What did Benjamin Thomson invent?


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Benjamin Thompson invented a number of important devices and substances, including the Rumford Fireplace, the double boiler, the drip coffee pot and Rumford soup.

  • The Rumford Fireplace

The Rumford Fireplace was an improvement on existing fireplaces. One feature of the improvement was that smoke left the fireplace more quickly and effectively than in regular fireplaces. This was because the hearth of the Rumford Fireplace was angled differently, and was thinner, than conventional fireplaces. This allowed more of the smoke to escape more quickly out of the top of the fireplace.

Rumford Fireplaces were also more efficient. This was because they gave the users of the fireplace a higher degree of control over the speed at which the fuel was burnt. For example, users of the fireplace could control how quickly or slowly the wood burned once the fire had been set alight.

  • The drip coffee pot

Benjamin Thompson was not the inventor of the drip coffee pot per se - rather, much like with his Rumord Fireplace, he improved on the existing design of drip coffee pots.

Drip coffee pots were popular, and were hailed as one of the most innovative inventions of the time. However, they worked very slowly, and as a result, by the time a cup of coffee had brewed, it had gone cold, and was unpleasant to drink.

Benjamin Thompson worked to combat this problem of cold coffee by creating an insulating water jacket, which helped to prevent the water from going cold too quickly.

  • Rumford soup

Rumford soup was invented by Benjamin Thompson in order to provide cheap food for prisoners or workhouse members, which still provided nutrients and a high amount of calories.

Rumford soup contained a number of basic ingredients, including pearl barley, dried peas and old beer. It was usually eaten with bread. The soup provided carbohydrates and protein without a high fat content.

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