1930-31: Sir Herbert Austin

1930-31: Sir Herbert Austin

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Biography 1942 Obituary:
Lord Austin, K.B.E., LL.D., was born at Little Missenden, Bucks, in 1866, and was educated at Brampton College and Rotherham Grammar School. In 1882 he went to Australia, where he served his apprenticeship with the Longlands Foundry Company, and with Messrs. Richard Parks and Company in Melbourne he also attended classes on technical subjects at the Municipal School.

Subsequently he became works manager to Messrs. Richard Parks, and later engineer to Mr. Wolseley, who was developing a machine to shear sheep. He returned to England in 1893 and became manager of the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Machine Company in Birmingham, and from 1901 to 1905 he held a similar position with the reorganized firm of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company, Ltd.

In 1905 he had already founded the Austin Motor Company, Ltd., and was chairman and director of that firm up to the time of his death, which occurred on 23rd May 1941. In 1922 he introduced the "Austin Seven" motor car on the market, which brought motoring within the reach of large numbers of people. During the war of 1914-18 the works at Longbridge were largely given up to the production of shells and other war material, and since the commencement of the present war the firm has devoted itself to the production of aeroplanes, aero-engines, and other munitions of war.

Lord Austin's experience of the mass-production of motor cars enabled him to take much of the responsibility for the work of six "shadow" aircraft factories, and he was chairman of the Shadow Aero-Engine Committee during 1937-40. Lord Austin's many valuable services were recognized by the award of the K.B.E. in 1917; in 1936 he was created a baron, and the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Birmingham University in the following year. In addition he was a Commander of the Order of Leopold II.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1918,and an Honorary Life Member in 1938; and he was a past-president of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and president of the British Cast Iron Research Association. He was Unionist M.P. for King's Norton, Birmingham, from 1919 to 1924, and was president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders during 1934-5, and a former president of the Motor Trade Association.