List of Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions

List of 29 Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions

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(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

The way of inventions and achievements is not smooth. There are many examples of casualties while the invention process. A list of inventors killed by their own inventions is not small. Many talents have succumbed to death while experiments and inventions. In this article, I am going to share a short list of inventors killed by their own inventions. You may also love to read about 17th-century medical inventions.

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

Find below a list of inventors killed by their own inventions:

Name Year Description
Art
Luis Jiménez Died 2006, age 65 was killed while creating the famous Colorado statue of a blue horse, the Blue Mustang, when a section of it fell on him and severed an artery in his leg.
Automotive
William Nelson c. 1879−1903 a General Electric employee invented a new way to motorize bicycles. He then fell off his prototype bike during a test run.
Sylvester H. Roper 1823–1896 the inventor of the eponymous steam-powered bicycle died of a heart attack or subsequent crash during a public speed trial in 1896. It is unknown whether the crash caused the heart attack or the heart attack caused the crash.
Francis Edgar Stanley 1849–1918 was killed while driving a Stanley Steamer automobile. He drove his car into a woodpile while attempting to avoid farm wagons traveling side by side on the road.
Fred Duesenberg 1876–1932 was killed in a high-speed road accident in a Duesenberg automobile.
Aviation
Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari died c. 1003–1010  a Kazakh Turkic scholar from Farab attempted to fly using two wooden wings and a rope. He leaped from the roof of a mosque in Nishapur and fell to his death.
Michael Dacre died in 2009, age 53 died after testing his flying taxi device designed to permit fast, affordable travel between regional cities.
Henry Smolinski died in 1973 was killed during a test flight of the AVE Mizar, a flying car based on the Ford Pinto and the sole product of the company he founded.
Franz Reichelt 1879–1912 a tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first attempt with the parachute, and he had told the authorities he would first test it with a dummy.
Aurel Vlaicu 1882–1913 died when his self-constructed airplane, Vlaicu II, failed during an attempt to cross the Carpathian Mountains.
Otto Lilienthal 1848–1896  died the day after crashing one of his hang gliders.
Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier died in 1785 was the first known fatality in an air crash when his Rozière balloon crashed on 15 June 1785 while he and Pierre Romain attempted to cross the English Channel.
Chemistry
Andrei Zheleznyakov 1987 a Soviet scientist was developing chemical weapons in 1987 when a hood malfunction exposed him to traces of the nerve agent Novichok 5. He spent weeks in a coma, months unable to walk, and years suffering failing health before dying from its effects in 1992/3.
Industrial
William Bullock 1813–1867 invented the web rotary printing press. Several years after its invention, his foot was crushed during the installation of the new machine in Philadelphia. The crushed foot developed gangrene and Bullock died during the amputation.
Maritime
Horace Lawson Hunley died 1863, age 40 Confederate inventor, drowned with seven other crew members during a test of his invention, the first combat submarine, which was later named the H.L. Hunley.
Thomas Andrews, Jr. 1873–1912 was an Irish born British businessman and shipbuilder. He was managing director and head of the drafting department of the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland. As the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic, he was traveling on board that vessel during her maiden voyage when the ship hit an iceberg on 14 April 1912. He perished along with more than 1,500 others. His body was never recovered.
Henry Winstanley 1644–1703  built the first lighthouse on the Eddystone Rocks in Devon, England between 1696 and 1698. During the Great Storm of 1703, the lighthouse was completely destroyed with Winstanley and five other men inside. No trace of them was found.
Medicine
Thomas Midgley, Jr. 1889–1944 was an American engineer and chemist who contracted polio at age 51, leaving him severely disabled. He devised an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys to help others lift him from the bed. He became accidentally entangled in the ropes and died of strangulation at the age of 55. However, he is better known for two of his other inventions: the tetraethyl lead (TEL) additive to gasoline, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Alexander Bogdanov 1873–1928 was a Russian physician, philosopher, science fiction writer, and revolutionary of Belarusian ethnicity who experimented with blood transfusion, attempting to achieve eternal youth or at least partial rejuvenation. He died after he took the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, who may have also been the wrong blood type.
Physics
Sabin Arnold von Sochocky died on 1928  invented the first radium-based luminescent paint but eventually died of aplastic anemia resulting from his exposure to the radioactive material.
Marie Skłodowska Curie died on 1934 was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She died at the Sancellemoz sanatorium in Passy, Haute-Savoie, from aplastic anemia believed to have been contracted from her long-term exposure to radiation some of which was from the devices she created.
Publicity and entertainment
Karel Soucek 1947–1985 was a Canadian professional stuntman who developed a shock-absorbent barrel. He died following a demonstration involving the barrel being dropped from the roof of the Houston Astrodome. He was fatally injured when his barrel hit the rim of the water tank meant to cushion his fall.
Railway
Valerian Abakovsky 1895–1921 constructed the Aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction, intended to carry Soviet officials. On 24 July 1921, it derailed at high speed, killing 6 of the 22 onboard, including Abakovsky.
Rocketry
Mike Hughes 1956–2020 was killed when the parachute failed to deploy during a crash landing while piloting his homemade steam-powered rocket.
Max Valier 1895–1930 invented liquid-fuelled rocket engines as a member of the 1920s German rocket society Verein für Raumschiffahrt. On 17 May 1930, an alcohol-fuelled engine exploded on his test bench in Berlin, killing him instantly.
Popular legends and related stories
William Brodie 18th century “Deacon Brodie” of 18th century Edinburgh is reputed to have been the first victim of a new type of gallows that he was also the designer and builder of, but this is doubtful.
Perillos of Athens circa 550 BCE according to legend, was the first to be roasted in the brazen bull he made for Phalaris of Sicily for executing criminals.
Wan Hu, a possibly-apocryphal 16th-century A Chinese official is said to have attempted to launch himself into outer space in a chair to which 47 rockets were attached. The rockets exploded, and it is said that neither he nor the chair was ever seen again.
Li Si 208 BCE Prime Minister during the Qin dynasty, was executed by the Five Pains method which some sources claim he had devised. However, the history of the Five Pains is traced further back in time than Li Si.

The source of this list of inventors killed by their own inventions is Wikipedia, for educational purposes.

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