Meet The Highly Decorated Scientist, Thomas Midgley Jr.
There’s a scientist who’s long since passed away who singlehandedly contributed more damage to the world than any other human being, ever. The man who accidentally killed the most people in history went by the name of Thomas Midgley Jr.
The scientist and inventor Mr. Midgley came from a legacy of other inventors and visionaries. His father even helped to create what we use today as automobile tires. His grandfather invented the inserted tooth saw. Neither of these inventions caused even close to as much harm as the latest Midgley, however.
In 1905, Thomas Midgley Jr. had an obsession with the periodic table of elements. It’s this fascination of his that ended up killing him, as well as millions of other people.
… Who Also Happens To Hold The Distinction As The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In The World
The legacy left behind by Mr. Midgley is one of toxicity and death. Kinda sucks to have people say that about you after you die, right? Well, in this case, sadly the gossip is all well-deserved.
Not only did he invent leaded gasoline, but he also invented CFSs which are a huge detriment to the planet.
He Invented Lead Gasoline For One Thing
Lead gasoline was invented as a solution for the crappy gasoline that was distributed in the early 20th century. In 1921, Midgley found a way to alter the chemical makeup of gasoline by adding lead and bromine.
The leaded gasoline that he invented was an appealing solution to avoid the issues caused by the early 20th century gasoline. The company called the substance “ethyl”, and didn’t mention anything about lead in advertising or disclosure reports.
Sadly, the production of this new substance tended to cause violent death, which included hallucination and insanity. Turns out lead poisoning isn’t fun.
In the decades to come, researchers and health boards determined that lead additives to gasoline were highly toxic pollutants that caused blood and brain disorders in children. Then there were the antisocial behaviours and lowered IQ levels to account for.
All of that doesn’t even mention the fact that leaded gasoline killed seven factory workers in the early stages of product development!
And Don’t Forget About That Freon!
Around 1928, Midgley was transferred to work for Frigidaire, a subsidiary of General Motors. His mission was to create safer and more affordable refrigerant substitutes.
The man who accidentally killed the most people in history created a substance, later known as “Freon” that companies used as a refrigerant in air conditioning, as well as aerosol spray propellant.
In 1974, however, scientists confirmed that Freon and other CFCs were slowly causing the deterioration of the ozone layer. Because of this, these chemicals compromised the natural protection of the Earth against harmful sun rays.
The manufacture of Freon was banned in developed countries in 1996, and in developing countries in 2010.
The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History’s Inventions Continue To Harm The Planet And Our Health Today
Here’s the kicker: Thomas Midgley Jr. got lead poisoning and eventually became ill with Polio. His disability caused him to develop an elaborate string and pulley system so he could still be mobile.
He became entangled in the ropes of his invention, and died of strangulation.
He is responsible for the poisoning of three generations of children through lead poisoning. He also increased the risk of skin cancer and other skin problems for everyone on the planet.
The man who accidentally killed the most people in history left a legacy of death and illness. It’s been more than 30. years since his demise and we are still suffering the consequences of his inventions.