Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Amberton

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Major Richard Amberton (1884-1958)

Managing Director, Amberton Electrical Ltd. Director, Dorman and Smith, Ltd., 32 Queen Victoria Street, E.C.4. Director, Electrical Apparatus Co. Ltd. Bray, Markham & Reiss, Ltd. Sections D.E.3 & 4 Ministry of Munitions.

Many patents on electric control gear, etc.


1958 Obituary.[1]

Major Richard Amberton, who was born on the 7th September 1884, died on the 28th May 1958. He was educated at the City of London School and attended Finsbury Technical College part-time. He joined the Sturtevant Engineering Co. in 1904 as a draughtsman, dealing with electric-motor starters, new designs of which were being prepared in anticipation of Joseph Chamberlain's tariff-reform proposals, and to replace imported American apparatus.

After three years he went to the General Electric Co., Schenectady, for experience, where he came into contact with Mr. Schattner. From this association the Electrical Apparatus Co., now of St. Albans, was formed in 1907, and Amberton became sales director.

During the 1914-18 War he served in the Royal Engineers and on being wounded left the Army to become director of various sections of the department of engineering at the Ministry of Munitions for two years.

On his return to civilian life he became in 1920 a director of Bray, Markham and Reiss Ltd., London, and chairman of the Unbreakable Pulley and Millgearing Co. Ltd., Manchester, and of the Cooper Roller Bearings Co., Ltd., King's Lynn, in 1924.

He left the Electrical Apparatus Co. to form the firm of Amberton and Partners, where he became concerned in a number of projects and agencies of electrical interest, particularly in relation to phenol-resin insulation. His firm became agents for Dorman and Smith Ltd. in 1935, of which company he joined the board in 1936. In 1948 he became a director of Dorman Smith Holdings Ltd., on the formation of that company. He ceased to be a director in 1956, at the age of 73.

Amberton's favourite hobby, as a younger man, was punting, in which he was highly proficient, and he entered into the Thames punting competitions with success. Later on in life, golf became a hobby; and he and his wife were keen bridge players. He was always extremely well dressed and 'booted', with clothes for every occasion. He sported a monocle—but in no way with affectation—and he was unusually tall and elegant. He is survived by his widow and two sons.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1902 and was elected an Associate Member in 1911 and a Member in 1925.


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