Rumford, Benjamin, Graf von, 1753-1814

Alternative names
Birth 1753-03-26
Death 1814-08-21
English, French

Biographical notes:

Scientist and inventor; lived in New Hampshire; also known as Sir Benjamin Thompson Rumford.

From the description of Family papers, 1747-1852. (New Hampshire Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70963873

Rumford, an applied physicist and inventor, as well as a soldier of fortune, and philanthropist, was born in Massachusetts, but after siding with the British in the American Revolution, lived mostly in England, Bavaria, and France. He studied heat, gunpowder, cooking equipment, lamps, wheels and other equipment and phenomena. Rumford was knighted in England, made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire by the Elector of Bavaria, founded the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and was active in various academic societies and institutes.

From the description of Drawings, 1795-1806. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122505876

From the guide to the Drawings, 1795-1806., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

American-born physicist (Best-known for his cannon experiments showing heat to be a mode of motion, thereby disproving prevalent notion of heat as fluid material substance (caloric); endowed Rumford professorship, Harvard, also Rumford medal of Royal Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1796). Self-educated in Woburn, Massachusetts, Rumford became a schoolmaster. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, he remained loyal to the British Crown and served the British during the conflict, after which he fled to England. He lived permanently in exile in Europe for the remainder of his life.

From the description of Rumfordiana, 1775-[ongoing]. (American Institute of Physics). WorldCat record id: 79662118

English physicist and adventurer of American birth.

From the description of Autograph letter (third person) : Pall Mall, to Mr. Davies Bookseller, [1778?] "Saturday Evening 5th December." (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270572090


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  • Heat--Research
  • Scientists--Correspondence--19th century
  • Inventions
  • Inventions--19th century
  • Gardens, English--19th century
  • Physics--19th century
  • American loyalists
  • Awards
  • Political refugees--19th century


  • Inventors
  • Physicists
  • Engineers
  • Physicists--18th century
  • Scientists--19th century


  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Bavaria (Germany) (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • New Hampshire (as recorded)
  • London (England) (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany--Munich (as recorded)