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József Törley in the News

An Article in Magyar Automobil

Issue of 20 August 1907

The newspapers published a lot of elements of the life and work of József Törley, the famous founder of Törley sparkling wine factory, who has unexpectedly died recently in Ostend, Belgium. However, none of these articles has mentioned his lesser-known but even more considerable activity of participating in the creation of inventions aiming at the improvement of the life of mankind and winning fame to the Hungarian nation.

One and a half years ago, József Törley met István Benkő, engineer, who acquired good reputation not only in Hungary, but also abroad by his inventions. The fruit of this one and a half years of painstaking work supported by József Törley both by financial assistance and practical ideas is an extraordinarily valuable electric current generator. They constructed a battery with a generating capacity that exceeds those of every existing ones. Experts say that no such power has ever been produced by any energy sources of such a small size and weight. The essence of the world patent applied under the joint name of Törley and Benkő is a chemical current generating procedure achieving high performance without the use of steam engines or dynamos.

With this invention, Törley wanted to, on the one hand, shift automobilism to a new electric ground, and on the other hand establish electric lighting in country towns, castles, mansions and manors not equipped with power-current stations.

It is a matter of common knowledge that electric cars are a completely different trade which would be a distinct branch of automobile manufacturing especially on the basis of the Törley/Benkő method.
Unfortunately, József Törley could not achieve this noble aim due to his unexpected death.

An Article in Népszava
Issue of 26 May 1907

"How long may Mr. Törley live?"

The article mentions a place called Kutyavilla (as the place presumed to be the haunt of the Törley family) and continues as follows: “Mr. Törley, how much do the waiters help by obtesting and persuading the tipsy revellers to drink Törley sparkling wine? Do you, Lord of sparkling wines, remember them on the semi-jubilee of your glorious reign? Kutyavilla is now in ornamented with flags… The prominent persons of the Hungarian industry are welcomed and served here under the national flag by shaven, whiskerless, foreign flunkeys dressed in buttoned stockings and buffoon-caps, which was complained by organized waiters on their pamphlet issued recently… You see, Mr. Törley, it is not really fair…”

(The place called Kutyavilla mentioned several times in the article was not owned by József Törley, in fact, it was a disreputable pub on the bank of the river Danube aligning with the Törley castle located a bit farther from the river.)

The affair was continued in the Kávéssegédek Szaklapja, the trade journal of catering, on 5 July 1907. This article admits that the foulnesses they objected to were not committed by József Törley but one of his employees, however, they state that they still do not want to serve Törley sparkling wine any more. This was the infamous boycott of Törley sparkling wine in 1907.

The response letter by József Törley was published in the next issue of the newspaper, in which he wrote that: “I was posteriorly informed that your compeers were humiliated and expelled from my factory in Budafok during the 25th anniversary of the foundation by one of my employees under a misapprehension. Let me now express my sincere regret for this embarrassing incident and I would like to emphasize that I totally disagree with the behaviour of my afore-mentioned employee, I have not instructed or authorized him for such actions, as I was only became aware of this affair subsequently.

Afterwards, the newspaper NAP published an article that after József Törley had paid 20 000 crowns into the strike-fund of the waiters of Budapest, the waiters ceased the boycott.