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Coston Supply Company


THE dangers of the sea have been much diminished by modern science and invention in the line of preventive devices, and especially life-saving appliances, the manufacture of which has been developed to a high degree of perfection. The Coston Signal Company, of 24 Water Street, New York, has been a leading factor in this development.

The business was established in 1840 by Benjamin Franklin Coston, inventor and manufacturer of night signals and ship rockets. He conducted the business until his son, William F. Cos- ton, became of age and took active charge of the business. Under his management, several life- saving appliances were added to the specialties of the firm. He continued at the head of the business until his death in 1901, in which year the business was incorporated, his widow, Mrs. Anna L. Coston, being the president of the corporation and having the active executive direction of the business until 1907, when she retired from active participation in the business, and Mr. Jay W. Becherer has since been president of the company. Under his management the business has been expanded so as to include, in addition to the company's own life-saving specialties and signals, a general business as dealers in a complete line of life-saving appliances for steamers, together with general steamship supplies and ship chandlery business, under the trade name of Coston Supply Co.

Of their specialties, Coston Night Signals have for over seventy years established a standard of excellence and reliability never approached by any competitor. They have been officially adopted by the United States Government in all branches of its service, and generally by the merchant marine of most countries. Coston Distress Outfits consist of twelve red signals, each burning two minutes, properly packed in a metallic watertight case, and are among the articles required by the United States Steamboat Inspection Service in the equipment of life-boats. The Coston Ship Rockets, rising to a height of over 400 feet and throwing a shower of red balls that burn with great intensity, are in wide use by ocean liners and other steamship lines and are standard everywhere; the

Coston Life Buoy Water Light, approved by the United States Board of Supervising Inspectors, Department of Commerce, and by the British Board of Trade, and the Coston Deck Flare, Cos- ton Life Boat Equipment (including oars, bread breakers, water breakers, sails, sea drags and oil spreader, cork rings, day distress signals and life preservers), Compass, Lanterns, Boat Hooks, etc.

The Coston Davit Turning Out Gear can be attached to any round Bar Davit, and in many ways simplifies and makes safe the operation of the davit in every emergency. It has been approved by engineers, classification societies and the United States Steamboat Inspection Service, and has been installed on a large number of ocean and coastwise vessels, including many of the largest lines. The Coston Positive Boat Releasing Gear, with its absolute safety of operation, elimination of danger of boat being detached by accidental movement during launching, quick instantaneous release at any desired point of launching of boat, under complete control of one man in charge of the boat, and many other features of safe and positive action, is in highest degree simple, safe, and absolutely foolproof.

The Coston Line-Throwing Gun, mounted on a steel carriage for larger vessels, and in shoulder- gun type for vessels under 300 tons, Coston Col-lapsible Life Boats, besides Metallic Life Boats and Metallic Cylinder Life Rafts and life-boat equipment of every kind to comply with the Seaman's Act and War Zone, are included in their line. The company also handles deck, engine and cabin stores and steamship supplies in general.

In its specialties the company does a large do-mestic and export business, and constantly fills large orders for the United States Navy and also for the United States Army for transport service.

Mr. Becherer, the president, entered this busi-ness in 1895 as an office boy, and worked his way up by efficient service and thorough knowledge of the business. Mrs. Coston is vice-president of the company. Edwin A. Beck, formerly connected with the Tide Water Oil Company, is treasurer, and Charles F. Steinbach is secretary and manager of the company.

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