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Frederick Gilbert Bourne

Frederick Gilbert Bourne

Posted: 964533065000
Edited: 1054142283000
I am looking for relatives of Frederick G. Bourne, the founder and president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. My grandparents worked for him as gardener and governess. I would be interested in any family stories or photos, as well as properties owned and places where he was born and died. I know he died in 1920 and left his Oakdale, Suffolk, NY 100-room summer residence on the Great South Bay to the Christian Brothers, who founded LaSalle Military Academy there. He also had a replica of a Scottish Castle built in the Thousand Islands, NY. This also he bequeathed to the Christian Brothers, which they kept until 1965. He also owned the entire first floor of the famed Dakota building (where John Lennon lived), and owned a residence on Jekyll Island, GA.

Frederick was an avid yachter, and was the head of either the New York or Suffolk County Yacht Club (conflicting stories). In either case, he was known as Commodore Bourne for this reason. He was married to Emma Keeler and had at least one child, a son named George Gault Bourne, who was born on 9 Feb 1888. George married Nancy Atterbury Potter, and may have died in 1964, if the social security records I found belong to him.

I would appreciate any information on him that would help me flesh out the lives of my grandparents, Louis S. Braun and Bridget Mary Josephine Lynch. Both immigrated in 1894, and probably worked for him between then and 1899, when they married.

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne

JACombs (View posts)
Posted: 1011643986000
Classification: Query
Mr. Braun,
I am the daughter-in-law of Dorothy Marvel Singer, a GGG-Grandaughter of Isaac Merritt Singer who we understand to be the inventor and founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Can you please tell us how Frederick Gilbert Bourne enters into the Singer picture. If you have any information on the Singer family that you have acquired during your research, would you be willing to pass it along?
If you are interested in the history behind the sewing machine and the men who contributed to its invention and the patents involved, may I suggest a book by Ruth Brandon titled "Singer and the Sewing Machine: A Capitalist Romance". This book is very informative on the sewing machine, its history and the various men and the patents issued to produce the sewing machine as we know it today. I found it at my local library. However, in this book I find no reference to a Frederick Gilbert Bourne. Perhaps we was the owner and president of one of the franchises for the Singer Sewing Machine Co factories in your area but not the original Singer Sewing Machine Company in New York, New York.
We are trying to do a family tree for Dorothy and her two grandsons and would appreciate any information you may be able to share.
Thank you and good luck in your research.

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne and the Singer Co.

Posted: 1014217166000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1054142283000
Surnames: Bourne
Dear Mrs. Combs,
Thanks for your letter of Jan 21, 2002. I don't go into this message board much these days, so I just now saw it.

Please look at the message below, which I received from the Singer Sewing Machine Co. about 18 months ago, when I asked them about Mr. Bourne.

Please feel free to reply at any time.
Chris Braun
Inbox > Re: Singer History

From: TalkToUS <>
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000, 4:38 PM GMT-05:00
To: '' <>

Subject: Re: Singer History


These are a couple works that you may be able to locate
through a good library or a very good book store.

A Capitalist Romance: Singer and the sewing machine, Ruth
Brandon, J.B. Lippincott Company, ISBN-0-397-01196-2 - This is a book I have not been able to review. I believe it concentrates more on Mr. Singer himself but your grandfather was close enough in the time line that there may be some mention of him.

The First Conglomerate: 145 Years of the Singer Sewing
Machine Company, Don Bissell, Audenreed Press, ISBN-1-879418-72-X - This is a fairly recent book. It is organized with a chapter devoted to each president that the company has had thus there is a chapter on Mr. Bourne. The last section of the chapter deals more with his retirement and personal life. It refers to the following work -

One Hundred Years of American Commerce, by Bourne, it was written in 1895 discussing his business philosophy. Apparently Depew reprinted it but we do not know when.

Other then this information, we do not have anything else on
file that would aid in your research. We are in the process of trying to centralize scattered collections pertaining to the companies activities and history. In another year, we may have accumulated more info to share.

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne and the Singer Co.

Jackie Musyt Combs (View posts)
Posted: 1014257555000
Classification: Query
Mr. Braun,

Thank you for your response. As I indicated before, the book "A Capitalist Romance..." did not mention Frederick Gilbert Bourne, probably because the company was started before he became president of it and was not connected to Isaac Merritt Singer during that time.

I appreciate the information from the Singer Company and will pass this on to my husband and his sons who may be interested. I am doing the genealogy on my husband's mother's side of the family (Singer) and am compiling any sources that may interest family members.

Again, thank you for you help and taking the time to send a response.


Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne and the Singer Co.

Posted: 1295838513000
Classification: Query
If you are still looking for information on Frederick G. Bourne of the Singer Company, I have quite a bit of information as a homeowner in Oakdale next to his mansion.
G. Fields, Oakdale, New York 11769

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne

Posted: 1295838612000
Classification: Query
If you are still looking for information on Frederick G. Bourne, please contact me.
Ginny Fields, Oakdale, NY 11769

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne and the Singer Co.

Posted: 1309751874000
Classification: Query
I would love to find out more about the Bourne Manison. I was there this weekend for a wedding and the bartender told me a little history about the house but I want to learn more. I have looked online to find information but didn't find out anything on the history of the house. Can you point me in the direction of learning more about that amazing manison? Thank You!!!

Re: Frederick Gilbert Bourne

Posted: 1342837184000
Classification: Query
I taught at LaSalle Military Academy, Oakdale, the former Indian Neck Hall estate of Frederick Gilbert Bourne.

I established the archive while I was there (1974 - 1984) and did extensive research into the family and history of the estate.

If you would please email me your phone # we can have a lengthy conversation about Bourne. My email is: I find talking better than all this typing.

Roger Chingas
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