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MS Am 1550-1550.1

Rumford, Benjamin, Graf von, 1753-1814. Benjamin Rumford drawings, 1795-1806: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: pf
Call No.: MS Am 1550-1550.1
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Rumford, Benjamin, Graf von, 1753-1814.
Title: Benjamin Rumford drawings,
Date(s): 1795-1806.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Drawings done by and for physicist and inventor Count Bejamin Rumford.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

58M-128PF and *53M-68PF. Purchased with assistance from David P. Wheatland, Esq., 11 Gray Gardens West, Cambridge, Mass.; received: 1953 November 20 and 1958.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Benjamin Rumford Drawings, 1795-1806 (MS Am 1550-1550.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Rumford, an applied physicist and inventor, as well as a soldier of fortune, and philanthropist, was born in Massachusetts, but after siding with the British in the American Revolution, lived mostly in England, Bavaria, and France. He studied heat, gunpowder, cooking equipment, lamps, wheels and other equipment and phenomena. Rumford was knighted in England, made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire by the Elector of Bavaria, founded the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and was active in various academic societies and institutes.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Consists of 39 of Rumford's drawings in pen and watercolor of his inventions; 24 drawings for him by Georg von Reichenbach, a Bavarian army engineer; maps; and engravings including some of the English Garden in Munich designed by Rumford and of plans for a military post near Dublin. Rumford's drawings are of a hackney carriage with wooden springs, coffeepots, portable stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and mantelpieces. Reichenbach's drawings are of flint-lock muskets and other small firearms, field cannons, and military uniforms. Also contains drawings and engravings of miscellaneous scientific and architectural apparatus, by various hands, possibly not connected with Rumford.

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