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7 inventors killed by their inventions

By: Shea Gunther on Jan. 18, 2012, 8:59 a.m.
Thomas Midgley, Jr. in the 1930s.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Thomas Midgley, Jr.

Thomas Midgley, Jr. was a highly decorated chemist best known for his work with "no-knock" or leaded gasoline and the greenhouse gas Freon. He suffered from lead poisoning and once poured leaded gasoline all over his hands and sniffed from a flask of it for 60 seconds during a press conference to prove the fuel was safe. One might assume that Migley died of lead poisoning, but he was actually killed by another one of his inventions — the rope and pulley system he built to support his body while he was in bed suffering from polio. He became entangled in the ropes on Nov. 2, 1944, and suffocated.