Joseph Stannah’s Rules of Life

27 February, 2017









Our founder, Joseph Stannah was an exceptional engineer who turned his hand to everything from hoists and cranes to stuffing boxes for locomotives and lifts for cars. That passion for engineering, for finding solutions, has pervaded the company ever since delivering innovations such as our Midilifts and stairlifts.

These rules of life were discovered amongst his papers. Based on what we know of him through his letters to The Engineer and other documents, Joseph certainly lived by them. Joseph’s engineering and business activities were truly guided by his strong moral compass, from his support for apprenticeships, refusal to compromise on quality, designs to improve locomotive safety and constant lifting innovations.

Joseph Stannah’s Rules of Life


1. Have a plan before-hand for everyday.

2. Acquire a habit of untiring industry.

3. Cultivate perseverance.

4. Cultivate the habit of punctuality.

5. Be an early riser.

6. Be in the habit of learning something from every man whom you meet.

7. Form fixed principles on which to think and act.

8. Be simple and neat in your personal habits.

9. Acquire a habit of doing everything well.

10. Make constant efforts to be master of your temper.

11. Cultivate soundness of judgement.

12. Observe a proper treatment of parents, friends and companions.

Fast forward to 2017 and through the last 150 years, successive generations of the Stannah family have passed down Joseph’s rules. While in written form these Victorian principles may sound a little old fashioned their essence is still as relevant today as it was back in the 1800s. Today the five members of the fifth generation of Stannahs – Jon, Patrick, Alastair, Nick and Helen - still use these rules to shape their approach to business and guide employees to act with integrity and consideration in every situation.

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