Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Charles Anthony Vandervell

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Charles Anthony Vandervell (1871-1955) of C. A. Vandervell and Co

1871 Born at Paddington the son of Henry Eugene Vandervell, a Stock Broker, and his wife Fanny Thornton

1881 Boarder at Grafton House, Acton: Harry Vandervell (age 11 born Westbourne Park); Charles Vandervell (age 9 born Westbourne Park) and Percy Vandervell (age 8 born Westbourne Park)[1]

1896 Married Emily Gertrude Jenkins at Kensington

1901 Living at 11 Cambridge Gardens, Kensington: Emma R. Jenkins (age 58 born Wem, Shropshire), a Widow and retired Farmer. With her daughter Minnie Jenkins (age 29 born Wem, Shropshire); son-in-law Charles Call (age 37 born Dursley), a Bank Clerk; daughter Mary Call (age 34 born Wem, Shropshire); son-in-law C. Anthony Vandervell (age 29 born Paddington), an Electrical Engineer; daughter Emily G. Vandervell (age 24 born Wem, Shropshire); grandson Hugh L. Call (age 5 born Kensington); grandson Guy A. Vandervell (age 2 born Kensington); and a visitor John W. Frazer (age 38 born Ireland), an Electrical Manufacturer and Employer.[2]

1910 Biographical information and image at Automotor Journal 19101015

1911 Living at 103 Cambridge Gardens, North Kensington, London W: Emma Rebecca Jenkins (age 68 born Wem, Shropshire), a Widow. Wight her daughter Minnie Jenkins (age 36 born Prees, Shropshire); daughter Emily Gertrude Vandervell (age 33 born Prees, Shropshire); son-in-law Charles Anthony Vandervell (age 39 born Paddington), an Electrical Engineer - Accumulator Manufacturer; and her grandson Guy Anthony Vandervell (age 11 born North Kensington). One servant.[3]

1926 Living at Maidenhead.[4]

1955 Died


1955 Obituary [5]

MR. CHARLES ANTHONY VANDERVELL, whose death occurred suddenly, in London, on August 30th, will be long remembered for his work in the provision of electrical equipment for motor-cars.

So long ago as 1892, when he was twenty-one, he established a business at Willesden Green, for the manufacture of accumulators.

Mr. Vandervell, who was the son of a stockbroker, was born in 1871, and received his technical education at University College, London.

In 1908 he transferred the business of C. A. Vandervell and Co. to Acton, and there rapid development was made in the production of the constant current dynamo.

Just before the first world war, Mr. Vandervell began work on the production of self-starters, the first push-button silent starter being fitted to his own car. Subsequently, similar starters were fitted to tanks and other fighting vehicles. The development of ignition equipment for commercial vehicles followed, and in 1926, the business of C. A. Vandervell and Co. was merged into the Joseph Lucas organisation, in which Mr. Vandervell continued to serve as a director until his retirement in 1946.

Throughout his long career, Mr. Vandervell commanded the respect of all who knew him, for his vast technical knowledge and also for his practical application of it. He was energetic in the affairs not only of his own business but also in that of the Norton Motor Cycle Company, in which he had an interest.

In his later years he became also a director of Vandervell Products, Ltd., the bearing company founded by his son, Mr. G. A. Vandervell.

Mr. Vandervell's death is a great loss to the British motor industry. He was one of that industry's few remaining pioneers, and in it, as well as in other spheres of industry, he had many friends who valued his advice and assistance.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1901 Census
  3. 1911 Census
  4. Post Office Phone Book
  5. The Engineer 1955/09/09