The Poor Boy Who Invented The Most Luxurious Car in the World

The Poor Boy Who Invented The Most Luxurious Car in the World

Rolls-Royce is a true household name in engineering. A Rolls-Royce is one of the most successful luxury cars that money can buy. And with over 130 dealerships spread over 40 countries, the brand is known all around the globe. Kind of funny considering that it all started out with a poor kid that had a passion for innovation. When farm boy Henry Royce first started out tinkering with engines, nobody could have guessed he would one day create some of the most expensive cars in the world! And when he finally met his daredevil companion, history was truly made! Don’t miss this story!

when this poor kid began tinkering with
engines nobody could have guessed that
he would one day create some of the most
expensive cars in the world
this is frederick henry royce born in
1863
in all wilton in england henry was the
youngest of five children his parents
james and mary ran a flower mill james
had followed in his father’s footsteps
but he lacked business skills profits
were meager and for many years the royce
family lived in poverty
things got worse and in 1867 they had to
file for bankruptcy hoping to carve out
a better life for themselves the family
moved to london by this time the
four-year-old henry already had his
first job
a bird scarer on a local farm his pay
six pence a week
then in 1872 disaster struck again
henry’s father passed away
now all the children had to chip in to
make ends meet including the
nine-year-old henry he began selling
newspapers and delivering telegrams
henry’s early years of poverty had a
profound effect on him and by the time
he turned 15 years he had completed only
one year of school
as a young teenager he began an
apprenticeship with the great northern
railway works
his aunt had offered him some financial
support and despite not having a formal
education henry grasped every
opportunity to educate himself studying
algebra french and electrical
engineering in his free time but after
three years he was forced to quit due to
a lack of money
after quitting his apprenticeship henry
briefly worked at a tool-making company
in leeds
and then for the electric light and
power company in london in 1882 he moved
once again this time to liverpool where
he continued to work for the electric
light and power company his true
ambition was to make engineering his
full-time job however so at 22 years old
he started a business with his fellow
engineer friend ernest claremont
they named it fh royce and company and
for the next few years they worked
around the clock to make electrical
components such as doorbells and dynamos
the company kept expanding and by 1894
they were already making electric cranes
too
but henry’s interest started taking him
somewhere else
motor cars
while henry royce plays a vital role in
the rolls-royce story the brand’s name
suggests there’s also another person
that we shouldn’t forget and that person
is charles stewart rules born in 1877 in
london’s affluent berkeley square
charles rolls was the youngest child of
lord and lady langatak
having developed a passion for
engineering from very early on he went
on to study mechanical engineering at
trinity college in cambridge
charles knew how to stand out having
gained a reputation for tinkering with
engines he earned himself the nickname
dirty rolls and during his studies he
was the first undergraduate to own a
motor car after having traveled to paris
to buy a pujo feiten
at the age of 18
at the time this was extremely unusual
as most people hadn’t even heard of cars
yet
after graduating in 1898 charles began
working on a steam yacht and then at the
london and northwestern railway
he was more interested in motoring
pioneering and salesmanship however and
with financial support from his father
he opened one of the first car
dealerships in britain in 1903. he named
the company cs roles and co and for the
next couple of years he dedicated
himself to importing and selling pujo
and minerva cars
business was booming and charles used
the money to fund his sporting
activities besides being an avid
motorist pioneer and racer he was also
an eager aviator and as you can guess
both of these hobbies are anything but
cheap
unfortunately for charles however his
lifelong passion would eventually cost
him more than just his money
when running his company fh royce and
company henry became increasingly
interested in motor cars
in 1901 he decided to improve a
second-hand two-cylinder decalville car
that he had bought but he wanted more
and so he decided to build a car on his
own
henry had an instinctive desire for
perfection and having found construction
faults in the dekauville he vowed to do
better by the end of 1903 he designed
and built his first petrol engine and by
the next year he drove his first royce
10 horsepower motor car into town
by now two decades had passed since
henry set up the company his first car
was a success and so he set out to
create another one and another
of the three cars that he had built he
gave one of his business partners ernest
claremont and the other he sold to one
of their shareholders henry edmonds
and it was this henry edmonds who would
eventually arrange the meeting
between rolls and royce
henry edmunds was a shareholder in
royce’s company and a friend of roles
after having bought one of royce’s cars
he began boasting to roles about it at
