Elmer Ellsworth Burlingame, 1862-

Elmer Ellsworth Burlingame, 1862-

Elmer Ellsworth Burlingame was born in 1862 in Willet, NY.  In 1884, he married Estelle Hancock (born 1865, also in New York) in Elmira, NY.  They had eight children.  The 1900 Census lists the family at 2 Mellen Street, Dorchester with the parents and six children: one son had died in 1887, and one daughter was not yet born (1904).  Elmer is listed as a “broker’ and Estelle is “musician.”  They also had one servant, also listed as “nurse.”

The Burlingames had come from Manchester, New Hampshire.  Elmer’s occupation on the 1892 tax record is Vice President, A&P Tunnel Co., with offices in the Equitable Building.  On March 28, 1892, Estelle acquired house lofts at the corner of Mellen Street and Ocean Street.  Elmer filed for bankruptcy in 1898, and the mortgage on 2 Mellen Street was foreclosed upon in November 1900.  The 1910 U.S. Census reported that the Burlingames were living in Winthrop.

Elmer’s life became interesting after 1910.

The Daily Times (New Philadelphia, OH), August 10, 1911

“Elmer E. Burlingame, who has sold stock in many concerns that have interested the postal inspectors, was arrested for his connection with the sun electric Generator Company, the underlying principle of which was bottling sunshine.  The man who claimed the credit for originating the idea, George H. Cove, also went to the Tombs with Burlingame.  Many complaints have been filed against the sunshine bottlers ever since a statement of one of the former employees of the concern was printed  telling that the machines which were in successful operation in the company’s offices derived their electricity from the Edison Company’s wires rather than from any merit of their own … The value of Burlingame’s arrest, as the inspectors saw it, was not so much for his connection with the bottled sunshine as that it might be a wedge for learning more about the workings of the other companies in which he controls.  A partial list of these companies, prepared by the inspectors, includes the following: Rocky Mountain Tunnel Company, Pittsburg Gold Dredging Company, Cleveland Gold Dredging Company, Radial Telephone Company, North American Wireless Association, Raw Milk Products Company, Universal Roller Bearings Company and the Bennett Pump Company.”

The Bucyrus Evening Telegraph (Bucyrus, OH), August 10, 1911

“The specific complaint on which the two men were arrested is that they were using the mails to defraud.”

The Boston Transcript, December 31, 1913

“In his haste to get the wireless telephone before the public, Lee De Forest, according to Harold Deming, his counsel, used inferior materials which caused the failure of the invention as demonstrated by the Radio Wireless Telephone Company.   This explanation was made by the attorney to a jury in the Federal Court today in summing up for the defense in the trial of De Forest, Samuel E. Darby, Elmer E. Burlingame and James Dunlop Smith, accused of misusing the mail in promoting the radio company’s stock.”

The Reading PA Eagle, January, 1914

“Swindlers sentenced. … Elmer E. Burlingame, agent of a subsidiary company, was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment and fined $10,100.


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Posted on

September 25, 2022

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