Ignas Semmelweis was the doctor who discovered that antisepsis saved lives during surgery. He forced doctors in his hospital to wash their hands between patients and was able to reduce patient deaths from infection by more than 90 percent. This was in the 1850s and years before Pasteur's Germ Theory. Most doctors at the time ridiculed him and they hounded him out of the medical profession and he went insane and ironically died of infection. He was one of the many pioneers who saw the future.
Surgical instruments, German, ca 1600.