Count Rumford, King Of The Fireplace

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Count Rumford, King Of The Fireplace

Words by Mr John Brodie

17 December 2015

Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Benjamin Thompson, later Count Rumford, 1783. Harvard Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Bequest of Edmund C. Converse. Photograph courtesy President and Fellows of Harvard College Imaging Department

A prolific inventor, Count Rumford created a double boiler, a coffee pot, and a kitchen range

A fireplace based on Count Rumford’s design, in Mr Matthew Baird’s Tribeca home. Photograph by Peter Arnold

In 1796, 250 fireplaces were rebuilt in London in two months, and having a Rumford fireplace became a status symbol