James Gamble was an Irish-American soap industrialist. He was the co-founder of Procter & Gamble Company in 1837, along with William Procter.
James Gamble was born at the Graan near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Ireland and went to Portora Royal School.
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.
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.
Gamble and Elizabeth Ann (Norris) Gamble had ten children, 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. James Norris Gamble married Margaret Penrose; he died in his sleep on 2 July 1932 in Cincinnati and is interred in Spring Grove Cemetery. Another son, David Gamble, built the Gamble House (Pasadena, California)Gamble House in Pasadena, California.
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.