Pair of black metal and leather binoculars with gilt trim awarded to Captain Robert M. Lavender, 1878. Includes a silver metal plaque reading "Presented by the Government of Canada to Captain Robert M. Lavender, Master of the American Schooner Edwin J. Morrison of Boston. In recognition of his humane services to the shipwrecked crew of The Barque "Chili" of Yarmouth, N.S., 29th December, 1878" across body bridge. Manufacturer's marks for binoculars Negretti and Zambra, London, surrounding the ocular lenses. 5 1/4" H x 5 1/8" W x 5 1/4" D. Biography: Captain Robert McDonald Lavender was born in 1846, the son of Allen and Catherine Hufman Lavender in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, one of nine children. Robert was taken to Provincetown, MA when he was a year old. He began going to sea as a young boy and was the master of a fishing vessel at sixteen. He later engaged in the merchant service and was the master of several well-known vessels, including the Edwin J. Morrison of Boston, MA. He married Louisa Jane Edgar of Boston, MA on April 17, 1867. They had two sons: Robert, born March 5, 1868 and Elbridge, born April 22, 1875. He retired in 1888 and received the appointment of Assistant Deputy Collector of Customs for Barnstable County, MA. After four years he accepted the agency of the Board of Marine Underwriters of the United States and Europe, representing sixty marine insurance companies. He was a local agent of the Boston and Provincetown Steamship Company and was elected one of the port wardens of Boston on November 9, 1898. He served as Constable and chairman of the Board of Health, Deputy Sheriff in 1897, and was secretary of the Republican Town Committee. In November 1898, the United States government presented him and each of the rescuing crew under his command with a silver medal for rescuing from the schooner "F. H. Smith" which was wrecked during the severe gale which carried down the celebrated steamer "Portland". In December 1888 the Canada Board of Trade presented Robert with the binocular glasses included in this lot for his rescuing of the crew of the English bark "Chili" in a fierce gale on the southern edge of the Grand Banks. In 1898 he moved to West Somerville, MA where he and his wife became involved in several clubs and organizations. (source: "Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts", published by Graves and Steinbarger, 1901). CONDITION: Overall good condition with loss, areas of wear to gilt and leather, areas of tarnish. Leather strap missing from right objective lens.
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