14 Inventors Who were Killed by Their Own Creations
1Sieur Freminet: Rebreathing Device (1772)
2Max Valier: Liquid-Fuelled Rocket Car (1930)
In 1928 and 1929, Valier worked with Fritz von Opel on a number of rocket-powered cars and aircraft. By the late 1920s, Valier was focusing his efforts on liquid-fuelled rockets. Their first successful test with liquid fuel occurred in the Heylandt plant on January 25, 1930. On April 19, 1930, Valier performed the first test drive of a rocket car with liquid propulsion, the Valier-Heylandt Rak 7. One month later, the alcohol-fuelled rocket exploded during a test.
3Henry Fleuss: Oxygen Rebreather (1876)
4Franz Reichelt: Parachute Suit (1912)
5Karel Soucek: Shock-Absorbent Barrel (1985)
On January 19, 1985, Soucek convinced a company to finance a barrel drop from the top of the Houston Astrodome in Texas. A special waterfall was created from the top of the 180 ft. structure, with a plunge pit at the bottom. However, instead of landing in the center of the tank of water, the barrel hit the rim, causing the capsule to splinter and severely injure him. Soucek died the next day.
6William Bullock: Rotary Printing Press (1867)
On April 12, 1867, Bullock died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during an operation to amputate the leg.
7Aurel Vlaicu: Airplane Vlaicu II (1913)
In 1912, Vlaicu won several prizes totaling 7,500 Austro-Hungarian krone for precise landing, projectile throwing, аnd tight flying around а pole аt the Aspern Air Show near Vienna. He competed against 42 оther famous aviators оf the day, including Roland Garros.
8Thomas Midgley: System of Strings and Pulleys to Help Others Lift Him from Bed (1944)
On November 2, 1944, at the age of 55, Midgley died of strangulation due to the system when he was entangled in the ropes of his own device.
9Horace Lawson Hunley: Combat Submarine (1863)
10Otto Lilienthal: Hang Gliders (1896)
Lilienthal suffered a fracture of his third cervical vertebra and soon became unconscious. He died about 36 hours after the crash.
11Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier: Rozière Balloon (1785)
12Michael Dacre: Flying Taxi Device (2009)
13Wan Hu: Rocket Chair (16th century)
A precursor of the story of Wan Hu appeared in an article by John Elfreth Watkins published in the October 2, 1909 issue of Scientific American, but it used the name Wang Tu instead of Wan Hu.
"Tradition asserts that the first to sacrifice himself to the problem of flying was Wang Tu, a Chinese mandarin of about 2,000 years B.C. who, having had constructed a pair of large, parallel and horizontal kites, seated himself in a chair fixed between them while forty-seven attendants each with a candle ignited forty-seven rockets placed beneath the apparatus. However the rocket under the chair exploded, burning the mandarin and so angered the Emperor that he ordered a severe paddling for Wang."
(It should be noted that a date of 2000 BC pre-dates the emergence of writing in China by three or four centuries and pre-dates the invention of gunpowder-based rockets in China by about 3,000 years.)
14Isma'il ibn Hammad al-Jawhari: Wooden Wings (between 1002 and 1008)
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