June 7, 2002

Former Volvo safety engineer inducted into Inventor’s Hall of Fame

Akron, Ohio – Nils Bohlin, the inventor of the three-point safety belt and retired safety engineer with Volvo Car Corporation in Sweden, was recently inducted into The National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.

Each year, the Inventors Hall of Fame celebrates invention by honouring the men and women who have changed the way we live through their patented technologies that save lives and make human, social and economic progress possible.

The inventions span the fields of medicine, technology, the environment, automotive safety, and have all had a significant impact on the way people live.

“People know the gadgets that are part of our everyday life, but they don’t know the name of the person who came up with the idea,” says Donald Keck, president, National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. “To date, inventors have been recognized, often posthumously, by the hall. They include the famous, from Thomas Edison (the light bulb), Eli Whitney (the cotton gin) to John Deere (the common plough) and Willis Carrier (air-conditioning), to the obscure, such as William Lear (the car radio), Wilson Greatbatch (the pacemaker) and Andrew Moyer (the mass production of penicillin).”

Bohlin joins this impressive list of inductees as a result of his role in revolutionizing automotive safety with his invention of the three-point safety belt while he was a safety engineer with Volvo. His invention was presented in 1958 and became standard equipment in the front seats of Volvo cars in Europe in 1959.

“Seat belts continue to be the single most effective technology for saving lives in collisions,” say Paul Cummings, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. “June is safety month for Volvo in Canada and recognition for Mr. Bohlin is an appropriate reminder to all of us of the contribution this simple technology makes to saving lives.”

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