Monday, March 22, 2010

Robert Archibald and Gladys Vivian (Blanchard) VanAmburg

Ninth Generation

ROBERT ARCHIBALD VANAMBURG was the only child of Mae and James F. VanAmburg. He was born in Clarks Harbor 6 Nov 1904 and died 22 July 1991 at Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Nova Scotia

He graduated from Everett (Massachusetts) High School in 1924; studied Radio Apparatus-Theory & Design at MIT. Also courses in Photo-Engraving at Wentworth Institute, and Business Management at Boston University. He worked at Lever Brothers Company 1925-1950, first in the laboratory developing standard tests for textiles (where he patented a device for testing tensile strength of rayon fabrics while emersed); he went on as an Industrial Engineer, installation of mechanical & electronic devices in production and quality control. He was also official photographer for Lever publications, and for newspaper & magazine advertising. He left when the company moved their operations out of state and worked as office manager for the Boston Filter Company, 1950-1970. When he retired, they sold the Lynnfield, Massachusetts home and took up residence in the Cape Sable Island family home.

An avid hunter, target and competition shooter, both rifle and pistol, he was a life member of the National Rifle Association. Followed a family tradition of boat building, and began a new family tradition of photography. In 1923 he photographed the landscape view of Clarks Harbor when he visited his grandmother & grandfather (James L. & Ruth). In 1985 he duplicated the view from a vantage point on the government wharf. This shows 32 years of both change and preservation. The two photographs appeared in the 1986 publication “Our Island Reminisces” and are in the collection of the Archelaus Smith Historical Society Museum on Cape Sable Island

Going to the gun club and shooting the Savage .22 rifle (in prone position, I was a very small pre-schooler). When older, I helped to score Jr. NRA targets on the dining room table. I don’t recall his title in those early days, but he was a district officer for NRA. Going duck hunting, when I was old enough to shoot offhand, cold, wet but exciting.
I’ve already told you about the darkroom photo developing, and the other job I assisted Dad on was reloading ammunition.
I made several trips to Clarks Harbor for vists, and when Mom and Dad moved to Acadia (near Yarmouth Airport) it was often to help Mom, as age and illness took its toll on Dad. The last trip before his death was poignant and yet a wonderful memory. Mom and I went to the hospital, late Sunday afternoon, sitting in his chair, Dad looked up at us and smiled, pointed to the far corner. “Look at Tiger over there, I’ve been watching him - - that cat is getting so lazy, and he still tries to chase things around. He’s such a little mischief.” He chuckled and smiled contentedly. They called us at 7 the next morning to tell us that Dad had passed away in the night.

to be continued - Gladys Vivian (Blanchard) VanAmburg, my Mom.