I read an article in the newspaper the other day about George Salomon who passed away a couple weeks ago. (I'm reporting the article as I remember it, correct me if I make some mistakes)
Mr. Salomon, born and raised in France, started making ski edges in his father's sawblade shop after being a teacher for a few years. He was an avid skier and saw alpine bindings as often unreliable and inury-causing. Salomon researched some new technologies and eventually created the modern ski binding as we know it today. Previously, bindings were leather straps which were very unreliable. Soon George Salomon began to produce bindings with his new "toe release" which ejected a skier from their binding if there was too much pressure. He began to give these new bindings to the top racing skiers in France, who quickly rose to the top with their new bindings.
Salomon then introduced the rear entry boot, for the comfort and convenience of the casual recreational skier. Although it was rejected as unstable by racers, it gained much popularity with local everyday skiers.
As Salomon's bindings and boots began to gain popularity, he decided to start a full scale ski company starting in around 1990 (not sure on this date) and created his own line of skis and other equipment. Soon after, Salomon sold his company to ADIDAS for 1.4 Billion dollars. The man who started out in his dad's factory making edges became a billionare after all that hard work.
Salomon died a couple weeks ago in the peace of his cottage, near the Alps of France.
So next time, your bindings either hold you in or save you from tearing you ACL, thank George Salomon because he created the modern day ski binding.