Title

A profile of Hiram Stevens Maxim of Sangerville, who invented the machine gun an

Authors

James P. Brown

Source

Down East

Date

6-1-1996

Pages

56-59, 77-79

Abstract

A profile of Hiram Stevens Maxim of Sangerville, who invented the machine gun and was knighted by Queen Victoria and honored by the French for his work in electricity. With only 15 months of formal education, he had, by his death in 1916, 271 patents, including one for a steam-powered flying machine that lifted off the ground prematurely and crashed. For it, he devised a more efficient steam engine than any existing and a wind tunnel to test wing shapes. During one period in his life he found work painting landscapes on carriages. His method of making carbon filaments, which he didn't patent, was used by Thomas Edison to develop the incandescent lightbulb. His Maxim-Weston company manufactured and improved gas-lighting equipment. The Maxim machine gun, as it was known by 1883, was adopted by most European armies, though not American ones. He spent the last 35 years of his life in England and became a British citizen. He found it ironic that his "killing machine" brought him the most fame. His oldest son, Hiram Percy Maxim, was also an inventor. Sangerville calls itself "The Town of Two Knights," for Sir Hiram Maxim and Sir Harry Oakes, who struck it rich in Canadian gold.

Subjects

Inventors, Maxim, Hiram S

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