“From his horse”. Seven inventors killed by their creations

Remember Bertoldi Schwarze

The name of the European inventor of gunpowder, Berthold Schwarz at least once heard anyone who has read the novel by Ilf and Petrov “the Twelve chairs”, where this interesting person is mentioned in passing.

In fact, Franciscan monk, Berthold Schwartz, in the world Constantine Anglican a person, surrounded by legends. Unknown to even the exact years of his life: it is assumed that earthly way it began in the late XIII or early XIV century.

His passion for chemistry, according to legend, led Berthold in jail on charges of witchcraft. Nevertheless, he continued experiments and in the conclusion, in which gunpowder was invented.

One version of the biography of Berthold Schwarz tells the story of his sad fate — allegedly, the German king Wenceslas IVdecided that the inventor knows too much, publicly blasted monk on a barrel of gunpowder invented.

It is unknown whether Berthold Schwarz ruined his invention. But history knows many cases when the creators of technical innovations went into another world with their own creations.

“The Bull Of Phalaris”. Photo: www.globallookpress.com

1. Perili and “copper bull”

From ancient times came to us the history of the Athenian sculptor Perila. In the sixth century BCE tyrant phalaris Agrigento instructed the sculptor to create an original device for the painful torture and executions.

Purely approached the case with “spark”, creating a copper figure of a bull life size, hollow inside, with a door on the back between the shoulder blades.

The victim was put inside the statue, after which he lit a fire under it. Poor roasted on a slow fire, dying horribly painful deaths.

A clever designer has supplied the bull by the nostrils, from which poured smoke and acoustic device did the screams of the dying like the bellowing of a bull.

Phalaris, get what you want, ordered to test the unit on its Creator. So, Purely became the first victim of the guns now known as “Copper bull” or “Bull of Phalaris”.

The Phalaris overthrown in the course of the uprising, also fried in the bull. And the unit is widespread and has been used for many centuries, including the investigators of the Inquisition.

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2. William Bullock and the web rotary press

American William Bullock was engaged in the creation of new machinery with youth, but for a long time could not succeed. In 1849, the recognition, the inventor has brought the original design of the grain drill.

In 1853, Bullock, filed in the papers have begun work on a hand made wooden printing press with Samorodok mechanism. In the early 1860-ies, the inventor created an improved printing press called the web rotary press.

The web rotary press allowed to operate continuously with large rolls of paper are automatically fed to the receiving coils, and eliminate the time-consuming process of manual download. The press had a system of self-regulation, printed on both sides of each page and folded the paper.

William Bullock. Source: Public Domain

This invention will bring publishing to a new level and proved fatal for the Creator. In 1867 William Bullock was engaged in elimination of defects on one of its presses. At some point, the foot of the designer landed in the mechanisms and was fragmented. Gangrene, requiring immediate amputation. But to save the life of a bullock failed — he died on the operating table.

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3. Maria Sklodowska-Curie and radioactive elements

Maria Sklodowska-Curie is included in that small number of scientists who was awarded the Nobel prize more than once. Moreover, she became the first in history, awarded twice. Sklodowska-Curie was awarded the 1903 Nobel prize in physics, and eight years later — in chemistry.

Together with her husband Pierre Curie, Maria was engaged in studies of radioactivity. The couple were discovered the elements radium and polonium.

About the danger of radiation then there was no scientific evidence. Curies conducted experiments in the pantry and the barn from 1898 to 1902 years reworking about 8 tons of uranium minerals.

Maria Sklodowska-Curie. Photo: www.globallookpress.com

Pierre Curie before the onset of the severe consequences of such activities has not lived — in 1906, he died under the wheels of a horse-drawn cart.

But Sklodowska Maria-Curie suffered from chronic radiation sickness, made the last years of her life painful. From this illness she died in 1934. With full confidence we can say that a female scientist became a victim of its own discoveries, which brought her fame.

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4. Thomas Andrews and the Titanic

10 April 1912 from the port of Southampton on her maiden voyage out of the giant passenger liner Titanic, which contemporaries considered a new wonder of the world.

On Board the ship was the 39-year-old Executive Director of shipbuilding company “Harland and Wolff, Thomas Andrews, who was the designer of the Titanic.

For a few years before that Andrews designed the ship, “Olympic”, the first in a series of ships-giants.

On Board the “Titanic” the designer tried to find flaws that could subsequently be eliminated. When on 14 April the ship struck an iceberg, the captain asked for Thomas Andrews to assess the extent of damage.

After examining the room filled with water, Andrews categorically stated — “Titanic” is doomed.

The designer himself did not leave the ship till the last helping the others to escape. The body of Thomas Andrews did not find — rather, he went to the ocean floor, along with his creation.


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5. Franz Reichelt, and “coat parachute”

Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt at the dawn of world aviation asked a question of creating tools which would allow the pilot to escape when falling from a great height.

In 1910 he began developing a special suit, called “coat parachute”. For experiments Reichelt used dummies that were dropped from the private balcony on the 5th floor.

The results were inconsistent — sometimes the suit worked, and sometimes dummies “died”. The inventor thought that the cause of the failure is low. In 1912, Reichelt got permission for the experiment on the Eiffel tower.

Franz Reichelt and his “coat parachute”. Source: Public Domain

The test was scheduled for 4 February. To the dismay of others, Reichelt announced that he would not spend time on the dummy and jumps himself. Requests not to risk it ignored.

The jump was fatal: “coat parachute” didn’t work, and Franz Reichelt fell from 60 meters, fell to his death.

6. Valerian Bakowski and eurowagon

The October revolution of 1917 opened the way for many brave inventors, who later became famous designers of domestic appliances.

Valerian Bakowski. Photo: www.globallookpress.com

The driver of the Tambov Cheka Valerian Abakanskom less fortunate. In 1920 he designed aerovion — motor vehicle with air propeller. Consuming a small amount of fuel, the car has developed high speed.

The inventor himself believed that his eurowagon will be able to link the most remote city in the country, much reducing the journey time.

A pilot version of eurowagon speeds up to 140 kilometers per hour. July 24, 1921, a delegation of participants of the Third Congress of the Comintern went on aerovane to Tula to meet with the local miners.

A trip to Tula is successful, but on the way back in the Serpukhov district of eurowagon derailed and flew into a ditch.

Of the 22 people who were in the car, killing six, including prominent revolutionary Fyodor Sergeyev (Artem friend) and the Valerian Abakanskogo. All the dead were buried near the Kremlin wall.

And experiments with the use of the Railways engines with air-screws of aircraft type continued in various countries until 1970-ies.

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7. Henry Smolinski and flying car

The idea of flying cars, to put it mildly, is not new — similar devices science fiction writers have described more than a century ago. In the early 1970-ies the American engineer Henry Smolinski decided to implement this idea in practice. He founded Advanced Vehicle Engineers, which was to become the first manufacturer in the world flying cars.

The first model was named “Mizar”, in honor of the stars of the Big dipper. The vehicle was a hybrid aircraft Cessna Skymaster with a Ford Pinto. The tail part of the model could simply be disconnected if it has at some time lost the need.

“Mitsar” Henry Smolinski. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org/ Doug Duncan

By 1973 there were built two experimental models “Mitsara”. The inventor stated that in 1974, will begin mass production of flying cars, even naming their price — 18 300 to 29 000 dollars.

However, on 11 September 1973, Henry Smolinski along with a test pilot and business partner designer Harold Blake were killed during another test flight “Mitsara”. The investigation concluded that the reason was not sufficiently reliable weld that led to the destruction of the structure in the air.

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