If making revolutionary things were easy, we’d all do it. Not only do you have to come up with an idea that no one has ever thought of, you have to make it come into being–without any pre-existing guidelines to follow. You have to be the one to show people how it’s done or, like some of the people in the list below, how it should not be done if you don’t want to get seriously injured or die.
The inventors, creators, and designers below paid the ultimate price for the things they helped bring into this world.
1.) Franz Reichelt
Reichelt or the “Flying Tailor,” as he was sometimes called, died after jumping from the Eiffel Tower while testing his wearable parachute. It didn’t work.
2.) Max Valier
Valier died when the alcohol-fueled rocket car he was testing exploded.
3.) Otto Lilienthal
Lilienthal, who was considered to be the “Glider King,” died while testing one of the hang gliders he had developed.
4.) William Bullock
Bullock died while getting his gangrenous foot that was injured by a rotary printing press, an invention of his, amputated.
5.) Sylvester H. Roper
Roper passed away while riding the steam-powered bicycle he designed.
6.) Thomas Andrews
Andrews, who was chief naval architect of the company that built the Titanic, died aboard the ship on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
7.) Karel Soucek
Soucek died demonstrating the protected stunt barrel he developed.
8.) James F. Fixx
Fixx, who is credited with popularizing running and jogging as exercise, suffered a fatal heart attack while on his daily run.
9.) Horace Lawson Hunley
Hunley died aboard one of his unsuccessful attempts at a functioning submarine.
10.) Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
de Rozier became the first fatality of an air crash while piloting an untethered air balloon, which he was one of the first to fly about a year earlier.
11.) Henry Fleuss
Fleuss died from the pure oxygen, which is toxic to humans under the pressure of water, he inhaled from the oxygen rebreather he invented.
12.) Fred Duesenberg
The German-American automobile pioneer died from the pneumonia he developed after getting into an accident in the car the bore his name.
(via izismile, Oddee)
Yikes. I think I might keep all of my genius ideas to myself now… and live FOREVER! That’s how that works, right? Hopefully, modern inventors think of safer ways to test their (possibly) genius devices. Dying for a failure just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
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