While there have been instances where inventors have faced accidents or mishaps related to their own inventions ,it is not accurate to compile a definitive list of inventors specifically “killed” by their own creations. However ,I can provide you with some examples of inventors who Suffered unfortunate incidents related to their inventions. Please note that these examples do not imply that the inventors were directly responsible for their deaths ,as Accidents can occur even with well-designed inventions. Here are 15 notable cases:

10 Inventors Who Met a Fateful End Through Their Own Creations

Marie Curie, a pioneering physicist and chemist ,made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of radioactivity. Alongside her husband ,Pierre Curie ,she developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and conducted extensive research on their properties. However ,her relentless exposure to radiation eventually led to her demise, resulting in leukemia. Curie’s remarkable contributions to science and her unfortunate death serve as a reminder of the dangers associated with working with radioactive materials.

Marie Curie (1867-1934)

Here’s a Step-by-Step Summary of the events leading to her Death:

Early discoveries: Marie Curie ,along with her Husband Pierre Curie, conducted Groundbreaking research on radioactivity and discovered two new elements ,polonium and radium. Their work laid the Foundation for modern atomic and nuclear physics.

Prolonged exposure to radiation: Throughout her career, Marie Curie and her colleagues worked extensively with radioactive materials ,often without proper protection. They Handled Large quantities of radium ,unaware of the long-term Health Risks associated with Exposure to Ionizing Radiation.


Recognition and accolades: Despite the risks, Marie Curie’s contributions to science were recognized worldwide, and she became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize (in both Physics and Chemistry). Her work earned her international acclaim.

Health issues: Over time, the effects of ionizing radiation exposure started to take a toll on Marie Curie’s health. She experienced chronic illnesses and severe fatigue, which were likely symptoms of radiation poisoning.

Later years and death: Marie Curie continued her research and scientific pursuits despite her declining health. However ,her symptoms worsened ,and she ultimately succumbed to aplastic anemia ,a condition where the bone marrow fails to Produce enough blood Cells. This disease is believed to have been caused by her Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation.

Marie Curie passed away on July 4 ,1934 ,at the age of 66. Her Remarkable Achievements in Science continue to inspire future generations of scientists and serve as a reminder of the importance of safety precautions in handling radioactive materials.

Horace Lawson Hunley (1823-1863)

Horace Lawson Hunley was not killed by his inventions, but he did die in a tragic accident related to one of his submarines. Horace Hunley was a Confederate engineer and inventor, known for his work on creating submarines during the American Civil War. He, along with his team, developed three submarines: the Pioneer, the American Diver, and the H. L. Hunley.

The H. L. Hunley, also known as the CSS Hunley, was the most famous of his submarines. It was a hand-cranked vessel designed to be used as a military weapon against Union naval forces.

Here’s a Step-by-Step account of what happened to Horace Lawson Hunley and his Inventions:

The H. L. Hunley: The H. L. Hunley was a cylindrical ,manually powered submarine around 40 feet long and 4 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and had a pointed bow for ramming enemy ships.

First Trials: During testing, the submarine experienced several accidents, even leading to the death of some of its crew members. In one of the incidents, the submarine sank in Charleston Harbor during a demonstration, resulting in the loss of five crew members, including Horace Lawson Hunley’s cousin, Horace L. Hunley Jr.

Successful Attack: On February 17 ,1864 ,the H. L. Hunley achieved its most significant success. It successfully attacked and sank the Union Navy’s warship USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. However, shortly after the successful attack, the H. L. Hunley itself sank mysteriously with all eight crew members on board.


Investigation: The cause of the submarine’s sinking remained unclear until 1995 when it was raised from the seabed. Modern analysis revealed that the submarine’s crew inadvertently triggered its own torpedo, which caused the sinking. The torpedo was attached to a spar that extended from the submarine’s bow. The crew had to manually crank the propeller, and while doing so, they accidentally struck the USS Housatonic with the spar and the attached explosive charge.

