He moved to Coventry in 1887 to manage a small engineering business which grew to become Alfred Herbert Limited, one of the world"s largest manufacturers and distributors of machine tools. Born in Leicester and educated at Stoneygate House School in Leicester, Alfred Herbert became an apprentice at Joseph Jessop & Sons, crane builders in 1884. They bought C&M for £2,375 and traded as Herbert & Hubbard.
Herbert bought out Hubbard in 1894 and the company was incorporated under the name Alfred Herbert Limited: a company that would become one of the World"s largest manufacturers and distributors of machine tools.
During World War I Herbert became Controller of machine tools for the Ministry of Munitions. He retired to Dunley Manor in Whitchurch and died at King"s Somborne in 1957.
As well as being an industrialist, Herbert was a philanthropist within Coventry, building almshouses, supporting wounded servicemen through donations, establishing a camp for the city"s poor children, and funding the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. Herbert"s legacy also lives on in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, of which he was a major benefactor.
In 1938 he donated £100,000 to Coventry City Council to erect a Gallery and Museum on a town centre site owned by the council.
The city"s destruction during the Second World War meant that construction was suspended. New plans were drawn up in 1952, and in May 1954 the foundation stone was laid by Herbert, who also donated a further £100,000 to the project