Ziv Schneider is currently a grad student in NYU whose
Sometimes inventors are so passionate about their work that it leads to their ultimate deaths. Here are 7 inventors who were killed by their own inventions.
1. Henry Smolinski. He invented a “flying car,” which was really just fusing the rear end of a Cessna Skymaster airplane with a Ford Pinto. During the first test run in 1973, Smolinski and his co-pilot died in a crash when the rear detached from the car.
2. William Bullock. He invented the rotary printing press, which sped up the printing process. In 1867, while trying to fix his invention, Bullock kicked the machine to get a part in place. Instead of moving the part, it crushed his leg, which turned gangrene. He died during an operation to remove the leg.
3. Thomas Midgley. He was an American mechanical engineer who invented a system of pulleys and strings to help bed-ridden patients reach and grab things around them. In 1944, he was killed when the system strangled him when he was caught inside of it.
4. Franz Reichelt. In 1912, Austrian inventor Franz Reichelt invented a parachute suit. He climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France to test out his invention and died when he jumped off. His parachute did not deploy.
5. Karel Soucek. He was a Canadian stuntman who invented a special type of barrel to drop off Niagara Falls called “the capsule.” In 1985, Soucek convinced a company to fund his next drop, which was off the top of the Houston Astrodome in Texas. Although he survived the actually drop, he died a day later from his injuries.
6. Michael Dacre. He was a British aviator, who invented a new type of “flying taxi” for commercial use. However, in 2009, he plummeted to his death during a test run in Kuala Lumpur. The aircraft burst into flames upon impact, as Michael Dacre’s life was claimed.
7. Henry Fleuss. He invented a closed circuit oxygen rebreathe that was intended to help repair iron doors a flooded ship’s chamber in 1867. Fleuss decided to use his invention for a 30 foot deep sea dive and died underwater. Pure oxygen becomes lethal to humans underwater.