MBL Falmouth Forum Season Kicks Off with Lighthouse Lecture

COURTESY OF THE MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY: Theresa Levitt, an associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi, will present a lecture on lighthouse history Friday.

COURTESY OF THE MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY: Theresa Levitt, an associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi, will present a lecture on lighthouse history Friday.

WOODS HOLE – A lecture on lighthouse history will kick off the Marine Biological Laboratory’s new Falmouth Forum season this week.

Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi Theresa Levitt will present the lecture titled “Fresnel’s Brilliant Idea: Triumph and Contention in the History of Lighthouse Optics” on Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the MBL’s Lillie Auditorium.

In the 1820s, Augustin Fresnel invented a lighthouse lens 100 times brighter than the candles in place only a few decades before.

For the first time, sailors would be able to see the light more than 10 miles away to avoid hazards.

There was a long, slow fight to get the technology installed, especially in the United States.

Levitt holds a B.S. in Physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard. She is currently a professor of history and specializes in the history of science.

Levitt’s book, “A Short Bright Flash,” is available in paper back and will be sold before and after the lecture. She will also be available to sign copies.

The full schedule of the Falmouth Forum series is available at mbl.edu/Falmouth-forum.

The lectures are free and open to the public.

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