10 Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions

Max Valier im RaketenautoSince the time man has inhabited planet Earth, one thing has never stopped happening; he has been inventing something or the other to help man live a better life. While most inventions have been extremely beneficial for the human race, some have been pretty weird, while others have ended up killing their own creators. Whether the inventors who were killed by their own inventions were plain stupid, overconfident, or just unlucky is a matter of debate. Nevertheless, here are 10 inventors who ended up losing their lives while trying out their own inventions.

Max Valier: Liquid-fuelled Rocket Car
Max Valier, was an Austrian rocketry pioneer, who worked on a number of rocket-powered cars and aircraft in the 1920s. In May 1930, Max was killed in a test drive of the Valier-Heylandt Rak 7, a rocket car with liquid propulsion he had invented.

Franz Reichelt: Parachute Suit
Franz Reichelt was an Austrian-born French tailor, inventor, and parachuting pioneer. He designed a parachute suit, which he himself tested when he jumped from the Eiffel Tower on February 4, 1912. Unfortunately, his parachute failed to deploy and he crashed into the ground below the tower.

William Bullock: Rotary Printing Press
William Bullock was an American inventor, who invented the web rotary printing press in 1863. His creation, due to its its great speed and efficiency, revolutionized the printing industry. But during an unfortunate accident, his leg got caught in the machine, developed gangrene, and he passed away on April 3, 1867.

Horace Lawson Hunley: Combat Submarine
Horace Lawson Hunley was a Confederate marine engineer. He had invented the hand-powered submarine the H.L. Hunley. Unfortunately, on October 15, 1863, Horace died in his own creation, when his submarine was trapped at the bottom of the Charleston Harbor.

Otto Lilienthal: Hang Glider
Otto Lilienthal was a German aviation expert and pioneer. The first three test flights of his hang gliders were a success, covering a distance of 250 meters. However, in the fourth test flight, his glider stalled, and he crashed from a height of 15 meters. He died 2 days later.

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier: Flying Balloon
Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier was a French chemistry and physics teacher. An aviation expert, on June 15, 1785, during an attempt to fly across the English Channel, his balloon suddenly deflated and crashed, killing him instantly.

Michael Dacre: Flying Taxi
Michael Dacre was a British aviation expert, and the MD of Avcen Ltd. He invented the flying taxi, and in a test flight on August 16, 2009, over Kuala Lumpur, his flying device crashed and exploded, killing him on the spot.

Karel Soucek: Shock-absorbent Barrel
Karel Soucek was a Canadian professional stuntman. He became famous for his invention of the capsule which he rode down the Niagara Falls. He then invented a shock-absorbent barrel, and a drop was planned from the top of the Houston Astrodome in Texas. Unfortunately, the barrel did not land in the water pt below, and instead crashed into the outer rim and splintered. A severely injured Karel died the following day.

Aurel Vlaicu: Airplane
Aurel Vlaicu was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor, and pilot. he died on September 13, 1913, while attempting to become the first person to fly across the Carpathian Mountains in his own airplane, the Vlaicu II.

Thomas Midgley: Bed Lift
Thomas Midgley was an American mechanical engineer and chemist. He contracted poliomyelitis and became severely disabled. Heartbroken by his disability, he invented a system of strings and pulleys which would help him lift himself out of his bed. However, on November 2, 1944, he got strangled to death when he was entangled in the ropes of his own creation.

Back to Top