Denis Papin (August 22, 1647 - c.1712), physicist, mathematician, and inventor was born in Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France. A brilliant student of the University at Angers, he became a mathematician and physicist, best known for his pioneering work with steam power.
In 1679, Papin invented the "steam digester", a type of pressure cooker. Observing the mechanical power of compressed steam, he went on to build a model of a piston steam engine. His ideas were later developed into a practical engine by Thomas Savery and his successors.
A Huguenot, Papin's life was greatly affected by the increasing restrictions placed on Protestants by Louis XIV of France and the King's ultimate revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Denis Papin fled to London, England where the last evidence of his whereabouts was a letter he wrote dated January 23, 1712. At the time he was destitute and it is believed he died that year and was buried in an unmarked pauper's pit.