Warren Burgess was born in Philadelphia in 1828. Burgess learned the trade of machinist while living in Philadelphia. At the age of 28 he moved to Norristown and worked at joinery work until 1880. After that, he was engaged as a general machinist and electrical worker. Toward the end of his life, he was the superintendent of the borough electric plant which he was largely instrumental in building up. Burgess was the inventor of the pneumatic horse clipper and a blowpipe used by dentists and jewelers. He died in 1900.