12
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A nine letter word

Starts with a person ends with the same person

Starts with a place ends with a place

Exactly in the middle, a very common name

Can you guess?

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The answer could be:

METRONOME - a device for keeping time when playing a musical instrument.

Starts with a person ends with the same person

It starts and ends with ME.

Starts with a place ends with a place

It starts with either the MET (i.e. the Metropolitan museum of Art in New York) or the METRO (the Paris underground system) and ends with NOME (in Alaska)

Exactly in the middle, a very common name

The middle 3 letters are RON, a common name.

As for being 'Historic':

From Wikipedia: A kind of metronome was among the inventions of Andalusian polymath Abbas ibn Firnas (810–887). In 1815, Johann Maelzel patented it as a tool for musicians, under the title "Instrument/Machine for the Improvement of all Musical Performance, called Metronome".

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