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Russell Brockbank (1913-1979)

Russell Partridge Brockbank, SIA (1913-1979)

During the years following the Second World War, the name of Russell Brockbank became synonymous with his cartoons of cars and planes. Grounded in his obsession with his favourite subjects, his delightful drawings are always completely accurate in detail, so can be enjoyed equally by all, from the non-motorist to the petrolhead.

Russell Brockbank was born at the Municipal Hospital, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on 15 April 1913, the second son of English parents from Birmingham, in England. His father, Clarence Brockbank, was a chemist and engineer, and his mother, Caroline (née Partridge), a teacher. Though they had been living in the United States, ‘his mother wanted him to be born on Commonwealth soil’ (Mark Bryant, ONDB), so they moved to 12 Hunter Street, Niagara Falls. His father became manager and joint owner of Exolon, an industrial ceramic factory in Thorold, Ontario, a few miles west of Niagara Falls, and also served as mayor of that town.