Portrait in oils of French inventor, Denis Papin

Portrait in oils of French inventor, Denis Papin

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portrait in oils of Denis Papin (1647-1712), French physicist and pioneer of the steam engine. Papin studied medicine in his youth, obtaining his degree in 1669 at Angers. He was fascinated by physics, however, and worked as assistant to both Huygens and Boyle, moving to London in 1675. In 1679 he designed the 'steam digester', the successful forerunner of today's pressure cookers. His interest in steam led to his design and construction of a steam engine in 1698, almost a century before the work of James Watt. Religious persecution prevented him from returning to France, and Papin died penniless in London.

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Keywords: denis, inventor, papin, physicist, pioneer, portraits, steam engine, surname p

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