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Hiram Percy Maxim
     Columbia Gasoline Carriage designed by Mr. Maxim, an automobile pioneer. This machine won the first automobile track race held in America, at Branford, Conn., in 1899. Mr. Maxim is at the controls.
       Mr. Maxim was one of the pioneers in the development of the automobile. While in his early twenties, superintendent of the American Projectile Company in Lynn, Mass., he conceived the possibility of propelling a vehicle by means of a gasoline engine. Knowing nothing of the famous Seldon patent, he built an engine and experimented with it, eventually mounting it upon a second-hand tandem tricycle and securing a machine that would run. This work led to contact with the Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford, famous early manufacturers of bicycles, And Mr. Maxim moved to Hartford to become manager of the new motor-carriage department of that company. As a result, there came into existence the famous Columbia automobiles, first gasoline, later electric, designed and built under Mr. Maxim's direction. He had the distinction of participating in what was probably the first automobile race in America, between his Columbia and a Stanley, both pitifully inadequate devices, over a distance of five miles. Mr. Maxim won the race.  
Hiram Percy Maxim
Mr. Maxim, early automobile engineer and enthusiast, leading the field in a machine of his design..
       For a while he was vehicle motor engineer for Westinghouse at East Pittsburgh, later returning ot his Electric Vehicle Company in Hartford, where he remained until the organization of the Maxim Silencer Company. He had many rare tales to tell of early automobile days. Harper's are to produce soon his book of recollections of the horseless-carriage days. Incidentally, he was the man responsible for transferring automobile controls from the right-hand side of cars to the left-hand. You may not remember that American cars once had right-hand drive, but your father will.
Hiram Percy Maxim
via email from Dennie Milne, 9-6-05
     The picture of "The Chief" (Hiram) at the wheel of a later Hartford-built car is a 1910 model H that Hudson Maxim drove. Hudson wrote a small pamphlet as a testimonial to the Franklin and how much he liked the car. The interesting differance between the pictures is that in your picture, the body has a basket look to it. Strange!
      I am a member of the H.H. Franklin car club. I was looking for anything on Hudson when I came across your page on Hiram. Just thought you would like to know.
Dennie Milne
via email from Dennie Milne, 9-24-05
Hello again,
     More info on your photo of Hiram in the Franklin. I was at a Franklin meet in St. Cloud,MN last weekend and showed your picture to some of the guys. It is a 1910 model H. The stripping is a European style popular during that time, and it is painted on. The long hood sports a six cylinder engine. You will notice Franklins with shorter hoods in one picture. These should be 4 cylinder model G's. I now believe that the car that Hiram is in and the one that Hudson is in are two different autos. However I do think that they both are 1910 Model H's. Perhaps Hiram bought his car after reading Hudson's pamphlet.
Dennie Milne

Hudson Maxim
"Gordon Howard submitted this photo to the ACN, and an interesting one it is. According to Howard, this photo is somewhat historic as the driver is Hudson Maxim, one of the seven siblings of Horace Maxim of machine gun fame. Hudson was an explosives expert; worked with his brother in England; supposedly "invented" an automobile in 1895; and ran an explosives factory in the 1890's. The factory was then sold to Dupont. He was "very outspoken and no respecter of people or reputations." Gordon found this info on Hudson in an old book, Dictionay of American Biography, at the local library. The car is thought to be a 1910 H. The inscription on the photo reads: 'Love to dear Aunt Caroline from Lillie & Hudson.'"
Photo & text courtesy of the Editor of Air Cooled News, 10-4-05

HUDSON MAXIM, the inventor, who was the first in the United States to produce smokeless powder and who is in the van in the development of the most powerful projectiles and explosives, is an automobilist, and he has a habit of studying his motor car as he would a piece of highly refined ordnance. Each in its way requiring the use of high grade steel and other materials, they present to him subjects of kindred interest.
     A 2,500-mile trip taken by him recently in New England in his Franklin touring car gave him occasion to test out the automobile's air-cooled engine upon the mountanous roads of Vermont and New Hampshire...
Photo & text courtesy of the Editor of Air Cooled News, 10-4-05

Hiram Percy Maxim
By Hiram Percy Maxim
Product Details
List Price: Out of Print..
Used from $15.00
Publisher: Publisher: New York London Harper & brothers, 1937.
OCLC: 2080371

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