An American of wide-ranging interests and overflowing energy, Benjamin Thompson applied his scientific and technical knowledge to the improvement of public service and welfare institutions in Bavaria (a service for which he was made Count Rumford), Ireland, England, and Italy. In the process, he made important discoveries in physics. In this new edition of Rumford’s Works, Sanborn Brown has arranged his writings according to subject matter: this first volume contains his papers on the nature of heat, and includes one paper which has never before been published in English.
The volume begins with Rumford’s paper on the production of heat by friction, and continues with descriptions of the experiments by which he showed that heat has no weight, and his essays on the propagation of heat in solids and fluids. Subsequent volumes contain papers on practical applications of heat, devices and techniques (including studies of fireplaces and chimneys), armament, light and color, and on such public establishments and organizations as poorhouses, the army of Bavaria, and the Royal Institution in London.