9 Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions

Creating of any kind is wonderful, most of the time. Sometimes, it brings bliss and a solution to a problem that plagued thousands, maybe millions. Other times, tragic times, it brings to the inventor’s own demise and death.

Thomas Andrews – HMS Titanic

Thomas Andrews

He was the chief naval architecht of the Titanic, and when the ship sank in 1912, he was on board to go down with it.

Alexander Bogdanov – Blood Transfusions

Alexander Bogdanov

Bogdanov died in 1928 after his 12th transfusion, which was either infected or of the wrong blood type.

William Bullock – The Web Rotary Press

William Bullock

In 1867, he either kicked or had his foot caught in one of the mechanisms, which resulted in an infected cut, gangrene, and eventually death.

Horace Lawson Hunley – First Combat Submarine

Horace Hunley

Hunley engineered the first combat submarine for the Confederates during the Civil War. He was on board during the second attempt at the Union blockade in Charleston, where he drowned along with the entirety of its crew.

William Nelson – Motorized bike

William Nelson

Nelson was killed while test-driving a motorized bike for which he invented a motor in 1903.

Henry Somlinski – AVE MIZAR

Henry Smolinski

He died in 1973 while test-piloting his flying car, the AVE MIZAR.

Karel Soucek – Shock-Absorbent Barrel

Karel Soucek

Soucek wanted to to be one of those to go over the Niagra falls in a barrel  He succeeded in the North, but when trying a similar stunt in the Astrodome, the barrel was released too early — and Soucek plummeted 180 feet, hitting the rim of the water tank designed to cushion the blow.

Harry K. Daghlian Jr. and Louis Slotin

Harry K. Daghlian Jr. and Louis Slotin

The two were a part of the Manhattan project, running experiments on plutonium. They both died from lethal doses of radiation a year apart from each other – 1945 and 1946.

Max Valier – Liquid-Fueled Rocket Engines

Max Valier

As expected from the title of Valier’s invention, he was killed in 1930 when an alcohol-fueled engine exploded on his test bench.

For a different kind of invention tragedy, here are a few from the 1980’s that never really took off.