HUDSON MAXIM - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/19/1917 - HFSID 286438
Sale Price $573.75
TLS sent shortly after the US entered World War I, to fellow weapons developer Elmer Sperry, supporting a new mine-planting device
Typed Letter signed: "Hudson Maxim" as Chairman of the Committee on Ordnance and Explosives, 1 page, 8½x11. Landing, New Jersey, 1917 May 19. On letterhead of the US Naval Consulting Board to Elmer A. Sperry, Chairman, Committee on Mines and Torpedoes. In full: "Referring to the Kee mine-planting device which you and Dr. Baekeland brought to my attention in Washington, the Committee on Ordnance and Explosives reported favorably upon it, and recommended that experiments be conducted with it, and the matter is now in the hands of Mr. Robins. I think it would also be wise to have a meeting of the Committee on Mines and Torpedoes in Washington next Friday or Saturday, and let the Committee also make some recommendation. Although not so much a matter for consideration by the Committee on Ordnance and Explosives as by the Committee on Mines and Torpedoes, still I thought it would help to have the Committee on Ordnance and Explosives make the recommendation. Faithfully yours'. HUDSON MAXIM (1853-1927) began his career in armaments and explosives in his brother Hiram's gun factory in New England. In 1888, he began developing new explosives and by 1890. Maxim invented a new smokeless powder. He helped his brother found a dynamite and powder factory in New Jersey that year: the following year, they parted company. In 1892, he began his own munitions factory in New Jersey, the heart of the United States' manufacturing at that time, where he developed a smokeless cannon powder. Maxim sold his company to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company in 1897: however, he remained as a consulting engineer. Later accomplishments include shock resistant torpedoes, delayed-action fuses and a propulsion substance fro torpedoes. These inventions greatly aided the Allied effort in World War I. Machine guns manufactured by his brother changed the weaponry of warfare for all time. Elmer A. Sperry (1860-1930) invented gyroscope-guided automatic pilots for ships and airplanes that have also been applied to spacecraft. Maxim and Sperry were two of the 24 members of the Naval Consulting Board, formed by the U.S. Navy in 1915,charged with evaluating military technologies. Thomas A. Edison was the Board's President. The Board was to consist of "Civilian Experts on Machines" who would originate ideas and critically examine ideas submitted by others.Maxim represented the American Aeronautical Society, Sperry, the American Society of Aeronautic Engineers. Thomas A. Robins, mentioned in the letter, a protégé of Thomas Edison, represented the Inventors Guild and was serving as Secretary of the Board. Creased and toned. Top right corner chipped away. multiple rips at top edge. Ink mark at lower left edge. 1 horizontal 2 vertical fold creases. Pencil note (unknown hand) on verso. Otherwise fine condition.
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