Sunday, June 18, 2017

Arlene Corwin writes

Life Is A Selection

Choice – 
Life is choice. 
Not a second goes by without one. 
Yes/no, this/ that: none 
Escapes the choice of choosing. 
Win or loss, yes, winning, losing – 
The unacceptable  
Accepted in the end, 
Responsibility your choice. 
Life is a selection: 
Your voice, Rolls Royce or not.
 Image result for rolls royce painting
 Grace - Rolls Royce -- Blue Sky


  1. Steam-powered road locomotives, some up to 9 feet (2.7 m) wide and weighing 14 tons, propelled at "high speeds" of up to 10 miles per hour (16 km/h), were thought to damage highways and endanger the public, leading Parliament to pass the Locomotive Act 1861, which established toll fees, regulated wheel widths, set speed limits, and required the owner's name and the weight of the vehicle to be clearly displayed. The more far-reaching Locomotive Act of 1865 required functional lights instead of whistles or blowing off steam to make noise, reduced weight, wheel widths, and speed limits to 4 mph (2 mph in towns), and required a man with a red flag to walk at least 60 yd (55 m) ahead of each vehicle. In 1890 Frederick Simms (who coined the words "petrol" and "motorcar," and in 1902 would build the first armored car, the "motor war car," and later, with Robert Bosch, the first practical high-tension magneto that allowed engine designers to precisely time the ignition of fuel because it was tied to the rotation of the engine) had bought the British rights to Gottlieb Daimler's high-speed petrol engine and other patents. In 1893 he formed the UK's first motor company, the Daimler Motor Syndicate, to fit petrol engines into boats. After the success of Daimler-powered Peugeots and Panhards at the 1894 Paris-Rouen trials, Simms decided to open a motor car factory, and in June 1895 he took one of the first petrol–powered cars into the UK. In early 1896, the British Motor Syndicate of Harry Lawson, the son of a brass turner, often regarded (along with John Kemp Starley) as the inventor of the modern bicycle, bought the Daimler Motor Syndicate and formed the Daimler Motor Company; Simms continued as Lawson's consulting engineer but became a director of Stuttgart's Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft which later became Daimler-Benz. Lawson (who in 1904 would be found guilty of fraudulently obtaining money from his shareholders and sentenced to one year of hard labor) was one of the leading lobbyists against the the "Red Flag Acts," and through his efforts Parliament passed the Locomotives on Highways Act of 1896 that removed the most draconian restrictions and allowed the automotive industry in the United Kingdom to develop; the law was probably drafted by Sir David Salomons, the founder of the Self-Propelled Traffic Association. To celebrate, Lawson organized the Emancipation Day procession from London to Brighton, still commemorated every year. In 1895 Lawson and Simms founded the Motor Car Club of Britain; in 1897 Simms founded the Automobile Club of Great Britain (later the Royal Automobile Club), a merger of the Motor Car Club and the Self-Propelled Traffic Association, and named Claude Johnson as its first secretary; Johnson had organized, on behalf of the Imperial Institute, the first automobile exhibition in England in 1896, and Simms had noted his organizational ability and public relations flair. Johnson organized the club's Thousand Mile trial of 1900 but left in 1903.

    Henry Royce, having only one year of formal schooling, had to go to work selling newspapers and delivering telegrams after the death of his father in 1872. In 1884, with £20 of savings, he formed F H Royce and Co. to make electric fittings and, in 1894, dynamos and electric cranes. In 1901 he bought a small De Dion and then a used Decauville, which he improved. In 1904 he built his own car, the two-cylinder Royce 10, in a corner of the firm's workshop,and sold it to one of his company's directors, Henry Edmunds, who showed it to Charles Rolls and then introduced the two men.

  2. Rolls was the third son of the 1st Baron Llangattock. At Eton College his interest in engines earned him the nickname "dirty Rolls." He then studied mechanical and applied science at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became captain of the Cambridge University Bicycle Club. At 18 he bought a Peugeot Phaeton in Paris, the first car based in Cambridge and the third owned in Wales. While in France he joined the new Automobile Club de France ("l'Auto"), which would begin regulating auto races in France in 1906, thus starting the Grand Prix. He also belonged to the Self-Propelled Traffic Association and was a charter member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain. He was also a balloonist, making over 170 ascents. In 1903, with £6,600 from his father, he started C. S. Rolls & Co., one of Britain's first car dealerships, importing and selling French Peugeot and Belgian Minerva vehicles, with Claude Johnson as the firm's joint manager. In 1903 Rolls was a co-founder, with Simms, of the Royal Aero Club, became the second person in Britain to be licensed to fly by it, and won the Gordon Bennett Gold Medal for the longest single flight time. Just before Christmas in 1904 Rolls agreed to take all of the autos Royce could make; these were the first Rolls-Royce cars: a 10 hp (7.5 kW), two-cylinder model selling at £395 (£40,000 in 2014), a 15 hp (11 kW) three-cylinder at £500 (£50,000 in 2014), a 20 hp (15 kW) four-cylinder at £650 (£60,000 in 2014), and a 30 hp (22 kW) six-cylinder model priced at £890 (£90,000 in 2014). Rolls-Royce Ltd. was incorporated in 1906, with Royce as chief engineer and works director on a salary of £1,250 per annum, and Rolls as technical managing director on a salary of £750 per annum; each of them also received an additional 4% of the profits in excess of £10,000. Rolls' main role was to promote the cars by competing in trials and races, with commercial managing director Johnson as his assistant but also responsible for sales and business organization. (Johnson described himself as the hyphen in the Rolls-Royce name.) The board soon realized that Royce was a poor production engineer but a brilliant designer.

