Schaden-frauds: Three inventors killed by their own inventions

We know that necessity is the mother of invention. But what happens when that invention gets a taste for matricide? 



If an invention is doomed to fail, it can take another route to immortality. Claim the hand of who brought it into existence. People tend to remember that. Especially if it happened two centuries ago, with the feelings of angst and woe are lost to time and we can gleefully shake our heads in derision, tittering at the foolish loss of the almost genius, those who missed by that much. Those idiots.

Prepare your cheek for the echoed click of mirthful pity as we traipse backward in time to judge a collection of people on their final acts.


Inventor: Thomas Midgely Jr.

Murdered by: His Bed

Thomas Midgley was a man crippled by genius, and perhaps more telling, micromanagement. In years to come, Midgley might be viewed as a Frankenstein level crackpot, as his discoveries may kill us all. In his day, Midgley gave the world Leaded Petrol and Chlorofluorocarbons, known colloquially as CFCs. So, thanks for all your strong efforts in massed mortis, dingus. However, a slight dose of smug payback can be claimed from the fact that he was killed by his own invention, which may have stepped from his lack of trust in medical professionals.



In 1940, he contracted Polio. Bedridden (perhaps by Karma), he decided to develop a system that would help him get in and out of the sheets unaided. Sadly, and much unlike every 007 villain system it was inspired by, Midgley was found one morning asphyxiated by the system of ropes and pullies that called him Papa. I’d extend condolences, but you know, lead poisoning.



Inventor: Franz Reichelt

Murdered by: Peer Pressure

Franz Reichelt was more than a man who decided to hurl himself off the most romantic phallic symbol in continental Europe. He was very much like us. He had no idea what he was doing, and displayed a great deal of doubt before being pressured into something. Back in 1912, leaping off buildings draped in a homemade parachute was a gentleman’s pursuit, and not merely the weekend hobby of radical, bearded nabobs who message your spouse at 3 in the morning to see if she’s still up. Franz stepped to the tower that morning, unsure if his invention was going to work, but felt pressured by the media to do the jump, instead of leaving the glory to an inanimate object. Sadly, with British Pathe in attendance, Herr Reichelt chose the sensible thing and jumped from a lower height, which doomed him, as leaping from a higher plane might have allowed the chutesuit to deploy as planned. Heinously, the cameras caught it all.



Now, NSFW, and feel free to not watch it, but the reservations he possessed prior to his jumped is plain to see. The wavering of his final step is heartbreaking as it is interesting. That being said, Franz lived on to have a very happy life, and nothing at all happened to him at all.



Inventor: Valentin Abakovski

Murdered by: His extremely pimped ride

Fair play to Valentin Abakovski, as the ‘Aerowagon’ looks like an extremely dope whip. It somehow combined the world of rail, as it was fundamentally a train, powered by an aircraft engine, replete with a boss propellor thing. Phwoar, would take off my shirt to score a ride in that thing. Valentin was also a chauffeur in his regular life, so this contraption was clearly the manifestation of him having to drive sensibly. The aerowagon was originally designed to ferry the more elite of the we’re all equal (but some more equal than others) vibe that painted the walls of the Soviet Union.



Sadly, the S precursor to Pimp My Ride had a rather sad ending, as the part of the test where the Politburo acted shocked over the transformation was spoiled slightly by the fact that all six testers were killed when the Aerowagon became airborne. Ironnnyyy. Condolences. Pro tip to the producers of that show, perhaps a gritty reboot could save the series. Keep the car customisation angle, but increase the chances of spectacular death at the end of each episode.




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