Hiram Maxim is famous for his invention of the Maxim gun in 1884, one of the world’s first machine guns and a device that revolutionised warfare. What mystery surrounds him and another inventor, William Cantelo, however?

Answer: William Cantelo was rumoured to have been working on the machine gun concept earlier in the 1880s, when he disappeared without a trace – never to be seen again. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Maxim, some have hypothesized that they were the same individual, or that Maxim plagiarized Cantelo’s idea and he died a penniless man.

Source: The Amazing Hiram Maxim by Arthur Hawkey

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