An American, Hiram Maxim, did. Britain merely bought them from him.
This Hiram Maxim had a son named Hiram Percy Maxim. I think he was the first Ham radio operator in America. His call sign was W1AW, the same call sign used by the ARRL station in Newington, CT.
Hiram Maxim was American Born but was a British subject when he invented the Maxim Gun which was developed by a British financed company (Vickers) and first used by the British Army.
Not exactly a large American component there...