Inventions that killed their creators

Author: Lera Shvets

Learn from mistakes. But with these people - physicists, engineers, and even tailors - fate played a cruel joke.

In early 2010, British entrepreneur Jimi Heselden bought the company Segway, a manufacturer of gyro scooters. After a couple of months, he decided to ride close to his home in West Yorkshire, fell down from the cliff and fell to his death. The Internet on this occasion rapidly rustled, began to be filled with rumors and, having turned into a spoiled phone, announced that Segway’s inventor himself, Dean Keimen, had died. It was quite easy to believe in this news, because history knows dozens of examples of scientists, inventors and researchers who were ruined by their own inventions or hard work on them.

Russian roads as a barrier

The invention of Valerian Abakovsky, like the legendary Titanic, met an unexpected obstacle in its path, but in the form of not the iceberg, but the Russian railways. The Abakovsky aircar, which could accelerate to a record 140 km / h in those times, fell victim to uneven rails and at a high speed went astray.

Valerian Abakovsky served as a chauffeur in the Tambov branch of the Cheka, and in his spare time he worked on the drawings of the aero wagon. As a result, he presented his project of a motor-car with an aviation propeller and received money for its construction. After several tests, the aircraft was commissioned and the first official trip was the route Moscow - Tula in the summer of 1921, where it was supposed to deliver representatives of the communist parties from different countries. The aircar successfully drove the delegates to Tula, but did not get back to Moscow. As a result of the accident, seven people died, including the inventor himself.

"Sacrifices must be made"

This phrase by Otto Lilienthal was pronounced before his death. The engineer, who made everyone believe that a person can fly like a bird, died after an unsuccessful test of the next device. Otto Lilienthal is known for being the first to begin the development of aircraft, having spent thousands of flights on various structures - from monoplanes to ornithopters, resembling mechanical dinosaurs. Lilienthal conducted test flights from different hills, and in 1893 he even built one artificial one near Berlin and called it Fliegeberg (it is “a mountain for flights”).

On a fateful day for himself, August 9, 1896, Otto flew from the hills near the city of Rhin in northern Germany. When his glider's engine stalled in the air, Lilienthal fell from a height of 15 meters and broke his neck. He was rushed to Berlin for a better surgeon in those days, but, unfortunately, they did not have time to save. Forty years after the death of Lilienthal, the artificial hill that he built for experimental flights was converted into a memorial memorial.

Ruinous devotion to science

Maria and Pierre Curie not only started a new milestone in the history of physics and chemistry, but literally gave their health for the benefit of the development of science and medicine. This couple is known for amazing devotion to their vocation: they discovered polonium and radium, working in a dilapidated barn, filled with samples, and manically studied the properties of these new elements there all their free time.

The Curie couple, without much thought, carried test tubes with these substances in their pockets, and Maria, according to her diaries, generally liked to leave the test tube with radium on the bedside table and watch it flicker in the night

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was not yet known how destructively polonium and radium affect health.Therefore, the Curie couple, without much thought, carried test tubes with these substances in their pockets, and Maria, according to her diaries, generally liked to leave the test tube with radium on the bedside table and watch how it flickers in the night. The death of Pierre Curie is in no way connected with his work activities: he died rather absurdly, having got under the wheels of a horse-drawn carriage just three years after receiving the Nobel Prize. Marie Curie continued her work on the study of polonium and radium, became the winner of the second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, and eventually died of leukemia at the age of 66 years. Notebooks in which Curie kept detailed descriptions of their experiments are stored in the National Library of France in Paris. However, until now, they can be taken exclusively on painting, confirming your understanding of the risk to health that these pages carry in them, saturated with the remnants of radioactive substances.

Hero of the Sinking Ship

One of the heroes of the sunken "Titanic" is rightfully considered to be its designer Thomas Andrews Jr., who until the last moment helped passengers to sit in lifeboats, inspect cabins, persuading those who did not want to leave the ship, and threw chairs and other objects from people on board. so that they can keep afloat.

Thomas Andrews, Jr. was the leading shipbuilder in Ireland in the early 20th century. He worked on the creation of passenger liners, and his brightest work was the Titanic, the largest liner of those times. Andrews knew the location of each node and passage on the ship, and shortly before that first and last journey he admitted that "Titanic" is "an example of, perhaps, the ideal creation of the human brain."

