作者：By Ward Hazell
It is a sad fact that most people live their lives unremarked by history. Though we hope to be remembered by our family and friends， our achievements are often of small note and soon forgotten.
There are， of course， a few people whose names will live long after them. And then there are those anonymous1 pioneers whose achievements， good and bad， changed the course of history but whose names are， for the most part， unknown to us. Whether by design， by accident， or by malicious afterthought，2 there are some people whose contribution to the history of the world has gone largely unrecognized.
Nils Bohlin was working for Volvo3 in 1958 when he came up with a revolutionary design that has saved millions of lives—the seat belt. Simple lap seat belts had been around for a long time， but the three-point safety belt4 was a major technological advancement with a simple design. Bohlin received a patent5 for the design the next year.
After some initial resistance from drivers who resented being told what to do， even for their own good， the three-point seat belt has become a standard feature in new cars around the world.6 There is no way of knowing exactly how many lives the seat belt has saved， but the number is estimated to be in the millions.
In 1927， Philo Farnsworth managed to transmit8 an image of a straight line through the air. By 1929， he had improved his design and managed to transmit a picture of his wife—much more exciting， even if the picture was a little blurry9. Though he called it an “image dissector10，” Philo had， in fact， just invented television.
So， why did John Logie Baird11 get the credit？ Well， Baird was one of the pioneers of television and also much more business-minded. He demonstrated the first color television in 1928.
Philo turned down offers to buy out his patents and started his own business but couldn’t compete with the large companies that were getting in on the act， and his business folded12. Philo remained an inventor until the end of his life in 1971 but never again invented anything as wonderful as TV.
James Harrison has saved the lives of over two million people.
Known as the Man with the Golden Arm， James’s blood produces a rare antibody which cures the otherwise fatal Rhesus disease in unborn children.13 James has donated his blood 1，173 times， a Guinness world record14. It is estimated that James’s donations have saved the lives of almost 2.4 million babies.
James was forced to retire as a blood donor15 when he reached the age of 77， the maximum donor age in Australia， where he lives. However， his blood has also been used in the development of a medicine， known as anti-D， which， it is hoped， will banish16 the Rhesus disease in children forever.
Lewis Latimer， the son of runaway slaves， was the draftsman who helped Alexander Graham Bell file his patent for the telephone.17
That’s kind of impressive， but that’s not all. Latimer also patented a carbon filament for the incandescent light bulb in 1881.18 Though Thomas Edison19 is generally credited as the inventor of the light bulb， he had， until that time， only been able to make the bulbs light up for a few minutes at a time.
Latimer patented his method for making carbon filaments， which allowed light bulbs to burn for hours before burning out. Much more useful.
Not only that， but Latimer was a pioneer of the electric lighting industry and one of the charter members20 of the Edison Pioneers， who worked closely with Edison in the further development of electric light. Of the original 100 Pioneers， Lewis Latimer was the only black man.
He went on to invent a number of other useful gadgets， including a flushing train toilet and a device which cooled and disinfected patients’ rooms in hospitals， thus reducing the rate of hospital-acquired infections.21
Not all achievements require bravery and self-sacrifice. Take Maurice Hilleman， for example. Maurice found other ways to change the world； he created a number of vaccines22. He developed the mumps vaccine after his daughter contracted the illness in 1963.23 He took a swab24 of the back of her throat， drove to his laboratory in the middle of the night， and figured out a way to turn that into the vaccine that we use today. And he didn’t stop there.
In total， Maurice Hilleman has single-handedly developed more than 40 different vaccines， including eight commonly given to children in order to prevent measles， mumps， hepatitis A and B， chickenpox， meningitis， pneumonia， and Haemophilus influenzae.25 His work has probably saved millions of lives and prevented serious complications as a result of the diseases. The MMR26 vaccine alone has been given to over a billion children around the world.
And all because his daughter got the mumps.
1. anonymous： 匿名的，不知姓名的。
2. malicious： 怀有恶意的，恶毒的；afterthought： 事后的想法，后加的东西。
3. Volvo： 沃尔沃，瑞典汽车品牌，于1927年在瑞典哥德堡创建。
4. three-point safety belt： 三点式安全带，即腿带、肩带兼用的一种安全带，是如今汽车上最常见的款式，能防止乘客向前撞和左右移动位置，是汽车中最重要的独立安全装置。
5. patent： 专利权，专利品。
6. 起初，一些司机对全新的安全带形式表示抗拒，他们对别人出于好意的安全提醒颇为反感。在那之后，三点式安全带逐渐遍布全世界，成为汽车内的一项标准配置。resistance： （对新观念或改变的）反对，抗拒；resent： 怨恨，愤恨。
7. buckle up： 系上安全带，把……扣紧。
8. transmit： 传输，发送（电子信号、信息等）。
9. blurry： 模糊不清的。
10. image dissector： 图像分析仪，析像管。
11. John Logie Baird： 约翰·罗杰·贝尔德（1888—1946），英国工程师、发明家，电动机械电视系统的发明者。
12. fold： 停止，失败。
13. antibody： 抗体；fatal： 致命的，毁灭性的；Rhesus disease： 恒河猴症，一种溶血性疾病。
14. Guinness world record： 吉尼斯世界纪录。
15. donor： 捐献者。
16. banish： 驱除，赶走。
17. draftsman： 起草者；Alexander Graham Bell： 亚历山大·格拉汉姆·贝尔（1847—1922），美国发明家和企业家，他获得了世界上第一台可用的电话机的专利权（发明者有争议）；file： v. 提出申请。
18. carbon filament： 碳灯丝；incandescent light bulb： 白炽灯泡。
19. Thomas Edison： 托马斯·爱迪生（1847—1931），美国科学家、发明家、企业家，拥有众多重要的发明专利。
20. charter member：（俱乐部或组织的）元老，创始人员。
21. 他接著发明了许多实用的小机械，例如火车的厕所设备，以及一个能够为医院病房降温消毒的装置，这一装置降低了人们在医院内受到病菌感染的几率。gadget： 小机械，小装置；disinfect： 为……杀菌，给……消毒。
22. vaccine： 疫苗。
23. mumps： 流行性腮腺炎；contract：感染（疾病等）。
24. swab： （医用）拭子，药棉棒。
25. measles： // 麻疹；hepatitis：// 肝炎；chickenpox：水痘；meningitis： // 脑膜炎；pneumonia： // 肺炎；Haemophilus influenzae：流感嗜血杆菌。
26. MMR： 即measles， mumps， and rubella，麻腮风三联疫苗（预防麻疹、腮腺炎和风疹的疫苗）。