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Hiram Maxim

Inventor Hiram S. Maxim (1840-1916)

Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim (February 4, 1840 - November 24, 1916) was the inventor of the Maxim Gun in 1884, the first portable, fully automatic machine gun. He also experimented in powered flight, but his large aircraft designs were never successful.

Maxim was born in Sangerville, Piscataquis County, Maine in the United States of America but emigrated to England. Maxim was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1901 for his inventions, many of which had military applications. Over the years he was involved in several patent disputes with Thomas Edison.

Maxim founded an armaments company to produce his machine gun, which was bought out by the Vickers corporation in 1896. The Maxim gun was used extensively during the Great War. Maxim died in London.

His brother Hudson Maxim was also a military inventor, specializing in explosives.

His son Hiram Percy Maxim followed in his father and uncle's footsteps and became a mechanical engineer and weapons designer as well.

External Link

A Tale of Two Knights: Sir Hiram Maxim