Georges Salomon, developer of the modern ski binding, died Oct. 5 at his home on Lake Annency, France. He was 84.
Salomon played a key role in shaping the sport of skiing after World War II by perfecting releasable bindings, then expanding his company's offerings into boots, skis, and clothing.
The family's original trade was manufacturing saw blades, but in 1947 Salomon and his father started making metal ski edges.
A few years later Salomon produced his first toe-release binding. In 1962 the company produced the Allais safety binding, named for the French ski champion, and began to sweep the market.
"The full release binding was widely copied by other manufacturers and became the industry standard saving thousands of skiers from breaking bones or twisting knees," SkiRacing wrote in its obituary.
Salomon also created rear-entry boots, an ‘80s fad that was popular among beginners because of their comfort, but which never caught on among more advanced skiers.
By 1972 Salomon led the world in ski bindings, selling more than a million sets; by 1985 company business tallied 250 million euros.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Salomon and his family sold Salomon to Adidas in 1997 in a deal valued at $1.5 billion.