Carlo Sella

Date of birth: 1855-08-30

Died: 1936-11-21

Place of birth: Biella

Died: San Remo

Related archive: SELLA, CARLO

Son of the wool entrepreneur Giuseppe Venanzio Sella and Clementina Mosca Riatel. After the sudden death of his father in 1876, he gave up his studies and took over the management of the Maurizio Sella Wool Mill until the Nineteen Twenties. In the administration of his father’s company he was assisted by general proxy Carlo Monticelli, but was especially helped and advised by his uncle Quintino who had considerable influence over him. With the latter he not only participated in various mountain climbs but he faced some important decisions such as dealing with the strike in 1878 centred around the Maurizio Sella Wool Mill; the principal issue was the definitive adoption of the mechanical loom, to the detriment of the workers of the hand loom who were replaced by female staff at lower cost. Carlo soon became one of the most competent wool technicians in the Biellese – in fact he was invited to be a member of the jury on the occasion of the Industrial Exhibition of Milan in 1881. He constructed a new factory, locating some departments of the Maurizio Sella Wool Mill in Tollegno, which became the combed spinning department in1898. In 1900 this factory separated from the Maurizio Sella company and became the Spinning Mill of Tollegno,a Joint-Stock Company, with the Sella family still the main shareholder.

In 1886 Carlo Sella, with his brothers and cousins, founded the Gaudenzio Sella & Co. Bank.
At that time he was not only involved in business but, following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps, he was interested in politics and became councillor in the districts of Biella and Tollegno. He also took an interest in the administration and management of the Teatro Sociale (Social Theatre) of Biella and the Nursery School of Tollegno.

In about 1881 he began the reclamation of the uncultivated lands near Casa del Bosco and Sostegno, in the Bramaterra region. After having been for several years chairman and then councillor of the Italian Hydro-Electric Joint-Stock Company, which had power stations in the Valtellina, he became a promoter of the hydro-electric power stations of La Balma and Tollegno which started operations in 1924.

Carlo Sella was also the creator of several mechanical inventions particularly connected with the wool industry and some of these were patented.

In 1880 he married Clara Pozzo and they had four children: Selina, Massimo, Carola and Alessandra.
He died in San Remo on 21 November 1936.