Presented by the Clipper Ship KingGeorge Francis Train: Donald McKay Silver Presentation Ewer. 17 1/2" tall silver pitcher or ewer with repouseé decoration consisting of sunflowers and roses. It has a presentation inscription on the front: "George Francis Train from Donald McKay Boston 1853". It is twice-stamped by the maker, Bigelow Brothers and Kennard of Boston. The base is slightly uneven and there are a few dings in the body. Train and McKay were both Boston residents. Train was involved in the shipping business early in his career, sending cargoes "around the horn" to the west coast and back. He later became involved in the horse-drawn street car business, primarily in England, advocating the Union cause there while on an extended visit in 1862. He then tried his hand in the railroad business and made a fortune helping to set up financing for the Union Pacific and transcontinental railroad. McKay (1810-1880) built 38 clipper ships, most notably the "Great Republic" and the "Flying Cloud". His ships set numerous speed records, including an 89-day passage from New York to San Francisco, traveling a distance of 436 miles in a 24-hr. period and the fastest time (21 knots) ever recorded for a sailing ship. He also built packet ships (specializing in the cross-Atlantic emigrant trade) and sailing schooners. The "founding Father" of the Kennedy Family, Patrick Kennedy, sailed from Ireland to the U.S. in 1849 aboard a McKay ship, the "Washington Irving".
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