Maxim, Hiram S. (Hiram Stevens), 1840-1916

Alternative names
Birth 1840-02-05
Death 1916-11-24

Biographical notes:

Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840-1916), engineer and inventor, was born at Brockway's Mills, near Sangerville, Maine, on 5 February 1840. He became chief engineer to the United States Electric Lighting Company in 1878, and emigrated to England around 1882, opening a workshop in London two years later. He became a naturalised citizen in 1900, and was knighted in 1901. Maxim was the inventor of the Maxim gun, a rapid-firing weapon with a totally automatic action, which was adopted by the British Army in 1889 and the Royal Navy in 1892. He died at Streatham, London, on 24 November 1916.

From the guide to the Sir Hiram Maxim: Patent specifications for explosives, 1895, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Inventor; b. in Maine; in 1878 became chief engineer for U.S. Electric Lighting Co.; decorated at the Paris Exposition; invention of the Maxim automatic machine gun turned down by the U.S. government but adopted by the British in 1884; granted a total of 122 patents from the U.S., and 149 from British government; in 1900 became British subject; knighted by Queen Victoria in 1901.

From the description of Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim collection, 1840-1961. (Maine Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70923089


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  • Aeronautics
  • Diamonds, Artificial
  • Maxim gun
  • Explosives
  • Inventions


  • Inventors
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