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Alexander, Daniel Asher | Argand, Amis |

Alexander, Daniel Asher   (1768-1846)

He succeeded Samuel Wyatt as the consultant engineer for Trinity House around 1807. His contribution to lighthouse design is South Stack (1809), the Inner Farne also Heligoland (1811), Hurst (1812). Other lighthouses included the nine sided masonry Harwich high light and its low light, plus the first circular granite composition Lundy tower, between (1818 & 1822). The Lundy lighthouse was unusual when compared to other towers, because of its cavity wall construction.

Argand, Amis (Life span unknown)

Swiss inventor. 18th century.
In his Genevan residence Amis Argand experimented with various oils and wicks, with the intention of finding a means to increase the brilliance of the light source.

A letter written by his brother around 1784 stated: 'My brother had long been vainly trying to bring his lamp to bear. A broken off neck of flask (carafe) was lying on the chimney piece. I happened to reach over the table and place it over the circular flame of the lamp. Immediately it rose in brilliancy. My brother started from his seat in ecstasy, rushed upon me with a transport of joy and embraced me with rapture.'

This discovery (although attributed to Amis Argand and not his brother) utilized the heat inside the glass funnel. As the heat rose it drew concentrated oxygen through the base of the circular wick. In turn this produced a very bright and enclosed light.

When the Argand lamp was first put to a practical use, it was mainly for domestic purposes. These lamps became one of the most used means of lighting around the World, especially with the adaptions made for use in the saloon bars of the Wild West.

Although the Argand lamp was considered for use in lighthouses, its employment was delayed until the various Lighthouse Authorities could obtain suitable heat resistant glass funnels for the larger versions of this light source.