|Sir Hiram Maxim|
AKA Hiram Stevens Maxim
Birthplace: Sangerville, ME
Location of death: London, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, West Norwood Cemetery, London, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Maxim machine gun
Anglo-American engineer and inventor, born at Sangerville, Maine, on the 5th of February 1840. After serving an apprenticeship with a coach-builder, he entered the machine works of his uncle, Levi Stevens, at Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1864, and four years later he became a draughtsman in the Novelty Iron Works and Shipbuilding Company in New York City. About this period he produced several inventions connected with illumination by gas; and from 1877 he was one of the numerous inventors who were trying to solve the problem of making an efficient and durable incandescent electric lamp, in this connection introducing the widely-used process of treating the carbon filaments by heating them in an atmosphere of hydrocarbon vapor. In 1880 he came to Europe, and soon began to devote himself to the construction of a machine gun which should be automatically loaded and fired by the energy of the recoil. In order to realize the full usefulness of the weapon, which was first exhibited in an underground range at Hatton Garden, London in 1884, he felt the necessity of employing a smokeless powder, and accordingly he devised maximite, a mixture of trinitrocellulose, nitroglycerine and castor oil, which was patented in 1889. He also undertook to make a flying machine, and after numerous preliminary experiments constructed an apparatus which was tried at Bexley Heath, Kent, in 1894. Having been naturalized as a British subject, he was knighted in 1901. His younger brother, Hudson Maxim (b. 1853), took out numerous patents in connection with explosives.
Father: Isaac Weston Maxim
Mother: Harriet Boston Stevens
Brother: Hudson Maxim (b. 1853)
Naturalized UK Citizen
Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile
Copyright ©2014 Soylent Communications