Friday, March 20, 2015

A Puzzle

In 1862, the Illustrated Times of London had this comment about a marvelous invention that had gained popularity around the world:

"[It] is a manufacture from which emanate the useful and the beautiful as kindred and inseparable spirits; where the highest faculties of the mind and deepest sympathies of the heart have equal place; and where the genius of humanity inspires and blesses the genius of science."

The object of the Times' encomium is a remarkable artifact, an example of which can be found on Ocracoke Island today, although very few people have ever laid eyes on it.  Can you guess what the Times was referring to?

I will publish the answer on Monday.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:


  1. Anonymous7:28 AM

    An organ?

  2. Jeff Podraza8:45 AM

    Based off of the wording "from which emanate the useful and the beautiful," I am going to guess the Fresnel lens. I suppose many have seen the light emanating from the lighthouse, but only few have actually laid eyes (close up that is) on the Fresnel lens doing the work -- due to the very limited access to the Ocracoke lighthouse.

  3. Oh, good answer, Jeff. I think you are right, and I have seen it up close and personal although it is a scary journey to the top. I hope you win the prize!

  4. Anonymous8:47 AM

    a nickolodean.
    anyway what happened to the porpoise?

    1. What porpoise?

    2. Anonymous5:15 PM

      was there not a post about a screen shot of a porpoise video that disappeared or am I seeing/imagining things..... I must have been dreaming never mind.