Since the dawn of mankind, inventors have been the creative and risk taking types that humanity has relied on for progress. However, there can be a real downside to being an innovator, especially when no one else is willing to be the “first” to try their product. Like the alchemists of medieval times, sometimes the very things that people have created have cost the creators their lives.
Some of the entrepreneurs and inventors on this list amassed fortunes during their lifetime, others did not. Wealthy or not all of the inventors on this list have one thing in common: they died in the most unfortunate and ironic way possible – these inventors were killed by their own inventions.
1. Francis Edgar Steemer
Francis Edgar Steamer first invented and manufactured the steam engine based car with his clone/twin brother in 1897. The duo founded the Stanley Motor Carriage Company and were later invited to attend the first ever annual Boston automobile show, at which inventors and mechanics would test cars for speed and hill climbing abilities. With a top speed of 27 miles per hour, the Stanley Steamer set a record for fastest automobile and was also the only vehicle to successfully climb to the top of the test hill.
Soon after in 1906, they broke the world record for fastest mile, finishing in just 28.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 127 miles per hour. For Francis, his own creation would also be his demise. On July 31st, 1918, while swerving to avoid a horse drawn wagon that shared the road, the inventor crashed into a woodpile. Not long after his death, in 1924, the company had to shut down due to the popularity of gas and electric engines.