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HUDSON MAXIM - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 11/17/1916 - HFSID 87290

HUDSON MAXIM Hudson Maxim sends a typed letter to inventor Elmer A. Sperry about their membership on the Naval Consulting Board. Typed Letter Signed: "Hudson Maxim", 1p, 8½x11. Landing P.O., New Jersey, 1916 November 17. To Elmer A. Sperry, Brooklyn, New York.

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HUDSON MAXIM
Hudson Maxim sends a typed letter to inventor Elmer A. Sperry about their membership on the Naval Consulting Board.
Typed Letter Signed: "Hudson Maxim", 1p, 8½x11. Landing P.O., New Jersey, 1916 November 17. To Elmer A. Sperry, Brooklyn, New York. In full: "Enclosed is a copy of a letter [not present] that I have written Mr. Thomas Robins, Secretary of the Naval Consulting Board, relating to the proposition to limit the term of service of the members. We are presumably officers of the United States Navy, and there can be no more reason for limiting our term of office to four years than there would be for so limiting the term of service of any other naval officer, while there are the same good reasons against such limitation as against limiting the term of service of our regular naval officers to four years. If it be argued that the regular officers of the Navy have been educated at Annapolis, the same argument, as far as it holds, applies to us, who have been undergoing education from those who have been educated at Annapolis. If we are to be interpreted rather as civil service employes (sic), being civilians, then the rule which covers civil service should apply to us, and our term of service should be during good behavior. I shall be glad if you will read the enclosed letter. 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 and THOMAS A. ROBINS, the Inventors Guild. Robins, an old Edison associate, was asked to serve as Secretary of the Board. Lightly creased. Pinhead-size stain at lower blank edge. Overall, fine condition.

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