First of all, this is a pretty sweet James Joule statue.
If you were around in the 1840s and 50s and wanted to make yourself a supercharged locomotive, Joule was probably your best bet. In our year, 1843, he discovered the relationship between mechanical work and heat, opening the way for a million billion first quarter thermodynamics homework assignments.
Just how did Douglass come to know of Joule’s work, however? Well, it’s a back story we probably won’t get to tell in the comic itself, but goes something like this: Edward Sabine, while traveling through America for his Earth Sphericity Project, happened to stay over at Baltimore one night, specifically in the house of Hugh Auld. While going to the kitchen to get some pendulum oil in the middle of the night, he stumbled across Hugh’s wife secretly teaching a young slave child how to read. Edward noted the child’s intelligence and promised to send him news of the learned goings-on in London every year. That child was Frederick Douglass, and in 1843 Edward sent him news of Joule’s work, prompting the visit to London to obtain “Edward’s Joule.”
And there you have it.
– Count Dolby von Luckner