After the ship hit an iceberg, Andrews inspected the ship and concluded that the Titanic was destined to go to the bottom. After painstaking work to save the maximum number of passengers, Andrews himself refused to leave the ship and died with his creation.

After the ship hit an iceberg, Andrews inspected the ship and concluded that the Titanic was destined to go to the bottom. After painstaking work to save the maximum number of passengers, Andrews himself refused to leave the ship and died along with his creation. On the night of April 15, 1912, more than 2,000 passengers managed to save 700 people. What now remains of the Titanic is exhibited in museums.

Sacrifice of progress

The rotary printing press was invented by Richard March Howe in 1843, but it was precisely the improvements of another inventor, William Bullock,20 years later, they helped make a breakthrough in the printing industry. Bullock has introduced a new automatic paper feeding system, as well as mechanisms for folding, printing on both sides and printing with several colors. This allowed to produce up to 30,000 sheets per hour and significantly increase the circulation of newspapers and books.

After only four years after the introduction of an improved model of the so-called web rotary printing machine, Bullock fell victim to his own invention. In one of the working days in the publishing house of the newspaper “Public Ledger” he decided to fix the stuck mechanical block of the machine, having kicked him with his foot back onto the tape, as a result of which he clamped his foot in the printing machine and crushed it. A few days later Bullock developed gangrene and he died during an amputation.

Heart failed

Mechanic Sylvester Roper all his life was busy improving existing mechanisms and creating new ones. His track record has his own model of a sewing machine, and a steam car, and even a hand-made chopper. And in his 70 years, Roper decided to take up the bike and screwed a steam engine to it, thereby creating a prototype of the first motorcycle.In June 1896, he went for a ride on his steam bike and right in front of the astonished public fell from him at a speed of more than 60 km / h. Roper did not survive the fall and died on the spot. An autopsy revealed that cardiac arrest was the cause of death. True, whether the heart of Sylvester stopped falling or even during a high-speed ride on a beloved invention remained unknown.

Stand up to the last

Henry Winstanley, a British artist and engineer who lived at the end of the seventeenth century, was known to the whole of Essex for his passion for various mechanical devices and hydraulic structures. He turned his own house into a “house of wonders”, where he allowed visitors to marvel at a variety of mechanical quirks, and in London Piccadilly opened an amusement center, entertaining guests with unusual fountains, water cannons and fireworks. In the late 1690s, Winstanley switched to a new project - the construction of the first lighthouse on the dangerous Ediston cliffs, where countless merchant ships crashed.

One can only be amazed at how Winstanley managed to build a lighthouse on rocky ridges 14 km from the coast, which even today manages to get into rare moments of calm.The result of his work was a 40-meter-high wooden lighthouse on a stone foundation, decorated with red tiles and designer engraving. People did not really believe in the strength of the construction of Winstanley, to which he proudly replied that he himself would be inside the lighthouse on the day of the next strongest storm. Therefore, during the famous hurricane on November 26, 1703, which killed at least 8,000 people throughout Great Britain, Winstanley was inside his lighthouse and died with him. Some time after the storm, when the curious sailed to the Ediston cliffs, there was neither a lighthouse, nor its workers, nor Winstanli on the site of the lighthouse. By the way, the next lighthouse, built on these rocks and known as the Smithton Concrete Tower, influenced the design process of lighthouses around the world and the use of concrete in construction.

Jump into the unknown


The tailor Franz Reichelt is considered one of the pioneers of aviation security. After all, it was he who first invented the parachute cloak, which, as planned, was supposed to help pilots during accidents. The first tests of the parachute Reichelt conducted from the window of the apartment, and test pilots were mannequins.However, test flights proved unsuccessful and parachutes were not disclosed. After product improvements, Reichelt decided to test it on himself and from a higher point. To this end, he obtained from the Paris Prefecture a special permit to jump from the Eiffel Tower.

As a result, on February 4, 1912, Reichelt died to death, as his cloak-parachute, again as in previous attempts with mannequins, was not revealed again. The experiment was watched by a whole crowd of Parisians, and the deadly leap was even captured on film.

Reichelt's perseverance makes him related to other inventors. Let many of them died from their own inventions, but it is thanks to their perseverance and diligence in the modern world that there are not only strong and expanding parachutes, but also high-speed aircraft, the existence of which Otto Lilienthal once dreamed of.



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