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Life savers

2 years ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


17 February 2022

I’m as guilty, if not more guilty than most, of over-using the word ‘hero’. I apply it to sporting stars, who are simply being paid to race bicycles, cars or motorcycles. I often use it for soldiers, who were probably simply trying to survive the unimaginable hell of combat.

I’ve even probably wasted it on some celebrities that did nothing more than appear in a movie. But despite my own regrettably loose use of the word, there are real heroes, and here is the story of two of them.

Nils Bohlin was born in a small town in Sweden in 1920 and died there in 2002. When he was 39, he filed his first patent – Swedish Patent No. 3,043,625. It was a very simple – you might even say obvious – device. But it, and hence Mr Bohlin, is estimated to have saved between one and two million lives over the past 60-odd years.

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