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George Osborn Bourn

  • Birth 4 Jul 1809
  • Death 17 Aug 1859
  • Burial Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA
  • Memorial ID 61958232

George Osborn Bourn was born July 4, 1809, and died in Providence in 1859. As early as 1840, he became interested in the making over of India rubber shoes, as they were imported from Brazil, making them over to more nearly conform to the shape of the foot. The shoes, as then made, were shapeless affairs, the first attempt at manufacture being by simply soaking the rubber shoes in hot water, then stretching them on lasts and allowing them to dry. In this way they were made to retain something of the shape of the last. A strip of fur was then sewed around the top, and a coat of sponge varnish applied to the rubber. His first partner was David C. Winslow, the firm, Bourn & Winslow, continuing from 1840 until 1842. Mr. Bourn was then alone until 1847, when Colonel William W. Brown, of Providence, became his partner. Bourn & Brown continued until 1851, when the firm became Bourn, Brown & Chaffee, and so operated until 1859, when the senior partner died. This experience of nineteen years, 1840-59, ranks George O. Bourn with the pioneer rubber manufacturers of the country, and when he laid down the burden his mantle descended upon his son, Augustus Osborn Bourn. Edwin M. Chaffee, who was admitted in 1851, was the friend and associate of Charles Goodyear, the inventor and patentee of the art of vulcanizing rubber, a discovery which made it possible to manufacture rubber for any desired purpose. Mr. Chaffee is credited with aiding Mr. Goodyear in the experiments which led to his discovery, and in 1836 he invented machinery for breaking, reducing and working rubber into plastic condition, which is still of standard type and unimproved save to give the machinery greater speed and strength.
He married in Providence, Dec. 1, 1833, Huldah Batty Eddy, daughter of Ezra and Sally (Peckham) Eddy, and granddaughter of William Eddy of Providence, a revolutionary soldier and pensioner. The family collateral lines embrace many distinguished families of New England, dating from the earliest days of the English settlement.


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  • Created by: Superkentman
  • Added: 21 Nov 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61958232
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Osborn Bourn (4 Jul 1809–17 Aug 1859), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61958232, citing Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA ; Maintained by Superkentman (contributor 46877580) .