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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford Quotes

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Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
(26 Mar 1753 - 21 Aug 1814)

American-British physicist whose investigated heat, and was one of the first scientists to declare that heat is a form of motion. His inventions include a calorimeter, photometer, double boiler, kitchen stove and a drip coffee pot.


Science Quotes by Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford (6 quotes)

As white reflects more heat, as well as more light than any other colour, it ought always to be preferred for the inside of a Chimney Fire-place, and black, which reflects neither light nor heat, should be most avoided.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
In Essays, Political, Economical, and Philosophical (1798), Vol. 1, 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (123)  |  Black (46)  |  Chimney (4)  |  Color (155)  |  Fireplace (3)  |  Heat (180)  |  Light (635)  |  Prefer (27)  |  Reflect (39)  |  White (132)

Discoveries are always accidental; and the great use of science is by investigating the nature of the effects produced by any process or contrivance, and of the causes by which they are brought about, to explain the operation and determine the precise value of every new invention. This fixes as it were the latitude and longitude of each discovery, and enables us to place it in that part of the map of human knowledge which it ought to occupy. It likewise enables us to use it in taking bearings and distances, and in shaping our course when we go in search of new discoveries.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
In The Complete Works of Count Rumford (1876), Vol. 4, 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Accidental (31)  |  Bearing (10)  |  Bring (95)  |  Cause (561)  |  Contrivance (12)  |  Course (413)  |  Determine (152)  |  Discovery (837)  |  Distance (171)  |  Effect (414)  |  Enable (122)  |  Explain (334)  |  Fix (34)  |  Human Knowledge (2)  |  Invention (400)  |  Investigate (106)  |  Latitude (6)  |  Longitude (8)  |  Map (50)  |  Nature (2017)  |  New (1273)  |  Operation (221)  |  Part (235)  |  Place (192)  |  Precise (71)  |  Process (439)  |  Produce (117)  |  Search (175)  |  Serendipity (17)  |  Shape (77)  |  Value (393)

No subject of philosophical inquiry within the limits of human investigation is more calculated to excite admiration and to awaken curiosity than fire; and there is certainly none more extensively useful to mankind. It is owing, no doubt, to our being acquainted with it from our infancy, that we are not more struck with its appearance, and more sensible of the benefits we derive from it. Almost every comfort and convenience which man by his ingenuity procures for himself is obtained by its assistance; and he is not more distinguished from the brute creation by the use of speech, than by his power over that wonderful agent.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
In The Complete Works of Count Rumford (1876), Vol. 4, 3-4.
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Proposals for forming a Public Institution for diffusing the knowledge of Mechanical Inventions, and for teaching, by Philosophical Lectures and Experiments, the application of Science to the common purposes of life.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
Title of the pamphlet (Apr 1799) in which he proposed what is now the Royal Institution. As named in a notice under 'A Correct List of New Publications', The Monthly Magazine: Part 1 for 1799 from January to June, inclusive (Apr 1799), 7, Part 1, 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (257)  |  Common (447)  |  Experiment (736)  |  Forming (42)  |  Institution (73)  |  Invention (400)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Lecture (111)  |  Life (1870)  |  Mechanical (145)  |  Natural Philosophy (52)  |  Proposal (21)  |  Purpose (336)  |  Royal Institution (4)  |  Teaching (190)

So great is the effect of cleanliness upon man, that it extends even to his moral character. Virtue never dwelt long with filth and nastiness; nor do I believe there ever was a person scrupulously attentive to cleanliness, who was a consummate villain.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
In Essays, Political, Economical, and Philosophical (1798), Vol. 1, 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Attentive (15)  |  Belief (615)  |  Character (259)  |  Cleanliness (6)  |  Consummate (5)  |  Dwell (19)  |  Effect (414)  |  Extend (129)  |  Filth (5)  |  Great (1610)  |  Moral (203)  |  Person (366)  |  Scrupulous (7)  |  Villain (5)  |  Virtue (117)

To engage in experiments on heat was always one of my most agreeable employments. This subject had already begun to excite my attention when, in my seventeenth year, I read Boerhave’s admirable Treatise on Fire. Subsequently, indeed, I was often prevented by other matters from devoting my attention to it, but whenever I could snatch a moment I returned to it anew, and always with increased interest.
— Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford
In 'Historical Review of the Various Experiments of the Author on the Subject of Heat', The Complete Works of Count Rumford (1873), Vol. 2, 188. It is translated from the original German, in Vol. IV, of Rumford’s Kleine Schriften.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (20)  |  Age (509)  |  Agreeable (20)  |  Anew (19)  |  Attention (196)  |  Devote (45)  |  Employment (34)  |  Engage (41)  |  Excite (17)  |  Experiment (736)  |  Fire (203)  |  Heat (180)  |  Increase (225)  |  Interest (416)  |  Moment (260)  |  Read (308)  |  Return (133)  |  Snatch (14)  |  Subject (543)  |  Treatise (46)


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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