Friday Fun: 7 inventors killed by their inventions

Apr 20 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

I am somehow attracted to stories that are both incredibly sad and at the same time incredibly hilarious.

A character defect, I know. There must even be some sort of name for the condition, like ludustristophilia. Or something.

Anyways, this one really qualifies: 7 inventors killed by their inventions. It's kind of like the Darwin Awards, but twisted and distorted by a funhouse mirror.

The life of an inventor is not an easy one. First you have to come up with a good idea that solves a problem in a way that no one has thought of before, and then you need to design and engineer your idea to take it from theory to reality. The very nature of invention means that inventors are continuously pushing the boundaries of what's possible...

But invention is a fickle mistress and has proved to be a dangerous undertaking for many a would-be Edison. Things go wrong, inventions break or don't work as the designers intended, and sometimes inventors are killed by the very ideas they brought to life...

And here's one of the stories:

Franz Reichelt

Franz Reichelt was an Austrian-born French inventor who made a living as a tailor but spent his free time working on a flying parachute suit designed to be worn by airplane pilots. Airplanes were a relatively new invention when Reichelt was working on his design, having only been flown for the first time in Kitty Hawk in 1903, and the mechanics of how a pilot would escape a damaged plane were still being worked out. Reichelt's first tests were performed using dummies and were successful enough for him to test the suit himself, which he did by jumping off the lower level of the Eiffel Tower. The 187-foot fall onto frozen ground killed him instantly.

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