C S Rolls on A Barmsworth's Columbia Electric Carriage, c 1898.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph taken from an album of prints compiled by Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910), English motorist, motor car manufacturer and aviator. The Columbia Electric Carriage was an electric vehicle manufactured in Hartford, Connecticut, from 1897. By the end of 1898, some 500 had been built, and this example was said to be the first to be imported into Britain. Rolls founded Rolls-Royce Ltd with Sir Frederick Henry Royce (1863-1933) in 1906, creating one of the world's most famous marques. He was well known on the motor racing circuit, competing in many of the races of the time. He was the first to make a non-stop double crosing of the English Channel by aeroplane.