Hiram Maxim was born in Sangerville in 1840.
As a youth, he learned to read and write at the local schoolhouse and then when straight into the workforce.
It was soon apparent that he had a curious mind. By the age of 26 he obtained his first patent for a curling iron. This was one of 271 patents he developed in his lifetime.
Maxim is most famous, however, for inventing the Maxim Machine Gun, which revolutionized warfare. His gun was used in both World Wars. The destructive capabilities of this weapon pushed the development of trench warfare as a necessary strategy on the battlefield.
He died on Nov. 24, 1916, just a few days before his weapon was use at the Battle of the Somme to kill more than a million soldiers.