Hudson Maxim, US chemist

Hudson Maxim, US chemist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hudson Maxim (1853-1927), US chemist. Maxim invented several explosives, including Stabilite, a smokeless powder (patented in 1890), Maximite, an explosive that is 50% more powerful than dynamite and Motorite, a self combustive substance to propel torpedoes. He lived to 74, sustaining only one serious injury during his career when he lost his left hand in a mercury fulminate explosion. Prior to WWI he wrote a book, Defenseless America, in which he pointed out the inferiority of American weapons to European ones. He was the younger brother of the more famous Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840-1916), who invented the Maxim machine gun. Photograph taken in 1916.

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