Historical information

Detached sector panel from upper lantern. The lens segment is one of a pair of freestanding panels that formerly stood on a platform in the upper lantern room on either side of a small fixed light. The platform rested above the 1860/62 Chance Bros. first order, fixed lens and could be accessed by a ladder. The two sector lens panels were each set in a bronze frame and comprised a curved wider (belt) piece in the centre with nine curved, slim line pieces above and below it (19 pieces in total). The belt aligned with the light source to provide optimal focus and range. The panels, the light and the platform were installed in 1934 to upgrade the original optical system with red warning lights. Fitting them above the lantern was a convenient and inexpensive way to do this, with each lens panel set up behind a red glass panel to project a red sector to the seaward over to Cape Howe and the Western Shore. The two sectors are likely to be Chance Bros. by manufacture although they do not appear to bear the maker’s name. This is probably because Chance Bros. typically fixed metal plaques to their apparatus and tended not to stamp smaller components such as their lens frames. It could possibly indicate that the two sectors are former components of a larger system, i.e. another lens. This can easily be confirmed by closely inspecting the bronze frames. A series of holes on the frame would indicate that ‘they would have bolted to other panels to make a larger lens assembly’. The absence of holes would confirm that ‘they were made specifically to stand alone’. The sector panels were removed from the Gabo lantern in February 1992. At some point after their removal, they were found in boxes marked with ‘Ince Pt.’, however it is thought that Ince Point lighthouse ‘never had … stand alone sectors’. The panel in the Gabo Island collection is one of two segments discovered at the Eden Killer Whale Museum in about 2007. One section was repatriated to Gabo Island and the other was to go to Smoky Cape Lighthouse in northern NSW. The Gabo lens segment has first level contributory significance for its historic value and provenance to the lantern room. It is recommended that Parks Victoria/AMSA seek to return the Smoky Cape segment to Gabo Island and reunite the sector panels.


The Gabo lens segment has first level contributory significance for its historic value and provenance to the lantern room.

Physical description

Section of a lens from a lighting apparatus , rectangular louvers of glass enclosed in a metal frame.