Hiram Maxim, like Thomas Edison, pursued interests in the race to introduce the first successful incandescent lamp in the latter part of the 1870s. Having submitted similar patents for a carbonized filament only days apart, Edison of course won the race and the rest is history as they say. But what about Hiram Maxim? The United States Electric Lighting Company was formed in 1878 to produce electrical items based on Maxim's patents. Mention of Hiram Maxim would not be complete without mentioning Lewis Latimer who was hired by Maxim and the U.S.E.L.C. in 1880 to help develop an incandescent lamp to compete with Edison's lamp. By 1882 Latimer shared a patent for the Maxim Incandescent Lamp and later crossed over to Thomas Edison's team. During this period Latimer was the only African American to be a member of "Edison's Pioneers" - a small prestigious group of inventors hand picked by Thomas Edison himself. Hiram Maxim immigrated to England around 1881 to pursue another interest with the purpose of making him a wealthy man. In 1884 Maxim patented the first automatic machine gun which he would become recognized for. Pictured above is a Maxim Lamp - an example of an early competitor of Edison's famous incandescent lamp of the early 1880s. The exact date of production is unknown to me of this lamp but I estimate it's from the early to mid 1880s and has a characteristic "M" shaped carbonized filament. The filament is attached to platinum lead in wires using miniature machine screws and nuts and the flashing process used in the manufacture of the filament provided longer life and was eventually used in all carbon filaments years later.