William Ford Robinson Stanley (2 February 1829 – 14 August 1909) was a British inventor with 78 patents filed in both the UK and the USA. Stanley was an engineer who designed and made precision drawing and mathematical instruments, as well as surveying instruments and telescopes, manufactured by his company 'William Ford Stanley and Co. Ltd'.
Stanley was a skilled architect who designed and founded the UK's first Trades school, Stanley Technical Trades School, as well as designing the Stanley Halls in South Norwood. Stanley designed and built his two homes. He was a noted philanthropist, who gave over £80,000 to education projects during the last 15 years of his life. When he died one of his homes was used as a children's home after his death, in accordance with his will.