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10 inventors killed by their inventions


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After hard years of research, commitment and extremely long hours, things don't always work out well for the humble inventor. So here’s to them and their hard work.

Otto Lilienthal. The very Glider King himself. The German aviation pioneer spent his life developing and testing 18 different plane models, which at times were successful -he was the first person to have documented and repeated these gliding flights. The father of flight become less victorious after a latter creation failed him; it stalled during a test flight in 1896, falling from over 50 feet.

Valerian Abakovsky. This talented inventor began work as a chauffeur for the Russian State Security. Addressing his aspirations, Abakovsky began designing models for the Aerowagon, a high speed rail car with a fitted aircraft engine. Initially the design was to carry Soviet officials from city to city at high speeds. The test run was successful for 100 miles, on the way back, the car derailed, taking down not only Abakovsky but five others.

Perillos. The "brazen bull" was the artful creation by Perillos in 500 B.C. for the Sicilian tyrant, Phalaris. The bronze sculpture of the bull consisted of a secret compartment inside, where a prisoner was to be held captive. The morbid torture was to light a fire underneath the bull and be roasted to death. Tyrant Phalaris was dubious of the creation and forced the inventor to test it. Others say the inventor burnt to death in the bull, whilst rumour has it he was taken out and stabbed to death after on a hill. Either way, the unfortunate guy died.

Alexander Bogdanov. Although the Russian polymath Bogdanov did not invent blood transfusion, he was the founder the first blood bank in Moscow in 1925. Bogdanov was a strong believer that receiving blood from healthy people was the crucial solution to eternal youth. The fusing went very well until 1928, when Bogdanov injected himself with blood of someone else; who regrettably was unaware they suffered from malaria and tuberculosis.

Wan Hu. Chinese legend has it that this man attempted a flight to the moon in the 15th century. Wan Hu prepared himself by attaching 47 rockets around his wicker chair, with 47 servants to light them. The legend has it that he made it into the sky. 

Marie Curie. Marie Curie was a French-Polish physicist and chemist made famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the very first person to be honoured with two Nobel Prizes and additionally was the first female professor in the University of Paris. Sadly, Marie’s excessive exposure to ions from the radioactive materials, gave her a bone marrow condition known as aplastic anemia. She passed away at the age of 66.

Horace Lawson Hunley. Hunley was a marine engineer during the American Civil War. He developed the early push hand powered submarine, with a most famous sub being named after him. The very first sub to ever sink an enemy battle ship was the H.L. Hunley. The vessel underwent its training exercise in 1863, although Hunley was not part of the crew, he decided to take command. After its second unsuccessful outing, Hunley wasn’t any luckier after vessel again sank, killing all crew members, including Hunley himself.

Karel Soucek. The Canadian stuntman was the very king of daredevils himself. Having created a custom made capsule, he flung himself over the Niagara Falls with a successful land. Yet in 1985 when he tried to recreate the famous stunt, on a far smaller larger scale, into a pool at the Houston Astrodome, the rig failed. Soucek smashed into the side of the pool, fatally injuring himself. 

Franz Reichelt. In 1912, wearing a parachute as clothing as well as a safety net when flying seemed unthinkable. The French-Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt deemed it do-able as he created what would have been the very first wearable parachute. If only it had worked. Having many failed attempts Reichelt inspired him one last time and wore the parachute himself in a jump from the Eiffel tower in 1912 - with less than spectacular results. 

Henry Smolinski. Ex-engineer Smolinski drove himself to death 1973 when he created the 'Flying Pinto'. Mechanical errors occurred and the right wing strut detached itself from the car. The unstable airframe crashed -despite the fact they had had several successful previous flights.

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