Benjamin Rumford drawings
Drawings done by and for physicist and inventor Count Bejamin Rumford.
Language of Materials
Collection materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.
Extent1 linear feet (2 boxes)
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.
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:
- I. MS Am 1550: Drawings by Benjamin Rumford
- II. MS Am 1550.1: Drawings by Georg Reichenbach for Benjamin Rumford and collateral material
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.
- Rumford, Benjamin, Graf von, 1753-1814. Benjamin Rumford drawings, 1795-1806: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA