Hagley Museum and Library
PO Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
102 photographic prints ; 11 x 14 in. or smaller. 10 photographic prints : cabinet photographs ; 6.5 x 4.25 in. 8 photographic prints : cartes de visite ; 4 x 2.5 in. 3 items : silhouettes ; 35 x 26.5 cm. or smaller. 1 album (5 photographic pr
Hudson Maxim was born in Orneville, Maine on February 3, 1853, to a poor but mechanically-gifted family. His older brother Hiram invented the Maxim gun, the first truly efficient automatic machine gun, and his nephew, Hiram Percy Maxim, invented the silencer. Hudson was the first to successfully produce smokeless powder in America. After 1900 Maxim carved out a second career as a public speaker and inveterate writer of magazine articles and letters to the editor, freely venting his opinions on poetry and language as well as invention, progress, and public affairs. Beginning in 1914 he vociferously argued for American rearmament against a wide array of Progressive-era pacifists. After the war he concentrated on the development of the Lake Hopatcong (N.J.) area and on local affairs. He died on May 6, 1927. The collection consists primarily of photographs, many of which are portraits, of Hudson Maxim and his family, friends, and associates. The photographs also include views of his homes, his automobiles, the Maxim gun invented by his brother Hiram, Hudson experimenting in a laboratory, and Hudson playing the "Game of War" with Frank Marshall, chess master. In addition, the collection includes an album of five photographs of the interior of a home, probably Maxim’s. Miscellaneous material includes a copy of Gray’s "aero-view" map of the Panama Canal (1913), with a poem written by Hudson Maxim; 8 small cartes de visite portraits of famous poets, writers, and artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Longfellow; and a religious picture.