Links Page

The main page concerns the de Rivaz family that originated from Jacques Etienne Chevalley de Rivaz 1801-1863 and took his name from his grandmother Anne Chappuis de Rivaz the wife of Jacques Etienne Chevalley 1738-1809. This links page contains links to people who are presumed to be related to Anne Chappuis de Rivaz. It continues to cover items about the town Rivaz and families who have dropped the "de".

Pierre de Rivaz, Engineer and Photographer, 1886-1969
Pierre de Rivaz was born on 27 June 1886. He matriculated from the Collège de Sion in 1907 and studied at Karlsruhe. He obtaioned a diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1910 and worked at Siemens in Berlin. In 1918 he married Hélène de Rivaz at Sion and had six children, Jean, François, Chantal, Paul, Geneviève and Pierre. During the Second World War he was an employee of the Lorraine Company of the DE DIETRICH Establishments in Luneville, controlling the working conditions of the French in Germany, and after the war participated in the repatriation of displaced people. He was an amateur photographer from 1905 and much of his work has survived to this day. He died on 19 November, 1969. More here (in French)
Family Photographs from Pierre de Rivaz

Francois Isaac de Rivaz built an internal combusion engine in 1807. (yes, eighteen hundred and seven), believed to be the world's first. It was used in a gas and chemical powered car or to be more precise charette in French. The ignition was electric as is used in cars of today. The current came from a Volta cell embedded in the car. The driver had to open the valve to fill the gas, close it and switch on the current to make the electric spark - for each cycle of the piston. Some time ago the Fondation Giannada Automobile Museum produced two reconstructions of this car, one about 50cm length and one about 2 meters length. The second one used air pressure to simulate the gas/chemical explosion. On one occasion this car moved about 100 meters in front of the museum for a demonstration. The guy that drove it found this experience excessively risky due to the poor design of the car - it was difficult to stay on the road... This demonstration was in maybe 1985 or 1990 and it is not known if the two cars are still in the Fondation Giannada building. The model car was built by the mechanical apprentices (students) group of the Alusuisse, Aluminium Suisse S.A. in Chippis. Unsurprisingly this car was made of aluminium.

In the town of Sion (in the center of the Valais, the region of Isaac) there is still today a room in the "Bibliothèque Cantonale" (Library) dedicated to the de Rivaz family. There are some documents explaining in a precise way the development of the car, with schematics. This material was used to build the two demonstration cars. [Acknowledgement to Jean-Christian de Rivaz for this information, picture at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda at Montigny by David Robertson.]

Isaac de Rivaz is listed here as being the first holder of the land speed record, at 3 mi/hr.

Michel de Rivaz, who has played an important role in the publication of the history of the Swiss Banknote.

Dominique de Rivaz Film producer - Click for Filmgoraphy.
Luna Papa is a film made in Farsi and later dubbed into German, with Dominique de Rivaz as assistant director. There are details in English here. For full English dialogue, click here, however although this exists, the film was never dubbed or subtitled in English. Maybe there is a package where this could be done on a PC these days?
Purchase a video cassette of Luna Papa - warning - in German language only
Purchase a DVD of Luna Papa - warning - says it is in German and Russian languages only. I suspect that "Russian" may mean the Farsi original.
Listen to excerpts of a CD of Luna Papa music, with opportunity to purchase

Film Festival including works by Dominique de Rivaz (now over)

Vincent de Rivaz appears in the news when he makes statements about the London Electricity Group, of which is is chief executive. More here.

The name Rivaz

Alice Rivaz
The Swiss writer Alice Rivaz (1901-1998) brought a bold new tone to the literature of French-speaking Switzerland in the late thirties. She became known in other countries too as a pioneer of feminist literature in Switzerland. Together with Corinne Bille, Catherine Colomb and Monique Saint-Hélier, Rivaz was an important feminist and author. More here. She was celebrated in a Swiss postage stamp.

Richard Rivaz

He was the author of Tail Gunner. First published in 1943, this is the gripping story of one man’s involvement in RAF Bomber Command’s fledgling offensive between August 1940 and December 1941. Dick Rivaz was tail gunner to Leonard Cheshire, one of the most famous RAF pilots of the Second World War, flying in Whitleys with No. 102 Squadron and latterly in Halifaxes with No. 35 Squadron.

Tail Gunner is unique among wartime memoirs, as it was written within months of the events Rivaz describes, and with all the immediacy of one who was in the very thick of the action. He gives graphic descriptions of his experiences on night bombing attacks against heavily defended enemy targets like Duisberg, Düsseldorf and Essen, and relates a dramatic shoot-out with German fighters over La Rochelle in broad daylight during July 1941. More here, or here to buy from Amazon.

The name Rivaz seems common in India, as is seen here. It has also been associated with religious texts, as was once seen in great detail on a site called However the originators of this site appear not to have renewed their domain, and it is now used for irrelevant commercial purposes.

The town Rivaz

Built on a rocky outcrop and described as very photogenic, the sight of Rivaz often causes high-speed motorboats from Dézaley or St-Saphorin, its famous neighbors, to stop and their occupants to take a look.

Among his 338 inhabitants, one can count 36 vine growers. At the time of the grape harvest there is a genuine hive of activity around its 17 presses which provide a living for half of its inhabitants.

Thanks to the significant land improvement operations completed over the last few years at St-Saphorin, the vine growers have seen greatly improved working conditions. Walkers also profit from the chance of exceptional excursions through the vineyard while following the wine paths of Lavaux. more here.

Alexandre Chappuis and Son - winemakers, including Rivaz wine. Their family has produced wine for several generations at Rivaz and St-Saphorin.
Irène Chappuis - "une jeune fille de 26 ans native de Rivaz" role paying game page.
Interior of a reconstructed 18th century wine maker's house at Rivaz.

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