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Towards the end of the 18th century the North Foreland Lighthouse underwent some considerable alterations and repairs. Two stories of brick were built on the original structure which raised it to the height of 100 feet including the room at the top in which the lights were kept. To prevent accidents from fire it was coated with copper as was also the gallery around it. This gallery used to be much frequented by the visitors to Margate on account of the extensive views.
In 1860 under the supervision of engineer Henry Norris the light was changed to a dioptric manufactured by Sautter and Co. of Paris, replacing the previous catoptric apparatus of 18 Argand lamps & reflectors and the two keepers cottages added. These works coincided with and were part of the successful experiments carried out in 1857-60 at the lighthouse by Professor Frederick Hale Holmes with an alternating current electric arc light which were the subject of a lecture by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution