Escutcheons of Science
 Sir Benjamin Thompson, HRE Count Rumford (1753-1814)

Sir Benjamin Thompson, HRE Count Rumford, FRS  (1753-1814).
American Scientist, British Loyalist, Bavarian Count, French retiree.

Per fess Argent and Sable, a fess embattled counter-embattled counterchanged between two falcons
in chief of the second beaked membered and belled Or and a horse passant in base of the first. 
Crest :   On a wreath of the colors, a mural crown Or, thereon a mullet of six points Azure
and between the battlements four pine-buds Vert. 
Motto :   Fidelis.

 Benjamin Thompson 
 (Count Rumford) In the history of Science, Rumford is best remembered for making the first observation which would precipitate the downfall of the dubious "caloric" theory, which presented heat as a fluid.  Rumford pointed out that the heat released in the boring of a cannon would have been enough to melt the metal if that heat had actually been "contained" in it to begin with  (as the  caloric theory  was stating).

This helped define the modern concept of energy  (mechanical energy is transformed into heat by friction).  Rumford even estimated the so-called  mechanical equivalent of heat, well before a precise value was obtained by  James Prescott Joule  (1818-1889).

Some elements of Rumford's rise to prominence and his activities as an American-born British Loyalist during the American  War of Independence  gave him an enduring sulfurous reputation, especially in the United States.  The term "scoundrel" is still applied to him in some modern biographies.  All told, this oversimplistic caricature is clearly an injustice to an extraordinary individual, a dedicated scientist, soldier and social reformer who lived an exceptional life in three different countries after he had to leave his own...

Quick Biography of  Benjamin Count Rumford :

 The Comforts of a Rumford Stove 
 Caricature by James Gillray (1756-1815).
 Published June 12, 1800.    Humphry Davy (1778-1829)  Count Rumford (1753-1814)  Lavoisier (1743-1794)

References & further reading:

 Legendre (1752-1833)

Adrien-Marie Legendre  was buried just across Rumford, in the cemetery of Auteuil (France).

The Comforts of a Rumford Stove  [Gillray 1800]      Count Rumford
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