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Keeping the Flame Alight With the Last of the Lampists

Jim Woodward is a lampist. A what, you ask? A lampist’s main job is to keep the enormous, delicate glass lenses of lighthouse lights in tip-top shape so that ships at sea stay safe.

But over the years, glass lenses have fallen out of vogue. Now, most of the notable lighthouse lenses in the United States are beset with plastic LED lights. But Woodward, one of the country’s last lampists, soldiers on.

Great Big Story team joined him at Point Reyes National Seashore, where one of the great glass lenses is still in place, lighting the way for sailors at sea.

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