Inventors Killed by Their Inventions

Inventor Franz Reichelt the moment before his death after jumping from the Eiffel Tower
Inventor Franz Reichelt is seen here during a jump from the Eiffel tower at the exact moment his wearable parachute invention betrayed him.

Inventors killed by their own inventions is certainly irony at it’s finest. The infographic below details the untimely demises of seven innovators whose creations ultimately determined their shameful and often embarrassing fates.

  • Henry Smolinski: Created a flying car by fusing a Cessna with a Ford Pinto in 1973 that went on to bludgeon Smolinski and the pilot into the ground during a test flight.
  • Franz Reichelt: Designed a wearable parachute in 1903, which failed him when he got the bright idea to test it by jumping off the Eiffel Tower.
  • Horace Lawson Hunley: Engineered early hand-powered submarines for the American Civil War, including one which routinely sank. The blood-thirsty sub had already claimed five lives before it took Hunley himself and seven other crew members to their watery graves in 1863.
  • Thomas Midgley Jr: Inventor of a rope and pulley system that subsequently ensnared and suffocated him in 1944.
  • Marie Curie: Pioneered several advances in radioactive isotopes, including the discovery of polonium and radium, which lead to aplastic anemia caused by radiation exposure.
  • Valerian Abakovsky: Created a train with a high speed airplane engine and propeller, which derailed and killed Abakovsky and five others during testing.
  • Perillos of Athens: Creator of the Brazen Bull, a torture device disguised as a hollow metal bull which would roast the unlucky captive trapped inside with a fire beneath the belly. After its creation, Perillos was immediately put inside and cooked alive.

Inventors Killed by Their Inventions Infographic

Inventors killed by their inventions infographic

via Confessions of a Funeral Director

Are there any other inventions-turned-death-machines that should be included here?

The Landing Short Film

The Landing is a short film by Australian filmmaker Josh Tanner about a man who returns to the Midwestern farm of his childhood on a desperate mission to unearth the horrifying truth of what landed there in the summer of 1960.

The Landing took home many best film awards from it’s run on the short film circuit, and is currently being adapted into a feature length film.

A man returns to his childhood home to uncover the truth of a UFO landing in the short film The Landing.

via Laughing Squid

Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem Photography

Beyond the Dark veil by The Thanatos Archive

With the rise of photography in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it became a common practice to photograph loved ones after death. Often they were positioned with living family members, appearing to be sleeping or propped up with special stands to seem lifelike.

The Thanatos Archive is home to an extensive collection of post-mortem photos, which they used to assemble this high-quality volume showcasing this macabre practice from a time when death was a normal part of every day life.

Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem & Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive also includes newspaper clipping, ads for funeral products, essays from Jack Mord (Thanatos Archive owner), Bess Lovejoy, Marion Peck, Joanna Roche, Joe Smoke, and more.

Beyond the Dark Veil book of post mortem photography from The Thanatos ArchiveBeyond the Dark Veil

Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem and Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive is a compilation of more than 120 extraordinary and haunting photographs and related ephemera documenting the practice of death and mourning photography in the Victorian Era and early twentieth century.