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Kenrick A.Claflin & Son

1174. [life ring] Merrimack Humane Society Canvas Life Ring c.1900-1940’s.

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1174. [life ring] Merrimack Humane Society Canvas Life Ring c.1900-1940’s.

1174. [life ring] Merrimack Humane Society Canvas Life Ring c.1900-1940’s. Extremely scarce sewn canvas life ring measures a full 28 inches in diameter and is in uncommonly good condition, complete with original grab rope. Lettered in black “Merrimack Humane Society”. The Massachusetts Humane Society was organized in 1787 and is generally considered to be the predecessor to the U. S. Life-Saving Service. The Merrimac Humane Society, organized on the 10th of Aug., 1802, was, like its sister organization, one of the first organizations to establish and supply early “Life Saving Stations” in the United States and from their very beginning awarded “Premiums“ for acts of heroism involving the saving of life at sea and along the Northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire Coast. Even after the establishment of the U.S. Life Saving Service in the post Civil War years, the Merrimack Humane Society continued to provide support and equipment to its members who constituted a “coastal volunteer crew” as well as maintaining “shelter huts” along deserted stretches of the coast of Plum Island for the use of shipwreck victims who has washed ashore far from human habitations. Besides providing equipment and training of volunteer Life-Saving crews along the Massachusetts coast, the Humane Societies awarded Life Saving Medals and cash “Premiums” to those who risked their own lives to help passengers and crewmembers of shipwrecks in their area. Shortly after its organization, application was made to the Legislature for an act of incorporation for the Merrimac Humane Society, and this was granted on the 7th of March, 1804. It is still in force. Expected wear, sections intact but becoming loose. (VG-). $595.