Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of Hiram, the machine gun inventor, is “usually credited with inventing and selling the first commercially successful [firearm suppressor/silencer] circa 1902 (patented 30 March 1909).”
So Hiram certainly got a lot of nachus from his son. [Yiddish for “pride in your offspring.” A nice word, w/ no equivalent in English, I don’t think. Since we’re at it, Hiram Jr. had good yichus, from his dad.]*
Father and son, both with significant inventions, to say the least.
Any other parent-child pairs?
*An entirely unnecessary paragraph, just a little interesting language note that suggested itself in context. As is this footnote, due to a larger context.
ETA: hed should have said “father/mother.”
William Herschel was a musician who became one of the most important astronomers of his time, discovering the first planet since classical times (He wanted to call it Georgius Siderium, brown-nosing his sponsor, King George III, who made him Court Astronomer, but, after being called “Herschel” for a brief time, they eventually called it “Uranus”). He also mapped the northern sky, made a number of other astronomical discoveries, and discovered Infrared Light.
His sister Caroline was also a noted (and chronically overlooked) astronomer
His son John Herschell also became a significant astronomer and science popularize. He carried on his father’s work, mapping the southern sky. He also did important work in variable and double stars. An enthusiast of the camera lucida, he took hundreds of “snapshots”. He also did pioneering work in photography (he invented the fixer “hypo” – sodium thiosulfate), and came incredibly close to deriving the pattern of diffracted light from a circular aperture that was later completed by George Biddell Airy (and is now called the “airy function”)
They were a talented bunch. William composed 24 symphonies and other works. John translated the Iliad into English in iambic hexameters. Sadly, I’m not that familiar with what Caroline did, but John consulted her on astronomical matters.
Yeah, I do/did. I realized that it was a well worn path about scientists–and remembered a nice thread on it, in fact-- and chose “inventors” in the body, but I already posted the hed and didn’t want to bug a mod, and figured to let the thread loose before corralling it.
So, thanks, and ixnay on the scientists and other eggheads.
When I read the Maxim and son, I thought two things: engineers and builders should be more famous, and that “father and son” companies are of course legion, certainly in the past where pioneering R&D was as likely to come out of a Wright Bros., or Maxim & Son. Then I wondered about Colt, and had no idea.
Stanley Hiller Sr. was an early aviator (1909) who had 40 patents to his name. His son, Stanley Hiller Jr., was the real life Tom Swift, being written up in *Time *magazine as a teenager after getting a wartime government contract to manufacture helicopters, several years into his inventing career.
The Bernoulli family were noted mathematicians. Brothers Jacob (after whom the Bernoulli numbers are named) and Johann sent each other letters in which they competed to solve the brachistochrone problem, by which the curve that a ball rolling down would take minimum time to reach the bottom (it turns out to be a cycloid)
The father wasn’t a mathematician, but a lot of relatives were:
John Browning invented and designed firearms that are iconic for their type. If you think of a .45 semi-auto pistol, an American heavy machine gun, a semi-automatic or lever-action shotgun, or a lever-action “old West” rifle, you’re thinking of John Browning’s work.
His son Val Browning, though less famous, was a prolific gun designer and firearms technologist. He was also famous for finishing his father’s last works, such as the Browning Hi-Power handgun.
Way back in the 1600s, Sir Charles Cavendish and his brother William collected telescopes and mathematical treatises.
Margaret Cavendish, William’s second wife, wrote Observations upon Experimental Philosophy which is as close as you could come to a science book in 1666, as well as The Blazing World, which was early Science Fiction.
In the 1700s, Lord Charles Cavendish, emerged as a leading light of the Royal Society, winning the Copley medal for his work with thermometers.
Charles’ son, Henry, became one of the great experimental scientists of the English Enlightenment. He discovered Hydrogen, among many other things
And in the 1800s, William Cavendish, Henry’s cousin’s grandson, personally funded the establishment of Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory. He wasn’t much of a scientist (except for winning Smith’s Medal for Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 1829)
Stephen Hawking’s father, Frank Hawking, was a physician and pharmacology lecturer who published some research on the treatment of trypanosomiasis. Not quite as famous as his son, but certainly a real scientist.