Benjamin Thompson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts (MA), in 1753. Last week, as I was driving around Woburn, I noticed that his birthplace is being maintained as a museum. When I see a home in this area of MA that is preserved as a museum, I naturally think that it must have something to do with a Revolutionary War hero. In this case, I was wrong…very wrong.
Thompson was good student of physics. He tried his hand at a number of trades and tried developing a number of skills, but initially, success proved elusive. His biography on Wikipeadia (yes, I know, there are better sources, but they agree) states that:
“Thompson’s prospects were dim in 1772 but in that year they changed abruptly. He met, charmed and married a rich and well-connected heiress named Sarah Rolfe.”
There you go, Ben. If you can’t earn your fame, marry it. Also according to that questionable resource, “His wife’s father was a minister, and her late husband left her property at Concord, New Hampshire, then called Rumford. They moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and through his wife’s influence with the governor, he was appointed a major in the New Hampshire Militia.”
Here comes the good part, right? Major in the Militia in the years leading up to the first battle of the revolution being fought near his birthplace. This has got to be why he’s so famous.
One would be think.
One would be wrong.
‘When the American Revolutionary War began Thompson was a man of property and standing in New England and was opposed to the uprising. He was active in recruiting loyalists to fight the rebels. This earned him the enmity of the popular party, and a mob attacked Thompson’s house. He fled to the British lines, abandoning his wife, as it turned out, permanently.”
Way to go Ben…or not, really.
So, why is this guy famous? Well, it seems that he was a good student. He had an affinity toward the physical sciences, and without turning this into a lecture, did a lot of experimenting, hypothesizing and inventing things associated with heat. He designed industrial furnaces and you may have heard of the Rumford fireplace, which was considered to be a much more efficient way to heat a room.
OK, so the guy was a bit of a traitor, but a rather important scientist. The war is over, we won, and now we’re BFF with England and his house is still standing, has a cannon and a well in the yard. More importantly, it has a pretty door.
This post is a late (for me) entry to Norm Frampton’s fun weekly blog hop know as Thursday Doors. If you have door photos to share, or like looking at doors, head on up to Norm’s place and poke around in the comment section.
If you’re a regular here at No Facilities and you are wondering about the different look, I can explain. First, I am using the Guttenberg editor on my iPad. Second, I didn’t have time to sort through the photos I took in Woburn. I was going to skip Thursday Doors this week, but I love this weekly series. A blog friend was asking me yesterday if I always feature a large group of doors. I realized that I haven’t always done that, and I don’t always have to do that, so here we are.