Fresnel Lenses – Barbier, Benard & Turenne – AGA and Waglan lighthouse…

HF: Barbier, Benard and Turenne (BBT) was a French company founded in 1862. It specialized in the manufacture of lights, optical devices and lighting systems. And complete lighthouses including the one on Hong Kong’s Waglan Island. The lighthouse incorporated Fresnel lenses. The Swedish Company AGA was later involved as was its UK subsidiary Pharos Marine.

I didn’t know the name for Fresnel lenses but knew what they looked like. But BBT, AGA and Pharos Marine were all new to me, and possibly to you, so I thought it would be useful to provide background information on the lenses, related companies and the individuals connected to them. (I was pronouncing AGA as A-G-A but change that to a word and you have the manufacturer of the cooker.)

The United States Lighthouse Society’s website contains an article, The Fresnel Lens Makers, linked below, which also provides considerable information about the three companies plus many others.

Jeff Gales of the USLS has written to say they have no objections to my use of their material.

The article is lengthy and contains information about the following:

The Early Development of the Fresnel Lens

Fresnel, Augustin Drawing

Courtesy: USLS (Drawing from Oeuvres Completes d’Augustin Fresnel) Augustin Fresnel age 37.

The lighthouse work of Augustin Fresnel
The Soleil Family Dynasty of Lens Makers
Jean Jacques Francois Lens Works
Jean-Baptiste Francois Soleil JR’s Instrument Business
Theodore Letourneau Lens Works
Choisy-le-Roi Glass Works
Saint Gobain Glass Works
Cookson Glass Works
Louis Sautter Co
Louis Sautter Lens Works
Sautter, Lemonnier & Cie
Sautter Harle
Henry- Lepaute Clock and Lens Works
Augustin Henry – Lepaute
Chance Brothers Glass and Lens Works
Barbier, Benard and Turenne
Barbier and Fenestre
Barbier et Cie
Barbier and Benard
Barbier, Benard et Turenne (BBT)

BT Factory, Paris, 1903 Courtesy: Thibault Turenne Cllection

Courtesy: USLS, BBT Factory, Paris, 1903
Courtesy: Thibault Turenne Cllection

Other Fresnel Lens Makers
AGA Lens Works

Courtesy: USLS AGA's First Factory

Courtesy: USLS
AGA’s First Factory

Pharos Marine
Automatic Power Inc.
Corning Lens Works
Macbeth-Evans Glass Works
Macbeth-Evans Lens Works
Gebr. Picht & Co. Glass and Lens Works
Nitsche & Gunther Glass Works
Wilhem Weule Lens Works
Dr. Genthe Glass Works
Julius Pintsch Lens Works

This article was first posted on 20th February 2015.


  1. The United States Lighthouse Society article The Fresnel Lens Makers
  2. General information about the United States Lighthouse Society

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Waglan Island lighthouse – inaugurated on 9th May, 1893
  2. Waglan Island lighthouse – a brief history


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