Loss of Horace Lawson Hunley: Horace Lawson Hunley was not on board the H. L. Hunley during the fatal attack. However, he remained involved in further efforts to raise funds and construct more submarines for the Confederacy. Unfortunately, he would not live to see the outcome of these endeavors.

Death: On October 15, 1863, Horace Lawson Hunley died in yet another tragedy. While conducting trials on a different submarine, the H. L. Hunley No. 2 (also known as the Pioneer II), it sank in Charleston Harbor during a routine test. This incident claimed the lives of all five crew members, including Hunley himself.

Franz Reichelt (1879-1912

Franz Reichelt, an Austrian-born tailor ,harbored a passion for aviation and sought to create a device that would enable individuals to glide safely to the ground in the event of a building fire. He designed a parachute suit and conducted numerous tests to ensure its functionality. However ,during his ill-fated attempt to demonstrate the suit’s effectiveness by jumping from the Eiffel Tower ,the parachute failed to deploy properly. Tragically ,Reichelt met his untimely demise in this failed experiment.

Franz Reichelt

Franz Reichelt was an Austrian-born French inventor who met a tragic end during his attempt to test his invention, a wearable parachute suit.

Here’s a step-by-step account of his unfortunate demise:

Invention of the Parachute Suit: Franz Reichelt was an inventor and tailor who had a fascination with aviation and parachutes. He designed a unique wearable parachute suit ,which he believed could be used by aviators and people working at great heights to escape from dangerous situations.

Testing the Invention: On February 4, 1912 ,Reichelt decided to demonstrate the effectiveness of his parachute suit by performing a live test from the Eiffel Tower in Paris ,France. He chose this iconic location for the public demonstration ,hoping to attract attention and potential investors.

Permission and Cautionary Advice: Before the test ,Reichelt sought permission from the French authorities to conduct his experiment. The authorities, however, were reluctant to grant permission, fearing the potential risks. They strongly advised him against proceeding with the dangerous test.

Refusal to Back Down: Despite the warnings and the authorities’ refusal to grant permission, Reichelt was determined to prove the effectiveness of his invention. He was confident that his parachute suit would work and believed it could potentially save lives.

The Fatal Jump: On the day of the test, a small crowd gathered to witness the daring experiment. Franz Reichelt climbed to the top platform of the Eiffel Tower wearing his parachute suit. He hesitated for a moment, possibly reconsidering his decision, but eventually jumped off the tower.

Tragic Outcome: Unfortunately, the parachute suit failed to function as intended. Instead of slowing his fall and providing a safe landing, the suit crumpled upon deployment, and Reichelt plummeted to the ground at a high speed.

Immediate Aftermath: The impact from the fall was fatal, and Franz Reichelt died instantly. The crowd and authorities rushed to the scene, shocked and saddened by the tragic accident.

Investigation and Legacy: An investigation was conducted into the circumstances surrounding Reichelt’s death. The conclusion was that his parachute suit was poorly designed and lacked the necessary aerodynamics to function effectively.

William Bullock (1813-1867)

Bullock, an American inventor, developed an improved printing press. He suffered a severe foot injury while installing a new machine and died due to complications from the injury.

William Bullock ,an American Inventor ,is Best known for his Significant Contributions to the Printing industry ,particularly the Invention of the Web rotary Printing Press. Unfortunately ,his life came to a tragic end due to a work-related accident.

Here’s the Step-by-Step account of How he died:

Background: William Bullock was born on March 3 ,1813 ,in Greenville ,New York. He grew up in a family of inventors and mechanics ,and from a young age ,he showed a keen Interest in engineering and machinery.

Invention of the Web Rotary Printing Press: Bullock’s most famous Invention was the web rotary printing press ,which he patented in 1863. This press revolutionized the printing industry by allowing continuous printing from a roll of paper ,replacing the traditional sheet-fed presses. His invention greatly increased printing efficiency and speed.

Accident: On April 3, 1867, tragedy struck while Bullock was working on his printing press at the printing plant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While making some adjustments to the machine, he accidentally caught his leg in the press.

William Bullock

Injury and Infection: The accident resulted in a severe leg injury, and unfortunately, Bullock also suffered from a subsequent infection. Despite receiving medical attention, his condition worsened rapidly.

