12 Deadly Inventions That Killed Their Creators

12 Deadly Inventions That Killed Their Creators


Technological progress is not the iPhone 5 or the Nexus 7. Technological progress is creating things that nobody has ever seen before — things that push humanity forward. You know, like building a machine heavier than air that freaking flies. Sadly, sometimes these quests end in disaster.

Let’s honour those forgotten geniuses by remembering them and their ultimately fatal inventions.




Engineer Henry Smolinski wanted a car that could fly, everyone’s dream. He called it the AVE Mizar. Sadly, Herny’s invention killed him when he crashed in 1973.
Images: Doug Duncan/Cookieboy’s Toys [clear]




Animgif: orenikuwa



Romanian aviation pioneer Aurel Vlaicu built the first metal plane in the world, but his arrow-shaped Vlaicu II killed him while trying to cross the Carpathian Mountains.
Images: Wikimedia Commons/Early Aviators [clear]




Animgif: British Pathé



Confederate marine engineer Horace Lawson Hunley tried to develop hand-powered submarines during the civil war — until he died testing his invention in South Carolina on October 15, 1863.
Images: Naval History & Heritage Command/ [clear]




Valerian Ivanovich Abakovsky invented the Aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar powered by an aircraft engine. He died along with a few Soviet officials en route to Moscow when the Aerowagon derailed.
Images: Wikimedia Commons/lord_k/Infodon [clear]




Animgif: Roscosmos



Max Valier was a German rocket scientist and rocket-car maker who died before he could complete his invention. He was obliterated when one of his liquid-fueled engines exploded on his lab desk.
Images: Library Of Congress/Library Of Congress [clear]




Otto Lilienthal was the first person to make repeated and successful gliding flights. Until his lucky strike ended on August 9, 1896.
Photo: AP and Rischgitz/Getty Images [clear]




Animgif: British Pathé



Image: Flickr


Fat Man and Little Boy
Animgif: Fat Man and Little Boy (1989 Paramount Pictures)

Images curated by Attila Nagy