By: Anne Jones
Maybe you have guessed that the Key lime pie was invented in Florida, but what about the IBM´s first Personal Computer? The Floridians – and those who lived in the state – invented quite a few impressive things. Check out six inventions created in Florida.
1. Suntan Cream
Invented by: Benjamin Green, 1944
The Florida-based pharmacist named Benjamin Green invented the first sunscreen lotion in 1944. Green was in the U.S. Military and wanted to develop a lotion that would protect U.S. fighters from the sun in the Pacific. His sunscreen was red and sticky and looked more like jelly than today’s white sunscreen lotions. The patent was sold to Coppertone in the early 1950’s.
2. Modern Mechanical Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology
Invented by: John Gorrie in 1851
Without air conditioning nobody would ever go to Florida, ever. In 1851, John Gorrie, a Florida resident, invented an ice-based cooling system that is widely considered an early version of the modern air conditioner. His invention was basically a box filled with ice through which air was flowing. Gorrie’s invention began with an attempt to cure Yellow Fever during an outbreak in Apalachicola. Convinced that cold was a healer, he advocated the use of ice to cool sickrooms and reduce fever. The ice was shipped by boat from northern lakes until Gorrie’s successful experimentation with the rapid expansion of gases, created refrigeration. He became a pioneer in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration by inventing a machine that made ice, and received the first U.S Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
Invented by: Robert Cade at University of Florida, 1965
The Gatorade was invented in 1965 by physician Robert Cade at the University of Florida (UF). A team of researchers was tasked by University of Florida’s football coach to develop a drink that would help replace body fluids lost by the players in the heat of the Florida sun. The University of Florida’s football team was the “Gators” – hence the name Gatorade. The drink was first sold to the public in 1967 and in 2001 PepsiCo bought it. The Gatorade is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s 40 most powerful sports brands and has annual sales of more than $4 billion. Since 1973, Gatorade has brought more than $200 million to the university, enabling the University of Florida to invest in countless research projects.
4. IBM Personal Computer
Invented by: Don Estridge, 1981
IBM’s first Personal Computer (IBM 5150) was not created in California as you may think. A team of engineers and designers under the direction of Don Estridge created the IBM 5150 in the IBM Entry Systems Division located in Boca Raton, Florida. The first IBM PC was introduced to the market in August 12, 1981.
The generic term “personal computer” was in use before 1981, applied as early as 1972 to the Xerox PARC’s Alto, but because of the success of the IBM Personal Computer, the term “PC” came to mean more specifically a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM’s PC products.
5. Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice
Invented by: University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center, 1947
This cheap alternative to most orange juices was developed at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center in 1948 to provide better tasting juice to soldiers. The product became a huge hit.
Invented by: Robert Merton Spink, 1955
Anybody who has ever sold a junky car has probably used Bondo to patch all the rusted out spots. The first filler for car bodies without toxic lead was invented in 1955 by Miami automotive repair shop owner Robert Merton Spink.
Anne Jones is a freelance writer with broad experience in reporting about fashion, lifestyle and entertainment