If it weren’t for these pioneers, many of the inventions you see today wouldn’t exist. Who better to test new inventions than their creators? There is risk involved with all things new and these risks truly paid off in the grand scheme of things even though the brilliant inventors met a rather tragic end.
This famous English architect and engineer constructed the first Eddystone Lighthouse which began in 1696 and was lit two years later. Winstanley’s tower lasted until the Great Strom of 1703 which almost erased all remnants of it by November. Wanting to test the lighthouse’s strength, Winstanley perished with the lighthouse on that stormy day killing him and five others.
You’d think if you were as noted as Russian physician, philosopher, economist, science fiction writer, and revolutionary that you’d be able to give yourself a blood transfusion using a healthy person’s blood – not Alexander. Although he’s given many blood transfusions in his day, which included Lenin’s sister, he didn’t manage to survive his very own scientific experiments.
What was supposed to make him feel rejuvenated ended up killing him. He died after injecting blood from one of the patients who suffered from malaria and tuberculosis.
Cowper Phipps Coles
This distinguished Royal Navy Captain invented the rotating turret for ships during the Crimean War in 1853 eventually patenting this idea as the war dissolved. Using his revolutionary design, Coles set out to build his very own ship known as the HMS.
With dangerous modifications, this ship contained a “hurricane deck” that raised the ship’s center of gravity. The ship eventually ended up capsizing one September day in 1870 killing Coles and most of his 500 crew members.
This stuntman invented the “capsule” — a large modified barrel in which he rode down Niagra Falls in once. He managed to pull that off with minor injuries although in 1985, he wasn’t as lucky. He convinced a company to financially back his next escapade: a barrel drop from the top of the Houston Astrodome in Texas in which a special waterfall would be created from the top of the 180 foot structure.
Soucek was supposed to plunge to the pit at the bottom however, the stunt went wrong and Soucek ended up hitting the rim of the pool instead of the center. The barrel splintered and severely injured Soucek.
This Austrian tailor was famous for creating a strange overcoat/parachute that he claimed had the ability to sail gently to the ground and even fly. If you’re guessing it didn’t work, bingo! When Franz Reichelt put it to the test, it failed miserably. In front of a crowd and atop the Eiffel Tower, Mr. Reichelt fell straight down and was killed on impact.