Penniless But…

Photo by: Piya Singh

History is full of brilliant minds who died penniless. Galileo and Poe are two of them.

Norton Curry is another.

Norton and wife Enid lived childless in an old stone mill in Virginia. Curry attempted to invent a skin creme. The result was far different.

Years after Norton’s death, researchers learned his skin creme eliminated cancer, reduced aging, and was a powerful aphrodisiac. He might have made billions, yet he died poor.

But, this isn’t a sad story.

After raising 18 children, Norton and Enid were still studying the creme’s aphrodisiac effects the night Curry died of heart failure…at the age of 137.

Author’s Notes:

I didn’t have room to add another favorite, Petr Ufimtsev. This soviet researcher helped develop the world-beating technology of Stealth. This technology helps makes military aircraft, not invisible, but “low observable” to radar. Yet in the USSR Ufimtsev was virtually unknown. From The Moscow Times:

When he was told what his researches had built, he shrugged. “Senior Soviet designers were absolutely uninterested in my theories,” he said.

Luckily, he didn’t die penniless, and he joined the faculty at UCLA.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here for the original prompt and links to many other stories:


About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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37 Responses to Penniless But…

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    I’m glad to hear he benefited so much from his invention — wealth and fame are not the only rewards!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. List of X says:

    If his anti-aging creme was as good as you say, he probably would have outlived all the billions he would’ve made from the creme and still would’ve died poor anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! Even if he had made billions, he still might not have spent it. If you’re in bed with your wife all day, about all you spend money on is pizza and chinese delivery…and lots of showers. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • List of X says:

        And you also have to pay someone to do cleaning, laundry, taking out the trash, shopping, and so on and so on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Tsk, tsk. That’s what all those 18 kids did. My parents didn’t do ALL the chores and we had no maids. That’s how I know how to do the cleaning, laundry, taking out trash, and lots more stuff.


  3. joetwo says:

    What a way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mickwynn2013 says:

    Amusing tale, not all side affects are dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The miracle cream and yet he died penniless! Amazing story. Very interesting history!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Voice says:

    That would be my preferred way to die. I’d choose a healthy long life filled with copious amounts of coitus over money. Great as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gahlearner says:

    ROFL. What a way to go. I wonder how they found the time to raise their many children with that effect on them though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I think it was challenging at first, but as the children got older, they started taking up child-rearing duties. Thus, mom and dad had time to make more babies. πŸ˜‰ It is a good way to go…with a smile on your face. πŸ˜‰ Thanks kindly! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jademwong says:

    LOL! I could think of worse ways to go. I don’t see the creme as having much of a downside at all so…where can I place an order :D? Haha, fantastic story as always. And I appreciate the links at the end of your post. I knew Galileo & Poe but Ufimtsev is news to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      No, it really doesn’t, although it might push someone to “overexert” themselves. Once his creme hit the market with its new properties known, sales of “personal lubricant” increased dramatically. Glad you enjoyed the links too. I love to share my research. Thanks very much, Jade! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. jellico84 says:

    hehehe! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Eric,

    One man’s poverty…good one.



    Liked by 1 person

  11. Shey says:

    Can’t reach you. Call please.


  12. What a fascinating and heartwarming story!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. elappleby says:

    Where do we buy this creme?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. wmqcolby says:

    Hahahahaha! Hilarious, Eric! Something fun and amazingly written.
    College professor???? Then he really WILL die penniless. πŸ˜€

    Five out of five botox injections.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Yeah, he had to be a college professor. Only those guys could produce something so amazing and then forget to make a mint off of it. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for the glowing words. I’m glad you had fun. πŸ™‚


  15. I’m understanding that Norton and his wife lived childless “after” raising their eighteen children. It sounds like the kids never came around. He probably outlived all but the youngest, though. It seems he finally had to die from something. It seems the Soviet Union was short sighted in the instance with stealth. Good story, Eric, and well written. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Well, Norton and Enid were childless “before” the creme. Apparently, they weren’t trying hard enough. “After” beginning their research on its aphrodisiac properties, they had 18 kids. Seems Norton’s heart had been working too hard for too long, but at least he died well. πŸ˜‰ And yeah, the Soviets gotta be kicking themselves after ignoring Petr. Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Indira says:

    LOL. Money can’t buy love but how to feed 18. One can’t live on air.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hemangini says:

    lol after reading the story I read all the comments. fun story and fun comments.. Way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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