Inventions That Killed Their Inventors
Henry Smolinksi, died after inventing the flying car. In 1973 the right wing of the vehicle detached from the car during the flight and killed Smolinksi.
Thomas Midgley Jr died in 1944, after accidentally entangling himself and was strangled by the strings of the bed lift he had designed to aid moving the disabled.
Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium. After taking no precautions in handling radioactive material, she died of aplastic anemia, through radiation exposure, in 1932.
The inventor of the blood transfusion was killed by his invention in 1928, after giving himself a transfusion with incompatible blood.
In 1921 Valerian Abakovsky was killed when his experimental high-speed railcar derailed on a return trip to Moscow. Abakovsky is said to have pioneered the first aircraft driven vehicle.
In 1912 Franz Reichelt died after jumping off the Eiffel Tower while testing his parachute coat. The parachute he designed failed to open. Reichelt had previously made several jumps from his 5th floor apartment building.
William Nelson died testing his motorized bicycle, in 1903.
In 1896 Otto Lilienthal was killed when the glider he had invented was struck by a gust of wind. The glider stalled in flight and Lilienthal fell 50 feet. Lilienthal had made 2000 flights between 1891 and 1896. It is believed he was an inspiration to the Wright brothers.
William Bullock was killed in 1867 after inventing the revolutionary rotary printing press. A machine crushed his foot while he was making adjustments to it. The ensuing gangrene proved fatal. Bullock also invented the cotton and hay press, a lathe cutting machine, a grain drill and a seed planter.
In 1863 Horace Hunley met his death while aboard a routine training exercise. The submarine he had invented sank.
Henry Winstanley was killed in 1703 after refusing to leave a lighthouse during a great storm. The lighthouse collapsed. Winstanley invented the Eddystone lighthouse.
Li Si developed the five pains method of torture. Si served under China’s first Emperor, as an influential Prime Minister. In 208 BC Si bled to death after being convicted of treason for having betrayed his dead emperor. Si had five pieces of his anatomy removed according to his own ‘invention’. This is one invention the world could have done without.