To Estonia today for the tale of a Baltic German gentleman of learning whose professional fascination with electricity proved to be the death of him. Georg Wilhelm Richmann was a pioneering physicist who conducted experiments on natural electricity and, as you can probably guess, met a sticky end thanks to it!
|Death of Georg Wilhelm Richmann from Les Grand Inventions by Louis F Gueir, 1863|
Whilst closely examining an electroscope, a bolt of ball lightning struck the device and travelled straight into the physicist's head. The electricity rushed through Richmann and left via his foot, blowing a hole in his shoe and sending him flying across the room. The gnomon was destroyed and the physicist was killed instantly, the first scientist to die whilst experimenting with electricity.