing from this lens, and conservation of the glass and frames was carried out by Jimmie Vanover. It was decided to also produce a reproduction pedestal and lamp stand for the display of this lens. Again, Dan Spinella of Artworks Florida designed and fabricated these missing pieces.