Winford Elie LaBombarde born 28 October 1883

Winfield LaBombarde was born 28 October 1883 in Malone, NY, the son of Eleader Winford Labombard and Lumina M Desparois.  At some point, the family added the final “e” to their last name. 

Some time after 1890, Elie, as his father was known, moved the family to Nashua NH.  The family was counted there in the 1900 census.  They rented a home at 14 Lake Street, in the township of Dunstable.  EW was a grain and hay merchant. Lumina was a tailoress.  Winford’s siblings were Lillian (1881-1958), Vivienne (1885-1967), William (1887-1961) and Harold (1890-1951). 

Elie W Labombarde recognized that the painstakingly slow process of hand-folding and gluing paper boxes could be automated. So he conceived of and invented an automatic folding box machine. His early patents covering that first gluer and the operational success it achieved prompted Elie Labombarde to commercially manufacture these machines. In 1903 he founded The International Paper Box Machine Company. The first machine was sold to the E.B. Munson Company of New Haven, Connecticut, USA. In its first hour, this machine produced as many Smith Bros. cough drop boxes as an entire crew could hand-fold in a ten hour day. It gave birth to a new industry as increasingly more products employed the advantages of folding carton packaging. To read more about this company and see a photo of the factory at Nashua, go to

Winford traveled to Europe, travelling with his cousin Leon.  They returned from Liverpool, England to New York on 18 June 1906.  They travelled on a Cunard ship called Campania.  She was the largest and fastest passenger liner afloat when she entered service in 1893. She crossed the Atlantic in less than six days. Campania had the largest triple expansion engines ever fitted to a Cunard ship. These engines were also the largest in the world at the time, and still rank today amongst the largest of the type ever constructed. They represent the limits of development for this kind of technology, which was superseded a few years later by turbine technology.

Each of the engines was placed in separate watertight engine compartments, in case of a hull breach in that area, for only one engine room would then be flooded, and the ship would still have power to limp home with the adjacent engine. In addition to this Campania had 16 transverse watertight compartments, which meant that she could remain afloat with any two compartments flooded. In their day, Campania and her sister offered the most luxurious first class passenger accommodation available. It was Victorian opulence at its peak – an expression of a highly confident and prosperous age that would never be quite repeated on any other ship. All the first class public rooms, and the en suite staterooms of the upper deck, were generally heavily paneled, in oak, satinwood or mahogany; and thickly carpeted. Velvet curtains hung aside the windows and portholes, while the furniture was richly upholstered in matching design.

In 1901, her sister ship Lucania became the first Cunard liner to be fitted with a Marconi wireless system, followed a few months later by Campania. Shortly after these installations, the two ships made history by exchanging the first wireless-transmitted ice bulletin; and two years after that, Lucania made history again, this time by publishing on board newspaper based on information received by wireless telegraphy whilst at sea. Campania earned one more distinction in the history of wireless communication in 1905, when she became the first liner to have permanent radio connection to coastal stations around the world. From that time on, a ship crossing the Atlantic would never be isolated from the rest of the world in the same way again. Campania and Lucania served as Cunard’s major passenger liners for 14 years, during which time they were superseded in both speed and size by a succession of four-funneled German liners. 

With the appearance of a third Cunard giant in 1914, RMS Aquitania, Campania was no longer required. Her last voyage as a passenger liner was on 26 September, 1914. However, Campania was to have a last-minute reprieve. Whilst awaiting demolition, the Admiralty stepped in at the last minute and bought Campania with a view of converting her to an armed merchant cruiser that could carry seaplanes. The original idea was to use float-planes which would be lowered into and retrieved from the water by a crane. The conversion was carried out at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. Her interior was completely gutted, and room made inside to store up to 14 aircraft. She was also equipped with eight 4.7″ guns. HMS Campania served with the Admiralty right up until 5 November, 1918-just six days before the armistice was signed, when she was involved in an accident in the Firth of Forth during high winds. Campania dragged her anchor in a sudden squall, and at 03:45 struck the bow of the battleship Royal Oak and then dragged along the side of the battle cruiser Glorious. She began to sink stern first. A few hours later an explosion-presumed to be a boiler-sent her to the bottom. Because of the shallowness of the water, she was considered a danger to shipping and destroyed by explosives in 1923.  For more details and photos, go to

The 1910 census shows the LaBombard family at their newly purchased house at #2 Fulton in Nashua.  Elie is now listed as a manufacturer of paper box machinery, and Winford was a machinist in the paper box machine shop.  His brother William was a drug store clerk.  His cousin Leon lived with them, and was a commercial traveler (travelling salesman) for the box machine company. 

On 7 October 1914, Winford married Agnes Legendre in Nashua.  Winford registered for the WW1 draft.  He lived at #4 Burritt in Nashua, and worked as a machinist for the International Paper Box Machine Co at 315 Nashua, his father’s company.  His nearest relative was his wife Agnes.  He was described as medium height and build, and brown eyes and hair. 

The 1920 census lists Winford and Agnes at #4 Fulton.   He was now the superintendent of the machine shop.  Their first two children, Irma and Winford Jr were 3 and 1. 

The Nashua city directory starting in 1918 listed Winford and Agnes as living at 4 Burritt, and he was President of the International Paper Box Machine Company at 315 Main.  This listing was repeated through 1955. 

The 1930 census lists the family at #4 Burritt Street.  Winford’s occupation is manufacturer of machinery.   Besides Irma and Winford Jr, they now have daughter Louise, and son Elie. 

Winford registered in the “old man’s draft” for WWII.  He still lived at #4 Burritt, and worked for IPBM.   

The 1957 directory lists Winford as retired.  He and Agnes were listed in the 1959 directory, but that is the last record I have for her.   Winford died 8 April 1962.   



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