BLUE HILL — Miles Maiden, a Parker Point resident who died earlier this month, was an innovator with a sense of whimsy.
In 1997, he founded Hydro-Photon Inc. and developed the SteriPEN, a pocket-sized device that uses UV technology to destroy viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms to purify water and make it safe for campers and hikers relying on natural sources for drinking.
The first SteriPEN went on the market in 2001. By 2011, Time named the SteriPEN one of the “Top 100 All-Time Gadgets.”
Two years ago, in 2017, Maiden sold the company to the Swiss outdoor products company Katadyn Group.
Maiden had grown the company from a handful of employees working in a small building in Blue Hill to one with more than a dozen employees based at the Ellsworth business incubator, aided by a $3-million capital infusion from Japanese investors.
Maiden lived with his wife, Meg, and their daughters, Haley and Hannah, in a house on the shore of a secluded cove deep in Blue Hill Harbor overlooking the mooring for his handsome wooden motorboat Malachi Mudge. The boat was built at the Newbert & Wallace yard in Thomaston in 1958 — the year of Maiden’s birth.
The boat was named for a children’s book title character, “a lonely mole [who] looks for a companion but doesn’t find anyone who needs him until the sky blue bird helps out.” The children’s book was written by Maiden’s father — a screenwriter and prolific author of children’s literature.