Charles Rolls Collection of Wright Bros Aviation Photos
Charles Stewart Rolls was a pioneering motorist and aviator.
Rolls began selling cars and following his meeting with F. H. Royce in
1904, the world famous company Rolls-Royce was born.
1901 he helped to found the Aero Club and became a keen balloonist. In
1910 he turned his attention to aeroplanes and was the first to fly
non-stop across the English Channel and back.
July that year, however, tragedy struck and Rolls was killed when his
Wright biplane broke up in mid-air in Bournemouth. He was the first
person to die in an aircraft accident in Britain.
small collection shows Charles Rolls' interest in the Wright Bros
and his request for photos of their flying machines, prior to his
purchase of a Wright Flyer which led to his early demise.
collection comprises seven very rare original black and white photos
showing Wilbur Wright's first European flight at Le Mans, France, on 8
photos were posted to Charles Rolls, on his request on 20 October 1908,
following his first airplane flight with Wilbur Wright on 8 October
1908, and prior to his purchase of a Wright Flyer.
The photos show Wilbur Wright at the controls, the plane taking off, and flying.
included is the original addressed envelope used to post the collection
of photographs to Charles Rolls. The photos were sent by M.Rol &
Co, an international photography agency based in Paris, France.
is also a copy of "An Aeroplane Flight With Wilbur Wright": Charles
Rolls' incredible personal account of his first flight with Wilbur
"Suffice it to say that after
experience with every form of locomotion, including cycle and motor
racing... there is nothing so fascinating or exhilirating as flying."
17 December 1903 - Wright Bros first powered flight in USA
Rolls went to the USA in 1906 to exhibit the Rolls-Royce cars at the
New York Motor Show. While he was there he attended an exhibition
organised by the Aero Club of America. and was introduced to the Wright
brothers by Patrick Alexander who was a member of the Aero Club.
8 August 1908 - these photos were taken during Wilbur's first flight in Europe, at Le Mans, France
8 October 1908 Charles Rolls travelled to Camp D'Auvours, France to
take part in his first airplane flight with Wilbur Wright.
October 1908 this collection of photos was sent by M.Rol & Co, an
international photography agency based in Paris, France, to Charles
Rolls. The original envelope addressed to the 'Hon. Chas S Rolls' is
included in the collection.
When the Wright brothers came to
Britain in May 1909 to discuss the building of their flying machines,
Rolls accompanied them and their sister, Katherine, throughout their
three day stay and even drove Orville Wright to the Aero Club at
Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey in a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.
subsequently purchased a Wright Flyer and on 12 July 1910 was sadly
killed in an aviation accident when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke
off during a flying display over Bournemouth - he was 32 years old.
A quite remarkable collection of aviation history involving the two pioneers, Charles Rolls and Wilbur Wright.