1905 07 07

1905 July 7th       Slain by His Own Invention

All Buda-Pesth is talking of the fate of Anton Handelmann, a German inventor, who fell a victim to his own invention. Handelmann invented an elaborate apparatus for preventing electric trams running over people. Time and again did the inventor approach the tramway companies of almost every large city of Germany and Austria. Everyone regarded him as a crank, and, finally, rendered desperate by frequent disappointment, he decided to give an exhibition to the public. Cards of invitation were sent to many of the leading residents, and also to a large number of officials connected with the tramway world.

At eleven o’clock at night, after the cars had ceased running on a little-used section of the line, Handelmann, arrayed in his best clothes, deliberately laid down on the muddy roadway, and stretched himself across the metals. His apparatus had been attached to the forepart of an old car, which was hired for the occasion, and, at a signal given, his son, who acted as motor-man, started from the top of the hill, at the bottom of which his father lay. As the car with ever-increasing speed dashed down upon the prostrate inventor the crowd held its breath. A moment later there was a shriek and a shudder, for the invention did not fulfil its part, and the unfortunate German was caught under the wheels and killed almost instantly. As the body was being removed a report rang out, and it was seen that the unfortunate inventor’s son, the amateur motor-man, had blown out his brains. Father and son were buried at Botoshaus on Saturday.

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