Inventors are the impetus for global progression, without them we wouldn’t be typing these words at this very moment, or digitally imposing dog faces onto our own for sh*ts and giggles.
These pioneers are, most importantly, risk takers and over time not all inventions have panned out, in fact most haven’t. Instead of considering the successes, we at loaded wanted to honour the failures and those brave creators who died trying.
Wikipedia has compiled a list of inventors who were killed by their inventions.
Born in Austria in 1879 but moved to France in 1898, Franz Reichelt was a lover of parachutes and a skilled tailor by trade. He became fixated on developing a “parachute suit” that would allow pilots to jump from their aircraft if the need arose. After scores of tests with dummies being thrown off his apartment building’s fifth floor–the tailor decided that reason for his failures was due to the height not being sufficient.
So he aimed for the Eiffel tower, after gaining permission from the relevant authorities, on February 4th 1912 he climbed to the first platform of the tower and jumped. His parachute suit failed and he died upon impact. UNfortunately for Reichelt, a successful parachute jump had already taken place in the USA at the time, and the patent wasn’t available.
Thomas Midgley Jr
Pulley-d into the light
Thomas Midgley Jr. was an american chemist and engineer who began suffering from polio at age 51. He decided to put his acquired skills to good use and develop a pulley system that would lift him from his bed. He accidentally strangled himself in them at the ripe old age of 55.
However, his legacy is substantial in that before his diagnosis he invented a gasoline additive called tetraethyl lead that greatly improved the performance of automobiles. Not too shabby.
A more recent invention incident involved Michael Dacre and his Jetpod–a concept aircraft built by his company Avcen–that was extremely quiet and could take off and land in short distances. Sort of like an air tram for cities.
Dacre decided to try the newly constructed prototype out on August 16th 2009 in Malaysia. Sadly the aircraft crashed, killing Dacre who was the sole passenger.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.