Who is Hiram Percy Maxim?

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Hiram Percy Maxim (September 2, 1869 – February 17, 1936) was an American radio pioneer and inventor, and co-founder (with Clarence D. Tuska) of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Hiram Percy Maxim is credited with inventing and selling the first commercially successful firearm silencer, and also with developing mufflers for internal combustion engines.

He created the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) in 1914 as a response to the lack of an organized group of “relay” stations to pass messages via amateur radio. Relaying messages allowed them to be sent farther than any single station’s reach at the time. He originally had the amateur call signs SNY, 1WH, 1ZM, (after World War I) 1AW, and later W1AW, which is now the ARRL Headquarters club station call sign. His rotary spark-gap transmitter “Old Betsy” has a place of honor at the ARRL Headquarters. The ARRL presents an annual award named for Maxim to a radio amateur and ARRL member under the age of 21.

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