Talk:Count Rumford

From Citizendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is developed but not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
To learn how to update the categories for this article, see here. To update categories, edit the metadata template.
 Definition (1753–1814) An American born soldier, statesman, scientist, inventor and social reformer. [d] [e]
Checklist and Archives
 Workgroup categories Physics and History [Please add or review categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

It is incredible how user-unfriendly CZ is. I used to put the checklist template here, but I cannot find it anymore. On top of this page I'm told to put the subpages template here and to read a number of help pages that link to yet more help pages. All I want to say is that this is the start of a physics/history article. I don't want to read 20 pages of TFM and jot down all I'm expected to do or not to do. Now that I'm on steam: I don't want to read all those pages about writing biographies either. I am here to write not to read laws, bylaws, regulations and other para-legal stuff. --Paul Wormer 16:51, 12 March 2008 (CDT)

Couldn't agree more - I often wonder if that is a deterrent to new authors.
I've tweaked the lede a bit - trying to state what he is most known for in the opening sentence and moving the birth/death date material down into the meat of the article. Since you're more familiar with this topic, you might be able to phrase it better than I have. --Todd Coles 19:46, 14 March 2008 (CDT)
Todd, you removed from the lead-in the fact that Rumford was born in Mass., i.e., that he was American. Further his lifespan is gone from the lead-in. Don't you think that these hard facts belong there? --Paul Wormer 14:23, 15 March 2008 (CDT)
Paul, I'm sorry I meant to keep his lifespan in there. I think the way it is set up now looks good - lets you know when he lived but doesn't dominate the first sentence. One question I meant to ask - is he most commonly known as Count Rumford, or as Benjamin Thompson? By the way, I nominated this for CZ:New Draft of the Week. --Todd Coles 20:34, 15 March 2008 (CDT)
I'm not sure what you mean, Paul. I just clicked on 'start article', which I assume it what a rank beginner would do; there's a link to 'how to start an article', and to me that looks pretty simple for a beginner.
Yes, if you're a CZ user already and you've only ever used the pre-subpage startup, I'll grant you doing the whole metadata thing takes a bit of getting used to.
Aleta Curry 01:33, 16 March 2008 (CDT)
Todd, the name Rumford is *much* better known than Thompson. His inventions (Rumford lamp, Rumford fireplace, etc.) all carry the name Rumford. Also as scientist he is known as Rumford. Therefore, and without first consulting long tedious instructions, I chose "Count Rumford" as article name with "Benjamin Thompson" as redirect.
Aleta, after finishing an article I used to copy and paste output of the checklist macro into the talk page. I could find this output with a few mouse clicks. This has worked for me close to hundred times. Suddenly somebody removed the output of checklist. I therefore tried to put the subpages template in the talk page but then all sorts of green stuff appeared. I had no idea what to do with it and it told me to read a seven-step instruction manual, with each step containing substeps linking to further "simple" instructions. I suppose I could have managed (after all I have 40 years experience in computer programming in all sorts of languages), but I didn't want to waste my time.
--Paul Wormer 11:05, 16 March 2008 (CDT)
Yes, I quite understand. If you had the old checklist thingy handy and you pasted it onto a new talk page, I think it would still work. But it sounds like you do what I used to do, i.e. find it and copy and paste it in.
The reason you got such a mess is because now you have to start with the main article page, in Edit mode, and at the very top of your actual article type in "subpages" (inside {{ }}, sorry I don't speak computerese so I can't use techinical terms) then you get a prompt which takes you to the metadata page to fill out the new version of the checklist--again, not all that straightforward if you've never done it before.
The simplest thing to do now, Paul, is to utter a mental "to hell with it", just write your article, save, and someone else will do the cluster formatting.
I shall bring this up on the forums, because it's a good point. For those between systems, it's a pain.
Aleta Curry 16:56, 16 March 2008 (CDT)


Todd, you give a footnote to a book that is already in the list of general references, this duplication is unnecessary. To me it seems that this footnote can go, or, alternatively, we must attach a footnote to every fact about Rumford. I don't see why this one fact is so important that it needs to be singled out with a note. In general, I like the style of the great paper encyclopedias, which is in sharp contrast to the ridiculous WP style that requires a footnote to the statement that 16 ounce make a pound (really!). Paper encyclopedias like Brittanica, Brockhaus, Larousse, Winkler-Prins, etc., rely on the expertise of the authors. If you don't believe the author you may check him/her in the secondary literature given at the end of the article. (Notes to primary literature are different because they add to content, it is of interest to see where and when work of the person under discussion appeared).

One more thing, you added the name of the shopkeeper under whom Benjamin worked for a short while. Why did you do this? Is the man known in some other capacity? Then we should link him. --Paul Wormer 10:52, 28 March 2008 (CDT)

I'm fine with that. I actually don't use a lot of footnotes in the articles I write either. To be honest, I think the only reason I did it here is because I didn't realize the book was already listed at the bottom. Also, I added the name of the shopkeeper because I had the name available - I do not believe he is a noteworthy individual. This probably also could be removed, I don't have strong feelings toward it either way.
Also, on the topic of sources, I found this]. It contains Rumford's essays on fireplace design. I think it would be a good addition, but I am unsure of how to cite it - perhaps you can help? --Todd Coles 15:38, 28 March 2008 (CDT)
Todd, I saw the Buckley site (Rumford fireplaces) too, that is why I wrote that the fireplaces are still on the market. It is nice that the Rumford essays are there, but because it is a commercial site I have some doubts about linking to it. I will post about it on the forum. It is nice that you found a licence-free picture of a Rumford fireplace!--Paul Wormer 16:06, 28 March 2008 (CDT)
I just found a copy of the essays found on that site, plus a few more, at Project Gutenberg, so we don't have to worry about the commercial one. --Todd Coles 22:46, 28 March 2008 (CDT)
Very good! We could put them as external links plus short descriptions, what do you think?--Paul Wormer 23:27, 28 March 2008 (CDT)
I've currently placed it on the bibliography subpage under the heading "Primary sources", with a link to the online versions. This is based off how I've seen Richard Jensen format bibliographies on other history pages. --Todd Coles 23:43, 28 March 2008 (CDT)


Also, I just wanted to note that in the changes I'm making for clarity and organization, you might notice that I am stripping down some of the scientific information. My reasoning behind this is that it should be described in detail in the "Rumford's science" section and I'm trying to allow for less duplication of information. --Todd Coles 23:43, 28 March 2008 (CDT)

Full regalia

I removed the phrase with "full regalia", see portrait, no tricorne, no sword, no medals, I wouldn't call that full regalia. I also removed lifelong in "lifelong friends". G. I. Brown doesn't seem to notice that Maximilian Duke of Deux-Pontes is the same as Maximilian von Zweibruecken ("Two-Bridges" in French and German). I read somewhere that Rumford was received coolly by the new Elector of Bavaria (his old friend Von Zweibruecken), and that their friendship had coolled down considerably.--Paul Wormer 10:38, 29 March 2008 (CDT)

I was under the impression that it was the older brother of Maximilian who did not get along with Rumford. I'll look into that today. And I agree on the full regalia thing, makes me somewhat question the source. --Todd Coles 10:50, 29 March 2008 (CDT)