Amputation: To prevent the infection from spreading further, doctors had no choice but to amputate Bullock’s injured leg. However ,the surgery did not succeed in saving his life.

Death: William Bullock succumbed to his injuries and the infection on April 12 ,1867 ,just nine Days after the tragic accident. At the time of his passing ,he was just 54 years old.

Legacy: Despite his untimely demise ,William Bullock’s invention ,the web rotary printing press ,continued to shape the printing industry and was a significant factor in the growth of newspapers and mass communication.


Thomas Midgley Jr. (1889-1944)

Thomas Midgley Jr. ,an American Engineer and Chemist ,Played a significant role in the development of leaded gasoline and the Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compound. While his inventions brought immense benefits to society at the time ,they had severe environmental consequences. Midgley Inadvertently inhaled toxic fumes from his own invention ,Tetraethyl lead ,which led to his death due to Complications arising from polio.

Thomas Midgley Jr. ,an American engineer and chemist ,is best known for his significant contributions to the field of industrial chemistry. Unfortunately ,his inventions also had unintended consequences that played a role in his death.

Here’s a step-by-step overview of how his inventions led to his demise:

Early Career and Leaded Gasoline: In the early 20th century ,Midgley worked for General Motors (GM) and was tasked with finding a solution to engine “knocking” or knocking noises caused by irregular combustion. He introduced tetraethyl lead to gasoline ,which effectively reduced knocking and improved engine performance. This innovation led to the widespread adoption of leaded gasoline in the automotive industry.

Toxicity of Lead: Despite its benefits for engines ,the use of leaded gasoline had severe health and environmental consequences. Over time ,it was discovered that leaded gasoline emitted toxic lead particles into the air ,contributing to air pollution and poisoning of both the environment and people who were exposed to it.

Discovery of CFCs: Midgley also worked on developing refrigerants. In the 1920s ,he synthesized chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) ,which were initially considered safe and became widely used as refrigerants, propellants in aerosol products ,and industrial solvents.

Ozone Depletion: Decades later ,it was found that CFCs released into the atmosphere posed a significant threat to the ozone layer. The release of these chemicals led to the formation of ozone-depleting substances, which allowed harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun to reach the Earth’s surface ,contributing to various environmental problems ,including increased rates of skin cancer.

Polio and Personal Struggles: In the 1940s ,Midgley contracted polio ,which left him severely disabled. This debilitating disease confined him to a bed for much of his life.

Death by Accident: On November 2 ,1944 ,at the age of 55 ,Midgley tragically died in a rather bizarre accident. While trying to help himself out of bed using a system of ropes and pulleys that he designed, he became entangle


Max Valier (1895-1930)

Max Valier was an Austrian engineer and pioneer in rocketry during the early 20th century. He Contributed significantly to the development of liquid-fueled rocket engines. Tragically ,he died in an Accident related to one of his rocket experiments. 

Here’s the step-by-step account of his death:

Background: Max Valier was born on February 9 ,1895 ,in Bozen ,Austria-Hungary (now Bolzano ,Italy). He had a keen interest in rocketry and space exploration from an early age and became involved in various experiments related to rocket propulsion.

Rocketry Work: In the 1920s ,Max Valier collaborated with Austrian scientist Fritz von Opel and German rocket pioneer Friedrich Sander on various rocket experiments. They were interested in developing liquid-fueled rocket engines ,which were a new and promising technology at the time.

Rocket Car: One of their notable projects was the creation of a rocket-powered car ,known as the “Opel-RAK.1.” Max Valier, along with Fritz von Opel, aimed to demonstrate the potential of rocket propulsion for transportation.


Max Valier

The Accident: On May 17, 1930, tragedy struck during a test of the Opel-RAK.1 rocket car. Max Valier was preparing for a demonstration run with the vehicle when a nitric acid fuel component ignited accidentally. The rocket car exploded, resulting in Valier’s death.

