Death by Invention! Who didn't make it?
by Staff
It might sound like that scene in a sci-fi movie when the robot goes crazy and kills its own inventor, but the fact is that inventors have fallen prey to their own creations for hundreds of years. Take this quiz to see how much you know about inventors killed by their own work.

What’s the name of the nuclear device physicist Harry Daghlian was working on when he received a lethal dose of radiation in 1945?

  • Demon Core
  • Glowing Portal
  • Radiathon

What machine led to the death of its inventor (William Bullock) in 1867?

  • rotary hone
  • rotary mower
  • rotary printing press

What other invention did William Bullock create?

  • backhoe
  • coffee press
  • seed planter

What was the nickname of Franz Reichlet, the inventor of a parachute suit?

  • The Flying Dutchman
  • The Flying Tailor
  • The Flying Fool

What was the final stage of The Five Pains method of execution used in China?

  • being boiled in oil
  • being cut in half
  • being dropped off The Great Wall

What were the charges that led to the death of The Five Pains inventor, Li Si?

  • treason
  • adultery
  • theft

What made the flying taxi, the invention that killed its maker, Michael Dacre, unique?

  • It was made of glass.
  • It could take off and land in short distances.
  • It ran on goose fat.

How many patents did Thomas Midgley have?

  • between 10 and 50
  • between 50 and 100
  • more than 100

Midgley suffered from polio, but how did he die?

  • shot
  • strangled
  • drowned

What invention collapsed around its inventor, Henry Winstanley, in 1703, leading to his death?

  • lighthouse
  • silo
  • suspension bridge

How did Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway, die?

  • A Segway exploded while he was test-driving it.
  • He drove a Segway off a cliff.
  • He was crushed by a runaway Segway.

Max Valier was killed by flying shrapnel from one of his own inventions. Which one was it?

  • a mine
  • a rocket motor
  • a grenade

What was the name of the high-speed railcar powered by a jet engine that killed its inventor, Valerian Abakovsky?

  • Mercurcar
  • Bolt
  • Aerowagon

What invention killed its inventor, William Nelson, in 1903 in Schenectady, New York?

  • motorized bicycle
  • electric toaster
  • the cotton gin

What was the nickname of Otto Lilienthal?

  • The Rocket Man
  • The Human Fish
  • The Glider King

Where was Aurel Vlaicu heading when the airplane he invented lost its wings and caused his death?

  • Budapest
  • Prague
  • Transylvania

What kind of car did Henry Smolinski attach airplane wings to in an effort to make a flying car?

  • Dodge Dart
  • Ford Pinto
  • Pontiac Grand Am

What medical treatment ended the life of scientist Alexander Bogdanov after he spent his life doing pioneering work on it?

  • angioplasty
  • blood transfusion
  • liver transplant

What scientist died by tasting his discoveries?

  • Karl Scheele
  • Humphrey Davies
  • Jack Catchman

What project was Louis Slotin working on when he was exposed to the amount of radiation equivalent to standing 4,800 feet away from an atomic bomb explosion?

  • The X Files
  • The Manhattan Project
  • The Supernova Cosmology Project