Absecon Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keeper's Museum
Backstory and Context
In 1854, the U.S. Lighthouse Service requested and received a $35,000 appropriation from Congress for a lighthouse on Absecon Island. The request came after a decade of prompting from Jonathan Pitney, considered by most to be the “father” of Atlantic City. The first lighting occurred three years later, with a kerosene flame being focused through a Fresnel lens that had been made in Paris especially for the Absecon Lighthouse. The lens allowed the flame to produce a bright white light that could reach nearly 20 miles and alert ships to the precise location of the shore.
The lighthouse converted to electric light in 1925. Eight years later, the light was deemed unnecessary and the lighthouse was retired from active service with the exception of ceremonial events. Between the 1960s and the present day, community activists and donors have maintained the lighthouse and secured funds for its continued operation as an educational site and tourist destination.