Impact and Legacy: Max Valier’s death was a significant setback for the early rocketry pioneers. However, his work and experiments contributed to the knowledge base in the field of rocket propulsion. Fritz von Opel continued to be involved in rocketry, and later, the German engineer Werner von Braun built upon Valier’s work to play a crucial role in the development use of rocket technology during and after World War II.

Karel Soucek (1947-1985)

Karel Soucek was a Canadian stuntman who gained notoriety for his invention ,the “Rocket Car” ,and his tragic death during a stunt at the Houston Astrodome in 1985.

Here’s a Step-by-Step account of his Fatal stunt:

Invention of the Rocket Car: Karel Soucek designed and built a specially designed barrel-shaped capsule named the “Rocket Car.” The capsule was intended to be launched from a height and then travel down a steep slope, eventually landing in a water tank to absorb the impact.

Testing the Stunt: Prior to the fatal stunt ,Soucek had successfully performed a similar stunt at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto ,where he used a ramp to launch the Rocket Car into a water tank. Encouraged by the success of the previous stunt ,he decided to attempt a more ambitious version for his next stunt.


The Houston Astrodome Stunt: On January 20, 1985, Karel Soucek attempted his daring stunt at the Houston Astrodome in Texas, USA. The plan was to have the Rocket Car dropped from the top of the Astrodome’s dome, allowing it to reach high speeds as it descended towards a water tank placed on the floor.

Malfunction During the Drop: Unfortunately, during the descent from the roof of the Astrodome, the Rocket Car’s parachute system failed to deploy properly. This failure caused the Rocket Car to hit the rim of the water tank instead of safely landing inside it.

Tragic Impact: The impact with the rim of the water tank was catastrophic, and Karel Soucek suffered severe injuries. Despite being rushed to the hospital ,he succumbed to his injuries shortly after the accident.

Aftermath: The tragic event at the Houston Astrodome led to widespread discussions and debates on the safety of such stunts. It was a devastating accident that highlighted the risks involved in daredevil performances.

Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896)

Otto Lilienthal, a German aviation pioneer ,dedicated his life to the pursuit of human flight. He conducted extensive experiments with gliders ,making significant Contributions to the field of aeronautics. Tragically, during one of his glider flights ,Lilienthal lost control and crashed ,suffering severe spinal injuries. Despite medical efforts ,he succumbed to his injuries the following day. Lilienthal’s relentless pursuit of flight and his subsequent demise paved the way for future advancements in aviation.

Here is a Step-by-Step Account of how he died:

Lilienthal’s Background: Otto Lilienthal was a Prominent 19th-century aviation Enthusiast who dedicated much of his life to the study of Flight and the design of gliders. He made significant contributions to the understanding of Aerodynamics and Successfully conducted many glider flights ,which earned him the nickname “Glider King.”

The Fatal Accident: On August 9 ,1896 ,Lilienthal was conducting one of his routine glider tests at the Gollenberg Hill near Stölln ,Brandenburg ,Germany. During the flight ,something went wrong, and his glider experienced an unexpected stall.


Glider Stall: A stall in aviation refers to a situation where the angle of attack of an aircraft’s wing exceeds the critical value ,causing a loss of lift and leading to a sudden loss of control. In Lilienthal’s case ,the glider’s wing stalled ,resulting in a rapid descent.

Crash Landing: As a consequence of the stall, Lilienthal’s glider plummeted to the ground from a significant height ,crashing hard on impact.

Serious Injuries: The force of the crash caused severe injuries to Otto Lilienthal’s spine. He was immediately rendered unconscious and in critical condition.

Medical Treatment: Lilienthal was rushed to a nearby hospital ,but unfortunately ,the medical technology and expertise available at that time were not enough to save him.

Death: On August 10 ,1896 ,a day after the accident ,Otto Lilienthal succumbed to his injuries and passed away. His death was a significant loss to the world of aviation, but his contributions and experiments laid the groundwork for future aviators and played a crucial role in the development of human flight.

Henry Smolinski (1941-1973)

Henry Smolinski ,an aerospace engineer and entrepreneur ,tragically lost his life due to an accident involving his innovative invention called the AVE Mizar. The AVE Mizar was a flying car Prototype that aimed to Combine the convenience of a car with the freedom of flight. 

