For something work related, I was looking up the color codes of the activation temperature for automatic sprinklers, and found this tidbit I didn’t know:
In 1812, British inventorÂ Sir William CongreveÂ patented a manual sprinkler system using perforated pipes along the ceiling. When someone noticed a fire, a valve outside the building could be opened to send water through the pipes.
A large furniture factory had repeatedly burned down, andÂ Hiram Stevens MaximÂ was consulted on how to prevent a recurrence. As a result, Maxim invented the first automatic fire sprinkler. It would douse the areas that were on fire, and it would report the fire to the fire station. Maxim was unable to sell the idea elsewhere, but when the patent expired the idea was used.
Of course, Hiram Stevens Maxim is well known for another invention, which many of us are familiar with. A whole generation of unlucky Europeans, some Americans, Canadians and Australians, became unfortunately familiar with Maxim’s other invention as well, when they went over the top and were cut to pieces.