Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, And Madness at the Fair That Changed America - Erik Larson

This inventor, who gave his initials as R.T.E, envisioned a tower four thousand feet tall from which he proposed to hang a two-thousand-foot cable of "best rubber". Attached at the bottom end of this cable would be a car seating two hundred people. The car and its passengers would be shoved off a platform and fall without restraints to the end of the cable, where the car would snap back upward and continue bouncing until it came to a stop.The engineer urged that as  a precaution the ground "be covered with eight feet of feather bedding".

 

It´s 1891 and someone has come up with the concept of bungee jumping - okay, fatal bungee. But still, this is just brilliant.