October 26, 2016

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10 Tragic Stories Of Brilliant Inventors Killed By Their Own Creations

Fortune does not bestow its blessings over all the inventors there are people whose inventions proved their biggest enemies taking them to death.”

Have you heard about any new invention? Probably you can recall the invention and inventor both but not aware of the hardship that an inventor goes with. The entire humankind owe thanks to those inventors who were there for inventing things all the way. Some of these inventors certainly know that they would be caught by their own invention for their last breath.

1.    Max Valier
Period: February 9, 1895 – May 17, 1930

Max Valier was an Austrian rocketry pioneer. He was the man after the foundation of German Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR - "Spaceflight Society") making spaceflight a certainty in later 20s.
In between the years 1928-1929 Valier created rocket powered cars with Fritz von Opel. By early 1930s Valier tested one liquid propulsion-based rocket car on January 25 1930. On 17 May 1930, when he was experimenting in front of a combustion chamber to test the amalgamation of oxygen and kerosene based water an alcohol-fuelled engine exploded on his test bench killing him instantly.

2.    Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
Period: 30 March 1754 – 15 June 1785

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier was a French chemistry and physics teacher. He was also the pioneers of aviation. On 15 June 1785 De Rozier and his companion, Pierre Romain planned to cross the English Channel from France to England with Rozière balloon. His invention Rozière balloon was a combination hydrogen and hot air balloon. They had just started and wind changed its direction pushing them back to land some 5 km from their starting point. The sudden deflation of balloon resulted in a crash from an estimated height of 450 m (1,500 feet). Both occupants were killed.

3.    Franz Reichelt
Period: 1879 – February 4, 1912

Franz was a French tailor and the pioneer of the parachute sometimes referred as a flying tailor. He jumped from the Eiffel Tower wearing his self made parachute to test his invention. For this test as well as his first attempt he took the permission from the authorities claiming he would do a test with dummy. But unfortunately the parachute failed to deploy leading him to death.

4.    William Bullock
Period: 1813– April 12, 1867                                    
William was the man after the invention of web rotary printing press means the images need to printed need to be put on a roller and further the roller can be used on any substrate. Few years after the fame of his invention his foot crushed during the installation of a new machine. The foot which was crushed in the machinery developed gangrene leading him to death during amputation process.     

5.    Marie Curie
Period: November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934

Famous for her name “Madam Curie” was one of the scientists who got the Nobel Prize twice. She is face after the invention of the process to isolate radium after co-discovering the radioactive elements radium and polonium. Due to protracted exposure to ionizing radiation emanating from her research stuff she died of aplastic anemia.  At that time the dangers of radiation were not well understood.
Due to the prolonged exposure to the radiation her personal stuff like her notebook has been kept in a lead lined box.

6.    Karel Soucek
Period: April 19, 1947 – January 20, 1985

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Karel Soucek was a Canadian professional stuntman who developed a shock-absorbent barrel. His invention demo converted into his fatal death incident when he rolled down from the roof of Houston Astrodome in his self-made shock-absorbent barrel.

The demo was planned in a way that he will land in a water tank which was there 180 feet below but unfortunately the barrel strike the tank’s rim leaving him fatally wounded and certainly dead.

Soucek was quoted as saying, "There is no heaven or hell; there is no God. It's all a myth. You're born, you live, one day you die and that's it."

7.    Horace Lawson Hunley
Period:  June 20, 1823 - October 15, 1863

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Horace was a Confederate marine engineer during the American Civil War. He invented early hand-powered submarines, the most famous of which was posthumously named for him, H. L. Hunley.
In the due course of a test of a submarine he was died which already gone through an earlier accident.  In that incident Hunley along with seven other crew members failing to resurface drowned.  
The navy members salvaged that drowned submarine and put that back into the use.

8.    Francis Edgar Stanley
Period: June 1, 1849 – July 13, 1918

Francis was a businessman and a co-founder of Stanley Motor Carriage Company along with this twin brother Freelan Oscar Stanley. The company used to build steamers. On July 13, while driving a Stanley steamer when he was trying to maintain a distance from a farm wagon travelling alongside his car he crashed into a woodpile.

9.    Thomas Midgley
Period: May 18, 1889 – November 2, 1944

Thomas was an American mechanical engineer and chemist. He was a part of team who invented the tetraethyllead (TEL) additive to gasoline as well as some of the first chlorofluorocarbons. During his career he was granted more than 100 patents.

At the age of 51, Midgley contracted poliomyelitis, which left him severely disabled. This disablement took him to invent an intricate system of strings and pulleys to help others lift him from bed.  It’s really tragic that the same system became the reason of his death when he got entangled in the ropes of this device and died of strangulation at the age of 55.

10.  Wan Hu

Wan Hu was assumed to be a minor Chinese official who was described in 20th century sources as the world's first "astronaut" by being lifted by rockets into outer space.

The legend of "Wan Hu" was widely disseminated by an unreferenced account in Rockets and Jets by American author Herbert S. Zim in 1945.

"Early in the sixteenth century, Wan decided to take advantage of China's advanced rocket and fireworks technology to launch himself into outer space. He supposedly had a chair built with forty-seven rockets attached. On the day of lift-off, Wan, splendidly attired, climbed into his rocket chair and forty seven servants lit the fuses and then hastily ran for cover. There was a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, Wan and the chair were gone, and was said never to have been seen again."

 Reference: Wikipedia


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