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.