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Count Rumford for whom the Rumford fireplace is named was born Benjamin Thompson in Woburn Massachusetts in 1753 and because he was a loyalist he left abruptly with the British in 1776 He spent much of his life as an employee of the Bavarian government where he received his title Count of the Holy Roman Empire Rumford is known primarily for the work he did on the nature of heat Back in England Rumford applied his knowledge of heat to the improvement of fireplaces He made them smaller and shallower with widely angled covings so they would radiate better And he streamlined the throat or in his words rounded off the breast so as to remove those local hindrances which forcibly prevent the smoke from following its natural tendency to go up the chimney Rumford wrote two essays detailing his improvements on fireplaces in 1796 and in 1798 He was well known and widely read in his lifetime and almost immediately in the 1790s his Rumford fireplace became state of the art worldwide One of the most incredible men associated with science was Benjamin Thompson later titled Count Rumford Aside from making as many enemies as friends this man amassed a large list of honorary titles and contributed significantly to scientific knowledge He never let an opportunity for advancement escape him and many claimed he had no real love or regard for his fellow men Nevertheless he was one of the first American scientists and his career was probably the strangest of all American success stories Thompson was born into a Massachusetts farming family in 1763 He was a strange boy who fancied he could build a perpetual motion machine and took great interest in eclipses He became an itinerant teacher and was hired by a wealthy family in Rumford Massachusetts After endearing himself to nearly everyone Benjamin married the daughter of the household and was accepted into high society So
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