Killed By Their Own Inventions
Being innovative entails some degree of risk in some way. For many of us, it might be the loss of a couple hundred bucks because we tried our hand at making some jewelry or something. For other innovators, however, their inventions ended up costing them their lives! Here’s a look at a few of these inventors who may have thought twice about being so innovative if they knew they’d be dead because of it:
The Inventor Killed By His Own Train
Valerian Abakovsky was just your average guy who loved trains. He figured trains could be faster than they were at the time, and the fastest thing he could think of was the airplane. Therefore his idea seemed to make sense: just combine the two items together. He outfitted an airplane propeller and engine onto his high speed train he called the “Aerowagon” and got some nice Soviet dignitaries to try out the first run. On the test run, the train derailed and killed six people, including Abakovsky.
The Inventor Who Ran Out of Gas
Thomas Midgley, Jr. is known as the “Father of the Leaded Gasoline.” He also worked with freon extensively, all in the hopes of making automobiles and other gasoline using products more efficient. What most people don’t know about Midgley is that he also invented the rope and pulley system that we used today. Though being suffocated by greenhouse gases might seem like a poetic end to some, Midgley simply got tangled in the ropes he had for one of his pulley systems, couldn’t get out, and ended up choking to death.
The Inventor Who Sank
Horace Hunley was a man who loved his country. He went with the Confederate States of America because he believed in the rights of states. He was an engineer by trade and he knew that if the Confederacy was going to win the Civil War, they would have to do two things: convince the French to help them and get a leg up on the North’s navy. His idea? Instead of having ships on top of the water, have a ship below the surface, or a submarine. He created a hand-cranked submarine, tried it out with seven crew, and sank.
The Inventor Who Thought a Flying Pinto Was Great
Henry Smolinski loved the idea of being able to fly and thought that everyone should have that opportunity. He also hated being stuck in traffic and thought that a car that could also fly would be the perfect solution. Smolinski built two prototypes that combined the wings of a Cessna and the body of a Ford Pinto together to create his flying car. He even managed a successful flight with the combination somehow, but fate eventually stepped in and Smolinski and his pilot were killed on a secondary flight.
The Inventor Killed By Radiation
Marie Curie is a pioneer in the field of radioactive substances. She even established the theory of radioactivity and is responsible for the creation of polonium and radium. Unfortunately at the time no one really knew what radioactivity exposure could do to the human body and she was killed because of her exposure to radiation.