Here is a Step-by-Step account of the incident:

Henry Smolinski and his partner ,Hal Blake ,founded the Advanced Vehicle Engineers (AVE) company in the late 1960s. They had a vision of creating a flying car that could drive on roads and take to the skies.

They began work on the AVE Mizar ,which was essentially a Ford Pinto with detachable wings and a tail section. The concept was to attach these wings and tail to the car when it was time to fly ,and detach them for regular road driving.


The AVE Mizar prototype was built and tested in 1971. It went through several test flights and showed promise as a proof of concept for the idea of a flying car.

However, the AVE Mizar project faced various technical challenges and financial constraints ,which led to some doubts about its safety and practicality.

On September 11 ,1973 ,tragedy struck during a test flight of the AVE Mizar at the Van Nuys Airport in California. Henry Smolinski and Hal Blake were piloting the aircraft during this flight.

The accident occurred due to a mechanical failure in the wing attachment mechanism. While flying at an altitude of about 3,500 feet ,the wing and tail sections of the AVE Mizar detached from the car ,causing a loss of control.

With the wings and tail gone ,the AVE Mizar plummeted to the ground ,resulting in the death of both Henry Smolinski and Hal Blake. The crash claimed the lives of the two inventors ,and the dream of a practical flying car was shattered.

The tragic accident prompted investigations into the safety and feasibility of such flying car prototypes. The AVE Mizar project was eventually abandoned, and the concept of a flying car faced significant skepticism in the decades that followed.

Michael Dacre (died 2009)

After leaving the military, Dacre ventured into the aviation industry and founded his own flight crewing service. Later on, he established a company called Avcen Ltd, which was aimed at turning his dream of personal air travel into reality. Through Avcen Ltd, Dacre worked tirelessly to develop and promote small personal aircraft that could revolutionize urban transportation.

Unfortunately, despite his passion and efforts, the small rocket-like cars envisioned by Dacre did not become a reality during his lifetime. However, his ideas and innovations in the field of personal air travel may have paved the way for advancements in the future. Dacre’s legacy as an inventor and visionary in the aviation industry continues to inspire those who strive to make urban air mobility a feasible and sustainable mode of transportation.

 Here is a Step-by-Step Account of how he died:

Michael Dacre’s groundbreaking work took shape through his company Avcen, where he developed an innovative aircraft known as the Jetpod. The Jetpod was a unique design resembling a small airplane but with distinct features. Notably, it boasted a quiet operation and introduced the concept of VQSTOL (Very Quiet Short Take-Off and Landing). This concept allowed the Jetpod to require a mere 125 meters (410.1 feet) for take-off and 300 meters (984.3 feet) for landing.

Avcen’s ambitious plan for the Jetpod included the development of three distinct models to cater to various transportation needs. The first model, the T-100, was envisioned as a commuter plane featuring ultra-light seats. Its purpose was to efficiently shuttle passengers from airports to city centers, with the potential to undertake up to 50 trips per day. This model aimed to provide a rapid and convenient mode of urban transportation, reducing the time and hassle of commuting for travelers.


The second model, the M-300, took on a different role, focusing on military applications. This heavier aircraft was designed to serve as a means of transporting battlefield casualties to nearby medical facilities swiftly and safely. By providing efficient medical evacuation capabilities, the M-300 aimed to contribute to improved medical support for military personnel in critical situations.

Tragically, Michael Dacre’s vision of seeing his Jetpod planes in full production never came to fruition. On August 16, 2009, Dacre was personally piloting an eight-seater Jetpod prototype for a test flight at a take-off strip north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. During the initial attempts, the aircraft faced difficulties getting airborne, leading to three unsuccessful tries.

On the fourth attempt, as Dacre pushed forward with determination, the craft suddenly ascended vertically into the sky. However, shortly after takeoff, something went terribly wrong, and the Jetpod plummeted back to Earth, resulting in a fatal crash. This devastating accident claimed the life of the visionary inventor who had dedicated himself to creating innovative solutions like the “flying taxi.”