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    Name: Robert Merrill
    Alternate Name(s):
    • Robert Merrill & Sons
    Biographical Dates: 1804 - 1876
    Biography: Robert Merrill was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1804, and died in Brooklyn, New York in 1876. His sons were William (1828-1898) and George W. (1838-1903).

    In 1835, Merrill went into business as a mathematical instrument maker with a partner, William C. Davis, in the firm of Merrill & Davis in New York City. Addresses were:

    1835-1836: 36 Oak Street
    1836-1837: 157 South Street
    1837-1838: 255 Front Street
    1838-1840: 138 Water Street

    In 1840 Merrill began business under his own name at 163 Water Street. Davis set up shop at 302 Pearl Street. Other addresses ascribed to Merrill under his own name are:

    1845-1850: 149 Maiden Lane
    1855-1860: 152 Front Street
    1860-1865: 156 Water Street
    and 255 Front Street

    Merrill was joined in 1865 by his two sons in a partnership. The firm name changed to Robert Merrill & Sons. Their locations were at 156 Water Street and 149 Maiden Lane in New York City. The firm continued until 1924.

    Merrill was noted for making binnacles and compasses, and also imported and sold nautical instruments such as quadrants and sextants.
    Text Entries:
    Reference:
    M. V. Brewington, <i>The Peabody Museum Collection of Navigating Instruments with Notes on Their Makers</i> (Salem:  Peabody Museum, 1963), 135-136.
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