Hiram Hamilton Maxim Collection

Manuscripts Collection 351

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Maxim, Hiram Hamilton (1900-1992)
Title: Hiram Hamilton Maxim Collection
Dates: 1925-1989
Extent: 194 items/22 volumes
Abstract: Collection, 1925-1989, consists mainly of logbooks and notebooks kept by Hiram Hamilton Maxim for his boats, GANNET and GANNETT II (built 1939), as well as several logbooks kept by his father, Hiram Percy Maxim. It also contains Hiram Hamilton’s notes and newspaper articles about improvements made to a hand-held Radio Direction Finder in addition to manuscripts and pictures for “Precision Coastal Piloting” and “Miscellaneous Piloting Notes and Other Useful Items”.
Identification: Coll. 351
Accession number: MC 2008.16

Biography of Hiram Hamilton Maxim, 1900-1992

Hiram Hamilton Maxim, 1900-1992, was the son of Hiram Percy Maxim and Josephine Hamilton Maxim. He was married to Alison Hemingway Maxim, 1902-1990, with whom he shared his love of sailing. He owned GANNET, a cutter probably built by Ralph E. Winslow and later GANNET II, a catboat built in 1939, designed by Philip L. Rhodes and built by Henry B, Nevins, Inc. He worked in his family’s business, The Maxim Silencer Company. Like his father, he was an inventor and author, improving upon the design of a portable Radio Direction Finder.

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Biography of Hiram Percy Maxim, 1869-1936

Hiram Percy Maxim, 1869-1936, father of Hiram Hamilton Maxim, was a co-founder of the American Radio Relay League, inventor and author and held many patents for his inventions.

Both Hiram Hamilton and his father were avid yachtsmen.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

Collection 351 is arranged chronologically in series as described below and includes the logbooks, notebooks and papers of Hiram Hamilton Maxim and Hiram Percy Maxim.

Series 1: Hiram H. Maxim papers; 1925-1972

Series 2: Volumes; 1925-1989

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.


Maxim, Hiram Hamilton, 1900-1992
Maxim, Hiram Percy, 1869-1936

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

Black Duck (Catboat)
Gannet (Cutter)
Gannet II (Sloop : 1939)
Moby Dick (Yacht)
Oriole (Catboat)
Sea Gull (Yacht)


Connecticut River
Hamburg (Conn.)
Long Island Sound (N.Y. and Conn.)
Mystic (Conn.)
Old Lyme (Conn.)


Boats and boating

Document Types:

Newspaper articles


American Inventors
American Yachtsmen

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 351, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Hiram Hamilton Maxim papers; 1925-1972
Box Folder
1 1 Personal correspondence; 1925-1939 (32 pieces)
2 Technical drawings BLACK DUCK, GANNET, GANNET II; (18 pieces)
3 Hand-held Radio Direction Finder, manuscript and newspaper articles; 1964-1972 (105 pieces)
4 Piloting notes, Long Island Sound; 1964 (39 pieces)
Series 2: Volumes; 1925-1989
Box Folder
1 5 ORIOLE and BLACK DUCK logbook; 1925-1929 (1 volume)
6 SEA GULL and MOBY DICK logbook; 1926-1935 (1 volume)
Box Folder
2 1 BLACK DUCK logbook; 1932-1934 (1 volume)
2 BLACK DUCK and GANNET logbook; 1941-1943 (1 volume)
3 GANNET logbook; 1956-1969 (1 volume)
4 GANNET II notebook; 1959-1961 (1 volume)
5 GANNET II logbook; 1960-1961 (1 volume)
6 GANNET II logbook; 1961-1962 (1 volume)
Box Folder
3 1 GANNET II notebook; 1961-1962 (1 volume)
2 GANNET II logbook; 1962-1965 (1 volume)
3 GANNET II notebook; 1963-1965 (1 volume)
4 GANNET II logbook; 1965-1967 (1 volume)
5 GANNET II notebook; 1966-1968 (1 volume)
6 GANNET II logbook; 1967-1969 (1 volume)
7 GANNET II notebook; 1968-1970 (1 volume)
Box Folder
4 1 GANNET II logbook; 1970-1973 (1 volume)
2 GANNET II notebook; 1970-1973 (1 volume)
3 GANNET II logbook; 1973-1976 (1 volume)
4 GANNET II notebook; 1973-1977 (1 volume)
5 GANNET II notebook; 1977-1989 (1 volume)
6 GANNET II logbook; 1978-1989 (1 volume)

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