Investigating Ignipetal Force at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

The effects of fire upon air, and (if I may be allowed to coin a new expression) the ignipetal force of the latter, are too well known, to need a demonstration. – John Carey to Thomas Jefferson, 4 July, 1791

In identifying the state-of-the-art available at the time when Thomas Jefferson was designing Monticello, including its subsequent renovations, it was discovered that he was aware of the mechanics of intentional, convective ventilation. In correspondence with John Carey on the 4th of July, 1791, the topic of ignipetal force was discussed at length. It is hypothesized that his introduction of skylights, other than to provide light, acted as solar-induced, convective engines capable of passively moving air through the spaces below.
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