Sir Benjamin Thompson, Graf (Count) von Rumford (March 26, 1753 – August 21, 1814) was an American-born scientist and inventor. Thomas Jefferson was familiar with Rumford and his work, and some of his innovations were incorporated into the remodeling of Monticello.
The West Front of Monticello is one of the most widely recognized views of Thomas Jefferson's home. Thousands upon thousands of visitors have posed on the West Portico steps to have their images recorded in front of the facade that has graced coins, postage stamps, and countless other objects over the years. Every Fourth of July, new U.S. citizens are sworn in on the same masonry steps. But were there finished steps at the West Portico in Jefferson's day?