|Count Rumford (1753-1814)|
Rumford oversaw the boring of iron cannon from iron cylinders using a horse-driven drill. He was impressed by how much heat the drilling friction gave off and he designed experiments to measure this. With insulated cannons and submerged drilling experiments, he carefully measured temperature increases. He found that sustained drilling could heat and boil cold water! Collecting and weighing the iron filings, he established that the metal shavings had the same weight and properties as the unbored metal, so nothing had been "given off" as was then currently thought. Rumford concluded that the mechanical work by the horses was converted into heat. Rumford showed that mechanical action can generate indefinitely large amounts of heat, thus directly challenging the caloric theory of the great Frenchman, Lavoisier.
Lavoisier, a contemporary, didn't live to appreciate Rumford's work--he was guillotined in the French Revolution--ironically for Royalist sympathies. Rumford wound up marrying his widow, Marie-Anne Paulze who was an unappreciated chemist in her own right.