Louis C. McAdams
From Kook Science
|Louis C. McAdams|
Victoria, British Columbia
|Died||Date of death unknown|
|Spouse(s)||Laura A. McCormick (m. 1887; dv. 1891)|
Louis Clark McAdams (b. 1862) was a Canadian-born habitual criminal, a Christian revivalist turned Spiritualist, and supposed inventor. McAdams' rap sheet began in 1887 with a conviction for forgery of a promissory note in Victoria, British Columbia, serving a sentence of three years. On his release, McAdams entered the United States, going to Port Townsend, Washington, where, under the alias of Elder Girard, he was involved in opium smuggling, being convicted for his role in 1891 and sentenced to two years. In 1893, recently released at Seattle, Washington, the recently freed McAdams was accused of swindling for trading the ownership of a steam launch boat in exchange for some worthless property. Some years later, McAdams went to Oakland, California, where he claimed to be a Spiritualist who had discovered the secret of perpetual motion, partnering with Jacob Ben Letter and others to form the McAdams Engine Company at San Francisco in August 1896; this, however, came to little, as the engine was reportedly a failure, and Letter died some months later.
- GB189622099. Improvements in Self Driving Weight Engines. "This invention relates to improvements in engines, and more particularly to that class of engines wherein the motive power is self-contained or independent of any outside source." https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=GB&NR=189622099A&KC=A&FT=D#
From 1883, McAdams lived in California, being involved with the Young People's Guild of the Calvary Baptist Church at Sacramento. He returned to Victoria, B.C. after marrying in 1887.
Forgery Conviction (1887)
- "FALL ASSIZES. Regina vs. L. C. McAdams.", Daily Colonist (Victoria, BC): 1, 30 Nov. 1887, https://archive.org/details/dailycolonist18871130uvic
- "Mcadams Sentenced", Daily Colonist (Victoria, BC): 3, 2 Dec. 1887, https://archive.org/details/dailycolonist18871202uvic/page/n3
Smuggling Conviction (1891)
- "ELDER GIRARD IS LOUIS M'ADAM. He Is Prominent in Church Circles When Not in Jail.", Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA): 1, 17 June 1891, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/332723993/
- "CUT THEIR WAY OUT. Attempt to Escape Made by Five Prisoners at McNeil's Island.", Tacoma Daily Ledger (Tacoma, WA): 5, 13 Oct. 1891, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/724638010/
Steam Launch Swindle (1893)
- "CLAIMS HE WAS SWINDLED. An Ex-Laundryman Sacrifices a Launch for Doubtful Property.", Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA): 3, 27 July 1893, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/332947694/
- "ONE MORE SWINDLE. The Wild-Cat Hayden's Addition to Tacoma Causes Trouble Again. A Seattle Man Traded a Launch Worth $400 for a Lot Worth About One Dollar. Thought It Was the Real Hayden's Addition Until He Began Looking Up the Title.", Tacoma Daily Ledger (Tacoma, WA): 3, 28 July 1893, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/724597133/
McAdams Engine Co. (1896)
- "Articles of Incorporation.", Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, CA): 5, 25 Aug. 1896, https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SDU18960825.2.42&srpos=2&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22Louis+C.+McAdams%22-------1, "The McAdams Engine Company; principal place of business, San Francisco; capital stock, $50,000, with $1,250 subscribed, and Louis C. McAdams and J. Ben Letter of Oakland, Joseph Schwartz of Santa Cruz and Albert J. Lowenberg and Charles J. Armbruster of San Francisco as Directors."
- "WOULD NOT WORK. Perpetual Motion Machine of Inventor and Spiritual McAdams a Failure.", San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA): 5, 5 Oct. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/457825485/
It is unclear what became of McAdams after this particular scheme collapsed.