James Gamble (industrialist)

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.

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)

Early life

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

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

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. "James Gamble". NNDB. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. "James Gamble grave burial information" (PDF). Spring Grove Cemetery. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  3. "Typhoid Mary and other curiosities in Irish biography". BBC News. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  4. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23584667/james-gamble
  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.

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