Let me introduce you to one of the coolest inventors I’ve ever learned about:
An inventor who funded himself by creating an amusement ride.
He wanted to create a flying machine and he needed money so he “casually” made an amusement ride.
This is Hiram Maxim’s story:
How do you usually raise money?
Friends and family? Angel investors? VCs?
But what about creating a highly successful amusement ride?
Hiram Maxim wanted to create a flying machine but he needed money so to fund his flight research and arouse public interest.
“The ride… consisted of a large spinning frame from which cars hung captive. As the machine spun, the cars would be swung outward through the air, simulating flight.
The ride was similar to the later Circle Swing ride, made popular in the US.”
He designed and built the “Captive Flying Machine.” It was so successful that the ride is STILL in operation at the Pleasure Beach amusement park.
Ok great but what about Hiram Maxim’s contributions to flight?
In 1894, Hiram Maxim created a triple biplane with two coal-fired steam engines but it only flew for a few seconds.
These steam engines used heated cool and were way too heavy for flight.
While Maxim wasn’t super successful with flight, without him our world would be unrecognizable due to his numerous inventions from hair-curling irons, mousetraps, and steam pumps to automatic machine guns, and automatic fire sprinklers, and smokeless powder.
Next time you have an idea for an invention or deep tech startup but for some reason you can’t raise money.
Remember to create an amusement park.