Tag Archives: Aviation

Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions



William Nelson (1879-1903) was a General Electic employee who invented a new way to motorize bicycles. 

He then fell off his prototype bike during a test run.


Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari (1003 – 1010) was a Muslim Kazakh Turkic scholar from Farab, he attempted to fly using two wooden wings and a rope. 

 He leapt from the roof of a mosque in Nishapur and fell to his death.

Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier was the first know fatality in an air crash when his Roziere balloon crashed on June 15, 1785, while he and Pierre Romain were attempting to cross the English Channel.

Franz Reichelt (1879-1912) who was a tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his coat parachute.  It was the first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance that he would test it first with a dummy (referring to himself?)

Henry Smolinski died in 1973, when he was killed during a test flight of the AVE Mizar,

 a flying car based on the Ford Pinto and the sole product of the company he founded.

Michael Dacre died in 2009, after testing his flying taxi device

 designed to accommodate fast and affordable travel among nearby cities.


Thomas Midgley, Jr. (1889-1944) was an American engineer and chemist who contracted polio at age 51, leaving him severely disabled.  He devised an elaborate system of strings and pulleys to help other lift him from bed.  This system was the eventual cause of his death when he was accidentally entangled in the ropes of this device and died of strangulation at the age of 55.  He is more famous and infamous for developing not only the tetraethyl lead (TEL) additive to gasoline, but also chlorofluorocarbons (DFCs)


Marie Curie (1867-1934) invented the process to isolate radium after co-discovering the radioactive elements radium and polonium. 

She died of aplastic anemia as a result of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation emanating from her research materials.


Li Si (208 BC) was Prime Minister during the Qin Dynasty

and was executed by the “Five Pains” method which he had devised.

James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton (1581) was executed in Edinburgh on the “Scottish Maiden”

which he had introduced to Scotland as Regent.

Space Exploration

Wan Hu, a sixteenth-century Chinese official, is said to have attempted to launch himself into outer space in a chair to which 47 rockets were attached. 

The rockets exploded and, it is said, neither he nor the chair was ever seen again……….perhaps it worked??!!?



So let’s have some fun………shall we…….

bring in the paraprosdokians

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.

Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but they also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a form of syllepsis.

Where there’s a will, I want to be in it

The last thing I want to do is hurt you.  But it’s still on my list.

Since Light travels faster than sound, some people appear brighty until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public

War does not determine who is right – only who is left…..

Knowledge is know a tomoto is a fruit.  Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

They begin the evening news with “Good Evening” …….then proceed to tell you why it isn’t

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.  To steal from many is reseach

Busses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is  a work station

I thought I wanted a career. Turned out I just wanted paychecks.

In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of emergency, notify:”        I put “DOCTOR”

I didn’t want to say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and they still think they are sexy

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory

You do not need a parachute to skydive.  You only need a parachute to skydive twice!

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with

There is a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away

I used to be indecisive.  Now I’m not sure

You’re never too old to learn something stupid

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car…….AMEN

I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it is getting harder and harder for me to find one now.