Time Magazine recently published a list of the 50 worst inventions that were ever patented.
Amongst them are dangerous ideas that killed their inventors like Reichelts parachute jacket.
Franz Reichelt, an Austrian-born, French tailor was thrilled about the idea of a jacket, that opens into a parachute. It could be worn in emergency, for example when evacuating airplanes and allow the passengers to survive a fall from a great height. He had tested it by throwing puppets with parachutes out the window of his 5 story building. But in order to prove it, he decided to jump off the Eifel tower with the parachute jacket allowing him to slowly float to the ground. Unfortunately the invention failed and Reichelt died on February 4th, 1912.
Another dangerous invention listed by Time Magazine is the tanning bed. Although it is not secret that the overuse of a tanning bed can cause major skin damage, however it is said, that 90% of skin cancer incidents are the direct result of UV radiation. Tanning beds were first brought to America in 1979 by inventor Friedrich Wolff, who patented his particular blend of phosphor for fluorescent lamps in order to create UV which is similar to the sun. The result is a cosmetic tan.
Despite all the dangerous aspects, there is also a positive side to this invention. It is used for medical treatment of certain illnesses. But most importantly sun light affects the Vitamin D synthesis in our bodies which has a wide range of positive health effects like inhibiting the growth of cancer.
To learn more about the 48 remaining worst inventions please also see: Time Specials: The 50 worst inventions