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Herbert Austin was born in Buckinghamshire but emigrated with his family to Australia when only young. He took up a career in engineering and subsequently moved to Sydney where he joined the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Co. In 1893 Austin returned to England to help Wolseley set up a new base in Birmingham. This was the dawn of the motor car and Austin was caught up in the spirit of the new machine. He began to dabble in designing a car of his own and by 1899 had devised three models and persuaded Wolseley that they should enter car manufacturing. Austin took the helm of the Wolseley motor car business and it became one of Britain’s most successful manufacturers in the early part of the 20th century. However, seeking greater autonomy, by 1905 he had left to start his own company.
Lord Austin of Longbridge (1866–1941)
oil on canvas
H 101 x W 76 cm
signed, and inscribed: posthumous