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British Industrial History

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John Henry Chambers

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John "Jack" Henry Chambers (1867-1937), designed the first Vauxhall automobile and later of Chambers Motors

1867 May 29th. Born in Tullynaskeagh, Downpatrick, Co. Down, the son of John Chambers, a farmer, and his wife and Ellen Martin. His brothers were Robert Martin Chambers (1865–1949) and Charles Edward Chambers (1873–1931),

Educated at Ballee school

Apprenticed with Davidson and Co and went to India as their technical representative

1896 Returned to England due to ill health and became the receiver and manager of Alexander Wilson and Co,

1897 November 21st. Married(1) May Cranbrook and had four daughters

1902-03 Co-designer of the first Vauxhall car

1906 Joined his brothers in Chambers Motors

1910 Married(2) Margaret Benett - no chldren

1937 May 29th. Died. of 4 Harberton Park, Belfast. Retired motor car manufacturer.[1]


1937 Obituary

Mr. John Henry Chambers, of 4, Harberton Park, Belfast, died at Heaton Moor, Cheshire, on Saturday, in his seventieth year.

Third son the late John Chambers, Tallynaskeagh, Downpatrick, he was educated at Bailee School and the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast.

He entered the marine engineering department of Messrs. Harland & Wolff, and transferred as draughtsman to the Sirocco Engineering Works, later acting as this firm’s engineering representative in India and Ceylon.

He returned home for reasons of health, and became managing director of Vauxhall Iron Works, Ltd., London, and was responsible for the design and manufacture of the first Vauxhall motor car in 1902.

Afterwards he joined his two brothers in Chambers & Co. (afterwards Chambers Motors, Ltd.), and brought out the Chambers car in 1904. He drove these cars successfully in all the Irish and Scottish trials. With his brothers he was co-patentee of many improvements in motor cars.

During the war he was an inspector of marine output.

Mr. Chambers was a prominent member of the Masonic Order, past president of the Belfast Association of Engineers, and a member of the Institute of the Motor Trade.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Belfast News-Letter - Wednesday 21 September 1938