Portrait of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford

Portrait of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Count Rumford. Coloured portrait of the American- British physicist Count Rumford (1753-1814), born Benjamin Thompson. Born in Massachusetts, he joined the army at 18, acting as a secret agent for the British. He fled to England in 1776 and studied projectiles. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1779. After a brief return to America, he was knighted, and appointed adviser to the Elector of Bavaria. Here he reformed the army, set up welfare schemes for the poor, bred stronger horses and cattle and laid out the English Garden in Munich. He also showed that heat was due to the motion of particles in a body after studying the boring of cannons.

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Keywords: army, benjamin (rumford), count, heat, physicist, pioneer, portraits, rumford, surname r, thermodynamics, thompson, uniform

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