Lens and Artifact Restoration

The critical element in restoring or preserving a lens or other artifact is to use the first simple rule, “do no harm.” The remaining lighthouse technical artifacts represent only a tiny portion of the original quantities made. Therefore, each remaining artifact is extremely important and may be the only example extant of that style. While the artifact may need cleaning or more extensive restoration, nothing should be attempted by untrained personnel. Even the supposedly simple act of cleaning the item can cause irreversible damage if performed in the wrong manner or with incorrect materials. This brings us to the second simple rule, “know your limits.” If you don’t know exactly what to do or how to do it – STOP! 

Find an expert. Artifact Restoration Resources

The following are some of the available lens and artifact restoration resources that can be used. However, the World Lighthouse Society accepts no responsibility for their work and any restoration performed is strictly an arrangement between the contracting parties. The resources are listed in alphabetical order by company name. These are mainly American resources, however, in most cases they are available to consult worldwide. We will add additional international resources as they are identified:

The following are former US Coast Guard lens restoration experts who now operate lens restoration businesses:

James Dunlap (Overall Lens Restoration Knowledge)
Lighthouse and Lens Restoration Corp.
Phone Number: 917-656-7574
James Woodward (Overall Lens Restoration Knowledge) The Lighthouse Consultant
1893 West 44th Street 
Cleveland , OH 44113 
Phone Number: 216-961-6114
Joseph Cocking (Overall Lens Restoration Knowledge) Lighthouse Lamp Shop Inc.
1927 Harbor Island Drive 
Orange Park , FL 32003 
Phone Number: 904-215-4035
The following are restoration resources for lens glass and metal parts: 

Dan Spinella (Replacement Lens Parts and Complete Optical Acrylic Replica Lenses) Artworks – Florida 
P.O. Box 470123
Celebration, FL 34747
Gary Knappenberger (Restoration and Replacement of Lens Metal Parts) Enberg Mold and Tool
1741 Hamilton Street 
Jacksonville , FL 32210 
Dennis Winegarner (Replacement Glass Prisms and Lens Parts) Mindrum Precision Inc.
10000 4th Street 
Rancho Cucamonga , CA 91730 
Phone Number: 909-989-1728
Nippon Koki Kogyo Co. Ltd. (General Restoration and Lens Prism Restoration)290 Shimohirama, Saiwai-ku
Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 211-0953

Wilhelm Weule GmbH & Co. Messrs. Weule are able to repair lens prisms, supply them new and manufacture complete lenses up to 500 mm focal distance. All lens grinding is only to German Standard Profile. Prisms made by Messrs. Weule will NOT work as replacements for lenses made in England, France or the USA.
Im Schleeke 40
38642 Goslar
+49 (0)5321 23097
Member of IALA

The following can provide general artifact and lens restoration knowledge: 

National Park Service (General Restoration Knowledge)                    
P.O. Box 37127                          
Washington , DC 20013-7127 USA 
Phone Number: 202-512-1800
(Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook - Stock No. 024-005-01181-1)

Ed Gunn (General Restoration Knowledge) Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Preservation Association
4931 South Peninsula Drive 
Ponce Inlet , FL 32127 
Phone Number: 386-761-1821
Steve Gronow (General Restoration Knowledge) The Maritime Exchange Museum 
Phone Number: 810-599-5147


In addition, there are a number of documents that can be obtained from the Internet, which cover various aspects of 

Fresnel lens maintenance and conservation as follows:
Fresnel Lens Maintenance and Care – National Park Service
Fresnel Lens Conservation – National Park Service
USCG Lens Directives
Safeguarding Lighthouse Lenses – Maritime Museum Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Manual - Section VII