Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim (5 February 1840 – 24 November 1916) was an American-born British inventor, best known as the creator of the Maxim Gun, the first portable fully automatic machine gun.
The elaborately named Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is possibly the oldest, still-operating amusement ride in Europe, but it was a horrible disappointment to its eponymous creator.
Hiram Maxim was a prolific inventor of mousetraps, sprinkler systems, and eventually, weaponry. His most successful invention, the world’s first portable machine gun, saw extensive use in World War I and earned him a knighthood (although his work on the roaring machine would later make him deaf).
Maxim may have even invented the incandescent light bulb prior to Thomas Edison, but according to legend, Edison was simply more well-versed in patent law and stole the credit out from under Maxim. With such a diverse portfolio, it is little wonder that the inventor tried his hand at early aeronautics, which led to the development of the so-called “captive flying machines.”
(extracts Atlas Obcura)
Maxim died at his home at "Sandhurst Lodge", Streatham High Road, (Ice Rink site) on 24 November 1916 at the age of 76.
He is buried in West Norwood Cemetery with his wife and his grandson, Lt. Colonel Maxim Joubert.