Albert Cameron Burrage (1859-1931)

Albert C Burrage

Albert Cameron Burrage was father to Albert Cameron Burrage Jr, father of Cynthia Sewall Burrage (Armour/Hovey), mother of Théo Armour.

General – an excellent general biography of Albert Cameron Burrage with photographs and bibliography.

The Mansion on Commonwealth Avenue
When_the_Gilded_Age_Came_to_Comm_Ave – This article is from the Boston Globe web site, written by Thomas Mulvoy Jr, published 24 July 2005 describing Albert Burrage’s mansion at 314-316 Commonwealth Avenue at the corner of Hereford Street. – The Report on the Potential Designation of an Interior Portion of the BURRAGE HOUSE 314 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts as a Landmark under Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended. This report has full plans of the house and many photographs.

The following is extracted from an article in the Boston Globe by Mary Wolfand:
Take a walk down Commonwealth starting at Massachusetts Avenue. When you get to Hereford Street, you’ll find what is undeniably the premier stop on the Boston Tour of the Grotesque and Whimsical.

Today, Burrage House is an assisted living community for the elderly. A century ago, it was the elaborate fantasy of Albert Cameron Burrage.

On the Commonwealth Street side of the house are (and yes, we actually counted them) 47 dragons of various shapes, postures, and dispositions; 16 lunging, standing, and disembodied gargoyles; 30 cherubs, winged and unwinged, standing, disembodied, and miniature; three cowled, crouching, book-reading figures; six male and female heads that might represent the four seasons; four snarling lions’ heads; and two eagles (seemingly everything but the partridge in a pear tree.)

This count doesn’t even include the four crouching griffins, 10 cherubs, two dragon heads, and two crouching chimeras – all tucked away under the stone-sculpted front archway. And this is not to mention the 14 disembodied faces and two winged cherubs carved into the wrought-iron gates in the entranceway.

On the Hereford Street side of Burrage House, we counted another 75 or so dragons, gargoyles, cherubs, chimeras, grotesques, demonic faces, and snakes before finally giving up to sit on the curb awhile and just enjoy the entertaining view.

Born into a well-established New England family, Burrage became a corporate lawyer and ran several Boston-area gaslight companies at a time when everybody was beginning to electrify. He built his mansion in 1899, around when he joined Amalgamated Copper Co. Exposed for using ruthless monopoly tactics, the company was dissolved during the era of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Trustbusters.

According to “Houses of Boston’s Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917,” by Bainbridge Bunting (Harvard University Press, 1967), Burrage based his mansion on architect R.M. Hunt’s Vanderbilt House in New York, which was in turn inspired by the French chateau Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley. Burrage evidently wanted to live like the New York crowd, even though he didn’t make it in the same league.

Either way, the residents of today’s Burrage House are sometimes a little awed when they move in, but they come to love it, according to Julia Kanipelli, who runs the place for Benchmark Assisted Living.

The Mineral Collection – Anatomy of a Mineral Sale – an article of an important collection of minerals that also mentions Albert Burrage’s purchase of the Bouglise mineral collection. – article on Burrage mineral collection now at Harvard University Mineralogical Museum.

The Chile Copper Company
The following is from from a web site that has since gone off-line:
Chuquicamata, Chile, South America.

“On a slope of the Andes in northern Chile not far from the border of Bolivia stands an impressive monument to [man’s] enterprise. Here, nearly ten thousand feet above sea level, has been reared a productive community in an area once the habitat of Indians. For this is Chuquicamata, site of the world’s largest known copper deposit, mightiest bastion in all the domain of the red metal.” (with apologies to Isaac F. Marcosson, author of Anaconda published by Dodd & Mead in 1957.)

Geography – geografia
Chuquicamata, is located at approximately 10,000 feet above sea level on a slope of the Cordillera de los Andes not far from the Bolivian border. It is about 1500 kilometers from Santiago (the capital of Chile), 235 kilometers northeast of Antofagasta and 15 kilometers from the town of Calama, in a region known as El Norte Grande (the Great North) famous for the Atacama Desert – the driest place in the world.

History – historia

The region in which Chuquicamata is located was populated by the Atacaman indians predecessors of the Inca who were mining copper way before the Spanish Conquistadores. The name originates with the Chuco indians who inhabited the area in precolombian times.
Since 1898 many small Chilean companies worked to extract copper from the area. In 1910 Albert C. Burrage, a capitalist from Boston, began exploring the possibilities of developing the area and offered his options to the Guggenheims of New York. The Chile Exploration Company was organized in 1912 and actual operations began in 1915. In 1929 Anaconda obtained 98.41 percent ownership of the Chile Exploration Company and by 1940 it was up to 98.5 percent. During this time the Anaconda initiated vast building projects in the region such as roads, railroad lines, and oversaw the construction of a thermoelectric plant in the seaport of Tocopilla. Electricity generated by this plant was used throughout the region.

During the early 1960’s President Eduardo Frei Montalva was successful in persuading the American companies to provide the government with a greater share of their profits. In 1970 Dr. Salvador Allende Gossens became the first democratically-elected Marxist with 36.3 percent of the vote. In 1973 Chile nationalized all foreign-owned companies and thus ended American involvement in Chuquicamata.

*** – the article is in Spanish, with many references to albert Burrage including the following:

La tesis del profesor Martínez es muy razonable dado que la Sociedad Explotadora de Chuquicamata se constituyó en 1903 y ese mismo año aparece suscribiendo un contrato de arrendamiento de sus pertenencias mineras al banquero norteamericano Albert Burrage, activo consejero de los Guggenheim26. Sin embargo, ambas sociedades singulares -como veremos- fueron formadas por personajes que no desoyeron las historias de los pirquineros; además, la multiplicidad de faenas mineras hacia 1900 (alrededor de 60 piques) alentaba la esperanza de encontrar otro tipo de mineral que no fuera el cobre. En ese sentido el paradigm de Caracoles estaba muy presente en la mente de los mineros.

Translated by Google into English:

The thesis of professor Martinez is very reasonable since the Operating Society of Chuquicamata constituted itself in 1903 and that same year appears subscribing a contract of renting of its mining properties to North American banker Albert Burrage, advisory assets of the Guggenheim. Nevertheless, both singular societies – as we see were formed by personages who did not disregard histories of the pirquineros; in addition, the multiplicity of mining tasks towards 1900 (around 60 resentments) encouraged the hope to find another type of mineral that not outside the copper. In that sense the paradigm of Snails was very present in the mind of the miners. – This article covers mining in Chile. The following is an extract relating to Albert Burrage:

Several attempts were made in the early 1900s to develop the mine, however, it was Boston-based businessman Albert Burrage who saw the potential in a mountain of low-grade ore. The oxide ore had about 2% Cu, which was considered barely economic at the time. He employed the newly developed Bradley process to leach the oxide ores with sulphuric acid and succeeded in persuading the Guggenheim family of New York to help finance construction. In 1912, a geological team was sent to determine the mineral reserves; these were estimated at 690 million tons having 2.58% Cu and were divided as follows:
* Oxides 329 million tons at 1.91% Cu
* Sulphides 210 million tons at 1.84% Cu
* Mixed 151 million tons at 2.98% Cu
In 1913, the American company established the Chile Exploration Company and bought all the operations in the Chuquicamata district. The mine was operated using large-scale open-pit mining techniques, which were first demonstrated in 1906 by Daniel C. Jackling at Bingham Canyon, Utah, as well as in Cananea, Mexico. – An extract of another in Spanish puts a slightly different spin on the commencent of the mning operations:

En 1910, Albert C. Burrage en sociedad con la Duncan Fox y Cia, formo la Chile Exploration Company para explotar la mina Chuquicamata. El 3 de abril de 1911 Burrage fue autorizado por el gobierno Chileno para establecer el centro metalúrgico en Chuquicamata, donde sin permiso los hermanos Guggenheim ( financistas de Nueva York) habían efectuado labores de prospecciones, esto dio lugar a una intensa competencia por lograr los derechos del mineral, los que se solucionaron a comienzos de 1912 con un acuerdo entre ambas sociedades. Luego el 11 de enero de 1912, se promulgó la ley que otorgó la autorización para explotar el yacimiento. Así el 3 de abril de 1913, en la presidencia de Don Ramón Barros Luco, fue promulgado el decreto 878, que entrego a la nueva sociedad el permiso para establecer agencia en Chile. La explotación del yacimiento en Chuquicamata se inició con una planta de 10.000 toneladas diarias en 1915, después de 14 años de explotación, en el año 1923 la Chile Exploration Company, venden sus derechos a la Anaconda Copper Company.

Translated by Google:

In 1910, Albert C. Burrage in society with the Duncan Fox and company, I form Chile Exploration Company to set off the Chuquicamata mine. The 3 of April of 1911 Burrage were authorized by the Chilean government to establish the metallurgical center in Chuquicamata, where without permission the Guggenheim brothers (financistas of New York) had carried out workings of prospections, this gave rise to an intense competition to obtain the rights of the mineral, those that were solved at the beginning of 1912 with an agreement between both societies. Soon the 11 of January of 1912, the law was promulgated that granted the authorization to operate the deposit. Thus the 3 of April of 1913, in the presidency of Don Ramon Luco Mud, were promulgated decree 878, that I give to the new society the permission to establish agency in Chile. The operation of the deposit in Chuquicamata began with a plant of 10,000 tons daily in 1915, after 14 years of operation, in 1923 Chile Exploration Company, sell its rights to the Anaconda Copper Company.
Other Mining Operations – Describes the sale of the Boss Tweed Mine in Montana in 1901 to Albert Burrage.

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