the time roles was frustrated with only
being able to sell foreign imports in
his company so edmunds arranged a
meeting
little did edmunds know that the meeting
would change the future of motoring
forever
while rolls had always preferred three
and four-cylinder cars royce’s
two-cylinder vehicle made a big
impression on him within minutes of
seeing it he knew he had found what he
was looking for
he took the motor car for a drive
and agreed on the spot to sell as many
motor cars as royce could build
the two men made an unusual duo there
was not only a massive age gap but also
a class in education gap for starters
royce was 41 years old while roles was
only 26. the young roles had enjoyed a
fancy education at the prestigious
trinity college whereas royce’s skills
were largely self-taught
and while roles had spent his young
adult years racing around in his fancy
cars royce had been working hard to make
ends meet would they be able to see eye
to eye
while henry royce and charles rolls were
two very different people they also made
a great duo and the massive success with
the cars led to the creation of the
rolls-royce company in 1906
then came the launch of the six-cylinder
silver ghost within a year it was hailed
as the best car in the world
impressive but for this they also had
charles’s partner to thank
creating a brand requires vision
so while henry and charles were busy
building and selling motor cars it was
charles’s partner claude johnson who
took on the role of managing director
he knew it was vital to expand the
company’s reputation in the publicity
genius that he was
he orchestrated a series of stunts to
promote the quietness and reliability of
rolls-royce motor cars
one of his early adverts for the 40 to
50 horsepower motor car promoted it as
the six-cylinder rolls-royce
not one of the best but the best car in
the world
with that ad claude introduced the phase
that would forever be associated with
rolls-royce it was incredibly effective
it demonstrated rolls-royce’s superior
performance and it created a global
demand for their world-class engineering
and claude was so integral to the
company’s success that he became known
as the hyphen in rolls-royce
of course marketing alone will get you
only so far
and both henry and charles dedicated
themselves to delivering the best
quality possible
but it was especially henry who had a
knack for pushing himself to the limit
when it came to work
henry was renowned as a hard worker who
never ate properly
unfortunately these habits severely
affected his health but surprisingly he
would end up outliving his business
partner charles by a couple of decades
over the years daredevil charles’s
interest in aviation kept growing he
even tried to persuade henry to develop
a design for an aero engine but henry
refused to continue living out his
aviation dreams charles bought a right
flyer aircraft with which he made over
200 flights
in 1910 he became the first person to
make a non-stop double flight across the
english channel
but just one month later everything
changed
during a flying display at bournemouth
charles was killed in an air crash he
was only 32 years old he became the
first briton to die in a plane crash and
his premature death meant the end of the
short-lived rolls-royce partnership
now henry would have to continue their
legacy
on his own
henry had an innate work ethic and his
innovative designs established
rolls-royce’s reputation for superior
engineering and quality
he uncompromisingly persuaded his basic
principle of establishing the best
design with both the finest materials
and the highest levels of craftsmanship
to put it in his own words
strive for perfection in everything you
do take the best that exists and make it
better when it does not exist design it
during the first world war the company
expanded into manufacturing something
charles had once requested aero engines
and during the next couple of decades
the company did extremely well
unfortunately henry kept struggling with
his health and in 1993 he succumbed to
digestive tract problems
his death had been brought on by his
early years of poor nutrition and a
lifetime of overwork he had spent much
of the last years of his life as a
semi-invalid but that didn’t stop him
from working though
his never-failing enthusiasm and
dedication to engineering prevailed and
he continued to work until the very last
moment
literally his last sketch was made from
his deathbed a few hours before he died
he was 70 years old
rolls-royce has remained a famous name
in engineering
a rolls-royce is one of the most
successful luxury cars that money can
buy and with over 130 dealerships spread
over 40 countries the brand is known far
beyond great britain currently rolls
royce is owned by bmw and the brand is
still primarily known for producing some
of the most expensive cars in the world
such as the rolls-royce cullinan ghost
phantom
wraith and dawn
torsten muller otvos has been the ceo
since 2010
and his reign has proven to be essential
in the company’s success but it’s the
vision of sir henry royce and sir
charles rawls that truly made
rolls-royce what it is today
a symbol of pure and unadulterated
wealth something tells me the two men
would be proud had you already heard of
the many people involved in
rolls-royce’s history and what would you
like to add to the story share it in the
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