James Gamble (industrialist)

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James Gamble
Photo of James Gamble
Born(1803-04-03)3 April 1803
Enniskillen, Ireland
Died29 April 1891(1891-04-29) (aged 88)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
OccupationSoapmaker and industrialist
co-founder of procter & gamble
RelativesWilliam Procter (brother-in-law)

James Gamble (3 April 1803 – 29 April 1891) was an Irish-American soap industrialist.[1][2] He was the co-founder of Procter & Gamble Company in 1837, along with William Procter.

Early life[edit]

James Gamble was born at the Graan near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Ireland and went to Portora Royal School.[3]

Gamble emigrated to America with his parents in 1819. He arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio on a flat boat down the Ohio River destined for Illinois. His family stopped in Cincinnati when he was seized with an illness. Staying in the city, his father established a nursery and Gamble apprenticed as a soap maker. He attended Kenyon College, graduated in 1824, and manufactured soap on his own in 1828.[4]

Procter & Gamble[edit]

Gamble went into business with William Procter after they became related by marriage. Gamble's wife Elizabeth Ann Norris was the sister of Procter's wife Olivia Norris. The pair's father-in-law, Alexander Norris, first suggested that the two go into business together in 1837 and consequently Procter & Gamble was born.[3][5]


Gamble died at his residence in Cincinnati on 29 April 1891 from natural causes.[2] He is interred in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.[6]

Procter, who preceded his partner Gamble in death, is also buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.[7]

Family life[edit]

Gamble and Elizabeth Ann (Norris) Gamble had ten children,[1][3] including James Norris Gamble (9 August 1836 – 2 July 1932) who became Vice President of Procter & Gamble and was the chemist who devised the formula for Ivory soap.[1] James Norris Gamble married Margaret Penrose; he died in his sleep on 2 July 1932 in Cincinnati and is interred in Spring Grove Cemetery.[8][9]

Gamble's grandson William married Franzeska Wilhelmina (Fanny) Nast, the daughter of the William Nast, a German-American Methodist preacher. Fanny was the first woman to graduate from German Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "James Gamble". NNDB. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "James Gamble grave burial information" (PDF). Spring Grove Cemetery. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Typhoid Mary and other curiosities in Irish biography". BBC News. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  4. ^ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23584667/james-gamble[non-primary source needed]
  5. ^ "James Gamble". Ohio Biography. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Spring Grove Cemetery". news.cincinnati.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  7. ^ Stradling, David (1 October 2003). Cincinnati: From River City to Highway Metropolis. Arcadia Publishing. p. 35. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  8. ^ "James Norris Gamble grave burial information" (PDF). Spring Grove Cemetery. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Spring Grove Cemetery interment information". Spring Grove Cemetery. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  10. ^ Wittke, Carl Frederick (1959). William Nast, patriarch of German Methodism. Wayne State University Press. pp. 218–219.

External links[edit]