Inventor of the Lewis Lamp, patented in 1810, it used half the oil it replaced. He utilized parabolic reflectors made of copper with a silver plating acting as the reflective surface. A 4" in diameter, green glass magnifying lens was placed in front of the lamp.
The design was chosen by the 5th Auditor, Stephen Pleasonton to be utilized at most American lighthouses, giving Lewis the ongoing contract to service the devices. Unfortunately, the silver plating was easily scratched with cleaning and the overall output of light was less than the Argand Lamp (a similar design that used more oil, a prevailing reason Pleasonton chose the Lewis Lamp).
Lewis' nephew Isaiah William Penn Lewis (I.W.P. Lewis) was also an engineer who often was critical of his uncle's lamps and championed the transition to the far superior Fresnel Lenses.
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