9 Notorious Inventions Which Killed Their Own Inventors

9 Notorious Inventions Which Killed Their Own Inventors

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Inventors are always excited about their own inventions. They pour in months or years of hard work with their indomitable will. Naturally they feel thrilling to see their creation as they imagined.

But before testing some inventions need thorough safety preparations. Even then some don’t work as expected and some turn out to give unexpected results. Few years in the past, inventors didn’t have the sophisticated testing equipment and these are the unfortunate people who were killed by their inventions during a demonstration.

Franz Reichelt, 1879-1912 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Franz Reichelt was an Austrian-born scientist who created this aviator suit which would turn into a parachute. The tests were successful with dummies but failed when Franz Reichelt himself jumped from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Horace Lawson Hunley, 1823-1863 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


This American Civil war invention was created by Horace Lawson Hunley, a marine with the confederacy. He conceived an idea for a combat ready submarine named CSS Hunley and during the testing he was not able to bring the sub back to the surface. That was the end of Horace Lawson Hunley and 7 other crew members.

Thomas Andrews, Jr., 1873-1912 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


This is perhaps the most famous incident in written history of shipbuilding. Thomas Andrews was an Irish shipbuilder who designed one of the most infamous vessels of all time — the RMS Titanic. Andrews also had the unfortunate honor of traveling on the “unsinkable” ship’s maiden voyage, during which it sank after hitting an iceberg. Andrews was one of many passengers on the Titanic who died in the disaster.

Karel Soucek, 1947-1985 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Karel Soucek was known as a daredevil for his famous Niagara falls plunge using his homemade barrel. Somehow he survived the 75MPH plunge from Niagara falls. A year later he tried the same feat from the roof of the Houston Astrodome. This time his contraptions failed and he died shortly.

Max Valier, 1895-1930 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Max Valier is remembered as the creator of rocket engines that would eventually serve as a starting point for the first spaceship engines. Valier’s mechanisms used liquid fuel, which he thought could be used for both space and land vehicles. He first made a rocket car with such an engine and while the first “rocket car,” one of Valier’s engines exploded, killing him instantly. Such a sad end.

Marie Curie, 1867-1934 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Marie Curie is a two-time Nobel laureate. Her contributions to Physics are invaluable. She worked extensively with radioactive elements and she used to carry them with her. This continuous exposure to radiation ultimately took her life in the form of aplastic anemia. But she lives through her contributions to mankind.

William Bullock, 1813-1867 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


William Bullock created the web rotary printing press — a major improvement on a similar contraption built by Richard March Hoe. Bullock’s creation helped improve the printing industry by quickly producing quality material, which in turn would allow for greater distribution and larger volumes of texts. In 1867, as he was installing one of his printing presses, Bullock’s leg was caught in the device. Shortly after this incident, the leg developed gangrene, and Bullock later died on an operating table.

Otto Lilienthal, 1848-1896 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Otto Lilienthal was a very influential person in the field of aviation and famously known as “Glider King”. His gliders were looking like wings rather than the modern gliders you see. He tested many of the gliders he invented and this was the cause for his death. During testing one of his gliders, he fell 50 feet, breaking his neck and dying of consequences.

Aurel Vlaicu, 1882-1913 9 Inventions which killed their own inventors


Aurel Vlaicu was one of the first airplane constructors in the 1900s. The Romanian engineer created smaller winged crafts until the completion of his largest creation, the Vlaicu II. During an attempt to fly the craft across the Carpathian Mountains, the aging Vlaicu II failed and crashed, taking its namesake with it. The exact circumstances of the plane’s failure are still unknown.

It’s extremely important to make sure that the invention you are testing is safe. Though 21 century has provided virtual testing methods, still caution should be practiced when testing the real equipment.
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