Today let’s look back and check out eight inventors that died at the hands of their own creations. Not every invention can be a winner, and sometimes it’s a legitimate accident that happened to end their life. So be careful with what you create.
Alexander Bogdanov was a Russian polymath that dabbled in using blood transfusions to rejuvenate the body. Unfortunately for him he didn’t fully understand blood types and disease, because in 1928 he injected himself with another person’s blood. The blood may have been a different type, it didn’t help that the blood he was using came from a patient that was suffering from malaria and tuberculosis.
Thomas Andrews was the head designer of the Titanic. Upon the boat’s completion he was one of the many passengers on the ship’s maiden voyage. Unfortunately for Mr. Andrews and the other passengers on the unsinkable boat they happened upon an iceberg. So maybe if only Thomas Andrews would have designed an iceberg proof ship.
Franz Reichelt was an Austrian expat living in France. He was obsessed with creating a suit of some sort for aviators. This ultimately led to his invention, a wearable parachute. To test his product he decided to take a flying leap from the Eiffel Tower. Sadly Mr. Reichelt’s invention wasn’t really that successful and sent him plummeting over one thousand feet to his death.
Marie Curie changed the world, she is considered a pioneer in the field of radioactivity. Unfortunately for her this ultimately led to her death. In 1934 she died of aplastic anemia which she got from her prolonged exposure to the radiation, of which she was so fond. Thanks to her we overturned quite a few established ideas in the worlds of physics and chemistry.
Fred Duesenberg was an automotive pioneer, in 1913 he and his brother founded the Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company. In 1932 Fred Duesenberg was driving his Duesenberg auto on a wet road in Pennsylvania, unfortunately these were not the ideal driving conditions for high speed driving. In a perfect storm of events Fred Duesenberg overturned his car while driving at a high speed, which didn’t end so well for him.
James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, was responsible for bringing the Maiden to Scotland. The Maiden is a guillotine, and was well known for its clean work. In 1580 James Douglas was found guilty of taking part in the murder of Henry Stuart, 1st Duke of Albany. This led to him being put to death with the Maiden, which wouldn’t have been in Scotland at the time if he had not been so enamored with it that he brought it back with him.
Henry Smolinksi helped create the AVE Mizar, pictured above. This was basically a plane attached to a Ford Pinto, not a great way to start out considering that the Pinto was known as a bit of a death trap on its own. In 1973, on a test flight he tried to take a turn but the right wing strut had become detached. This led to the right wing folding like a piece of paper and sending Smolinski to his death in a fiery crash.
Horace Hunley helped develop hand-powered submarines for the Confederate army. His engineering masterpiece was the H.L. Hunley, a recreation of the famous submarine is pictured above, which helped create a new form of naval battle otherwise unheard of. In 1863 Mr. Hunley decided to hop aboard during a routine test, the vessel sank and killed Mr. Hunley and his seven crew members. The lesson we can take from all of this is that you should never invent anything, as it may ultimately kill you.