He was kind to all he met, helped the poor, and his 12 children loved him dearly.
Although it sounds much like a fable, he was indeed, Frederick Gilbert Bourne- Forgotten Titan of the Gilded Age.
In this intriguing new biography, Philip Selvaggio chronicles Bourne's ascent from near poverty to being one of the wealthiest men in America. Owning the finest estate on the Gold Coast of Long Island, he also built the then tallest building in the world, The Singer Tower in Manhattan. But he was far more than just the president of the first multi-national, multi-million dollar company in America- The Singer Sewing Machine Company. Bourne was an intellectual with deep moral convictions, personal charm and the Singer Sewing Machine planted a seed for the liberation of women throughout the world.
Frederick Gilbert Bourne- Forgotten Titan of the Gilded Age harkens the reader back to a time when great men embraced new technology and helped change the world. But Bourne was not merely someone who masterfully marketed machinery- he was a philanthopist with a huge heart, captured lovingly and in great detail by author Selvaggio, who devoted three and a half years of his life in researching the book.
Not just a rags to riches turn of the century tale, Bourne's life was also riddled with tragedy. He lost multiple children while coping with a chronically ill wife, survived a massive fire to his estate, and faced other traumas that would have felled lesser men.
Also of note, Bourne was a topnotch boxer, avid horseman, yachtsman, hunter, automobile afficionado, and has a direct historic connection with The Titanic, John Lennon and The World Trade Center. His Oakdale Mansion (Indian Neck) and Singer Tower remains awe-inspiring architectural works.
The chapter on his passing, as his children played his favorite music on the piano, is deeply moving and memorable.
If you're a fan of forgotten history, Bourne, an Oakdale, Long Island resident's amazing true story will most certainly inspire you.
The book can be purchased on Createspace and is also available on Amazon. https://www.createspace.com/6880175
Author/historian Philip Selvaggio is available to historical societies, libraries, book stores, area tourist attractions, and anyone interested in Bourne, the Gilded Age, or related subjects.
Evan Ginzburg is the Associate Producer of The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke and a 25 year plus TV, Radio and Film veteran formerly with 50,000 Watt WBAI-FM 99.5. He is the host of the Arts program, The Evan Ginzburg Show on Village Connection Radio Sundays 11AM-1PM at www.villageconnectionradio.com