Denis Papin, French mathematician and physicist, late 17th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Oil painting of Denis Papin (1647-1712). In 1675 Papin went to London where he worked with Robert Boyle (1627-1691) and invented the forerunner to the presure cooker, the 'steam digester', which was used to soften bones. He also made a working model of an atmospheric condensing steam engine which was later developed by both Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) and James Watt (1736-1819).