From the invention of the wheel to the rise of nuclear power stations, man has always attempted to harness the power of nature-sometimes resulting in disaster. Here are ten inventors whose own inventions ended up killing them.
1. Otto Lilienthal
The German pioneer in gliding flights. An excursion on his hang glider led him to his death on August 9th, 1896, when the glider lost its lift and plummeted Lilienthal 56 feet to the ground. He died a day later after breaking his spine.
2. Franz Reichelt
Famously known as The Flying Tailor, Reichelt became obsessed with creating a suit with a parachute attached that would allow aviators to survive an airborne malfunction. Publicly testing his new invention, Recheilt took an unfortunate leap of faith to his death from a deck on the Eiffel Tower on February 4th, 1912.
3. Michael Dacre
British aviation enthusiast who had hopes of having his flying taxi commercially produced. He died in a blazing flame as his invention hit the ground on the first test flight on August 17th, 2009.
4. Aurel Vlaicu
Met with death in 1913 when attempting to cross the Carpathian Mountains on his own self-constructed airplane, the Vlaicu II.
5. Thomas Midgley Jr.
After contracting polio at the age of 51, Midgley was left disabled. To combat his immobility, he conjured up a system of pulleys and ropes to help himself out of bed. In a trick of fate, he became entangled and died of strangulation in 1944.
6. William Bullock
The American inventor's printing press revolutionized the industry forever thanks to its speed and accuracy. On April 3rd, 1867, Bullock accidentally had his leg crushed by his own machine when attempting to install it. Days later, in order to stop the spread of gangrene, Bullock agreed to amputation but died while in operation.
7. Horace Lawson Hunley
The Confederate marine engineer during the American Civil War whose most famous submarine was the H.L Hunley. During a routine exercise, Hunley attempted to take command and sank his ship including seven others on October 15th, 1863.
8. James Douglas, Fourth Earl of Morton
Impressed by its 'clean work,' Douglas introduced a primitive guillotine, what he called a maiden. Accused of being involved in the murder of Lord Darnley, Douglas was executed with his own idea of punishment.
9. Marie Curie
Curie's own process to isolate the elements polonium and radium caused harmful exposure to radiation. She died of aplastic anemia on July 7th, 1934, a condition that is said to have direct correlation to her work.
10. Valerian Abakovsky
Known for the Aerowagon, a high-speed railcar with an aircraft engine intended to carry Soviet officials. On July 24th, 1921 Abakovsky, then 25, and five others were derailed during the test drive and killed on impact. Above is a later 1950's model from General Motors on display in Green Bay, Wisconsin.