Sir Henry Royce, English engineer, c 1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In 1884, after being apprenticed to the Great Northern Railway, Sir Henry Royce (1863-1933) founded the mechanical and electrical engineering firm Royce Ltd, Manchester, who produced such things as electric cranes, dynamos and arc lamps. After finding that his Deauville motor car was unreliable he decided to design and build his own. Royce's first motor car was made in 1904, a car which so impresed his friend Charles Rolls that in 1906 they formed the motor car and aero-engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce Ltd. Later, Royce designed aero-engines that were developed into the Merlin engines used in the Spitfires and Hurricanes during WW2.