Denis Papin, French physicist

Denis Papin, French physicist

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Caption: Denis Papin (1647-1712), French physicist and engineer, in old age and misery. Papin was an assistant to both Huygens and Boyle, moving to London in 1675. In 1679 he invented the steam digester, an early type of autoclave or pressure cooker. He also designed steam engines. Papin's designs were not successful as he could not machine his components well enough. By 1712 he was destitute and was buried in an unmarked pauper's pit. Artwork from 'Chaudieres et Machines a Vapeur' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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