My grandmother sent me this postcard from a trip she went on to New Jersey! Mommom loves her first-born grandson hehe. This is a card showing Barnegat Lighthouse, or “Old Barney”, located in the northern tip of Long Beach Island, which sits off the coast of the state. The first lighthouse was constructed in 1834, and was replaced with a new one (the one on this card) about two decades later. The new lighthouse was built as a first order light, equipped with a Fresnel lens. The big question is, what the heck is a Fresnel lens? A Fresnel (pronounced “Fray-NEHL”) lens is a type of lens suited for projecting light from a lighthouse. With the way its designed, it can concentrate light rays from a lamp and beam them out as far as 30 km. For a time period where electrical beacons weren’t a thing, this was a really helpful invention for those out at sea, especially those caught in a storm AND out at sea. Anyway, operation of Barnegat Lighthouse continued until New Year’s of 1944, when the light was finally extinguished. The original Fresnel lens now sits in the Barnegat Lighthouse Musuem, and the lighthouse itself was put onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. So is that the end of Old Barney’s run? Nay nay, my friends! On New Year’s of 2009 – exactly 15 years after it shut down – it was relit! While it no longer uses a Fresnel lens, its current beacon continues to do its this to this day. During the daytime hours, one can visit the lighthouse to enjoy a cool panoramic view of Long Beach Island and the surrounding area, or learn about the lighthouse’s history at the Interpretive Center. And during the nighttime hours? That, of course, is its time to shine. (See what I did there? ‘Cause… “time to shine” is a saying… and it’s a lighthouse so it literally shines… is this why comedy school rejected my application?!) Thank you Mommom for thinking of me and sending me this wonderful card! Love you!