  3. In 1907 Royce began developing an improved six-cylinder engine, which became the firm's first all-new model, the 40/50, which led to awards for engineering reliability (its chassis was the basis for the British armored cars in both world wars), and Rolls was already trying to persuade Royce to design an airplane engine. In 1908 Rolls-Royce bought out C. S. Rolls & Co. (though Royce & Co. remained a separate firm making cranes until 1932) and Johnson persuaded the directors to concentrate exclusively on the 40/50, which Johnson dubbed the Silver Ghost. He drove his personal Silver Ghost 15,000 miles nonstop around Britain and then asked the RAC to strip it down and restore its working parts to mint condition; instead of a major overhaul, the repair bill was only just over £2. That year the firm moved to a larger facility, fitted out to detailed plans by Royce. Royce was a notorious workaholic renowned for never eating proper meals, which had already resulted in serious illness in 1902. After four years of incessant work Royce's health failed in 1908, and Johnson persuaded him to work at home with a team of draftsmen. However, by 1909, as Rolls became increasingly interested in flying, his own interest in the auto business began to wane, and at the end of the year he resigned as technical managing director in favor of Johnson and became a non-executive director. In 1909 Rolls bought a Wright Flyer, which he would fly over 200 times. On 2 June 1910 he became the first person to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane, which included its first east-bound aerial crossing, and was awarded the Royal Aero Club's Gold Medal. On 12 July 1910, at the age of 32, according to "The Times," Rolls became the "tenth airman who has met with a fatal accident in a motor-driven flying machine, and he is the first Englishman who has sacrificed his life in the cause of modern aviation." He was killed when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display. Rolls's death triggered another breakdown in Royce's health in 1911, and he underwent a major operation in 1912 and was given only a few months to live, but he returned to work, though Johnson prevented him from ever visiting the factory again and persuaded him to move to a villa in the south of France, next to Johnson's own villa, with his drawing office and personal staff of eight in adjoining premises. Johnson kept the business running until his own death in 1926, but Royce continued to insist on checking all new designs, and engineers and draftsmen had to take the drawings to him to be personally checked.

  4. When World War I broke out in 1914 Johnson thought the bank would withdraw its overdraft facility on which Rolls-Royce depended, but nonetheless the directors decided not to seek government work making airplane engines. However, the War Office convinced them to manufacture 50 air-cooled V8 engines under license from Renault, and the Royal Aircraft Factory asked them to design a new 200 hp (150 kW) engine. In the winter of 1915–1916 Johnson personally named the first three Rolls-Royce aircraft piston engines: the 12-cylinder Eagle, the 6-cylinder Hawk, and the 190 hp (140 kW) Falcon; just before the end of the war, the 675 hp (503 kW) Condor was also built. Throughout the war the company struggled to keep up with War Office demands but resisted pressure to license production to other manufacturers, fearing that the engines' quality and reliability would be compromised. In June 1919 Jack Alcock and his navigator Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in a converted Vickers Vimy bomber using two Eagles. In 1921 Rolls-Royce opened a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where the Duryea Motor Wagon Company had earlier built the first American gasoline-powered vehicle. In 1922, faced with falling sales of the expensive 40/50, Rolls-Royce introduced the smaller, cheaper Twenty, thus abandoning its one-model policy. By the late 1920s most of the firm's business was in making airplane engines. In 1928, while walking with some of his engineers on the beach, Royce began sketching ideas in the sand; less than a year later, the resultant "R” engine set a new world air speed record of 357.7 miles per hour and won the Schneider Trophy of 1929. In 1931 the "R"-powered Supermarine S.6B seaplane won the Schneider Trophy again at 340.08 mph (547.31 km/h) and later in the same month became the first aircraft to fly at over 400 mph (640 km/h). Then in 1933 the firm developed the "PV-12" engine (Private Venture, 12-cylinder) for planes; Royce's last design, it was based on the "R" but had a much longer life. The engine completed its first test in 1934, the year after Royce died, and it ultimately became the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine used in the Hawker Hurricanes, the Supermarine Spitfires, the twin-engine de Havilland Mosquitoes, the fou-engine Avro Lancasters, and the twin-engine Vickers Wellingtons; it was also licensed to Packard for use in the American North American P-51 Mustang, considered to be the best fighter plane of its time. As the Meteor, the Merlin was also used to power the Centurion tank and other land vehicles. In 1930 Harry Ricardo designed an experimental V12 sleeve-valve diesel engine, which George Eyston used to power the car which held the diesel land speed record until 1950. In 1931 Rolls-Royce bought out W. O. Bentley's small sports and racing car company, stopped production of the big new Bentley 8 Litre, which was threatening sales of its own Phantom (introduced in 1925), and disposed of all Bentley assets except the brand name. Engineers put a "20/25" engine on a chassis, fitted a Bentley radiator to it, and took it to Royce for his approval. He told them that such a fast car should be able to vary the stiffness of the springs. The night before he died he sat up in bed and on the back of an envelope he drew a sketch for the adjustable shock absorber.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?