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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1550-1550.1

Benjamin Rumford drawings


Drawings done by and for physicist and inventor Count Bejamin Rumford.


  • 1795-1806

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.


1 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:
  1. I. MS Am 1550: Drawings by Benjamin Rumford
  2. II. MS Am 1550.1: Drawings by Georg Reichenbach for Benjamin Rumford and collateral material

Physical Location


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

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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