John Edward Aldred (May 15, 1864 – November 21, 1945) was director of United Railways and Electric Company of Baltimore, Maryland. Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, he was president of Consolidated Gas, Electric Light & Power in Baltimore, and the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company. He was also the Chairman of the Gillette Safety Razor Company. His home was the John E. Aldred Estate . In 1928, he built the Riverside Congregational Church in Lawrence, MA, which is currently known as United Riverside Congregational Church.
John E. Aldred Estate, also known as St. Josaphat’s Monastery, is a historic estate located at Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. It was designed in 1916 by architect Bertram Goodhue, with landscaping by Olmsted Brothers, for public utility executive John Edward Aldred.
The estate consists of the main residence, known as Ormston; the superintendent’s quarters; hen house; 2+1⁄2-story, hip-roofed stable; greenhouse and conservatory; garage; utility shed; garden shed; gazebo; and two gatehouses. The main house is a Tudor Revival–style dwelling built of random-coursed, quarry-faced limestone and roofed in heavy slate. The Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat purchased the property in 1944.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
John Edward Aldred was not only generous in building and donating our church building, the article below shows the financier assisted poor socialist King Camp Gillette in starting what we now know as Gillette Razor Company.
Though Edison invented phonographs, his face is not yet as familiar in far-off lands as is that of a small, white, listening dog. Thus is injustice done to inventors. Was injustice done, last week, when Chairman John E. Aldred of the Gillette Safety Razor Company announced that the value of its patents had been suddenly written down from $3,459,500 to $1? Did that imply that the ideas of Inventor King Camp Gillette are now worth one hundred cents?
Friends of Chairman Aldred smiled a negative. When he backs an inventor he does not disparage him, does not deal in little white dogs. Financier Aldred backed Mr. Gillette when he was a poor Socialist. On him he conferred eternal youth, insofar as that can be done by printing upon millions of razor-blade cartons a picture of King Camp Gillette taken in 1901. Today Mr. Gillette has prospered so greatly that he owns a California estate where cattle and oranges are bred and grown “for fun.” He was pleased last week by the value of one hundred cents set on Gillette patents. The chief effects are two: 1) to cut down taxes on the declared “worth” of the patents; 2) to prove that the Gillette company has no need to bolster its assets-column with the figure $3,459,500.
Notice of the writing down was given, last week, in an annual statement which was unique in the number of pungent details. Some of them: 1) Capital stock and surplus, $43,760,162.39; 2) Earnings for 1927 were $14,580,902 as against $13,-311,412 for 1926; 3) Of sales progress the statement said with a lofty wobble, “Business conditions in America were somewhat varied, but the foreign business showed steady growth;” 4) “Surgeons’ knives, chisels, office-knives and twine-cutters have been added to our line during 1927;” 5) “We regret to record the death during the year of one of our oldest directors, Mr. William A. Gaston. Mr. John Gaston, his son, has been elected a director to succeed him.”