Puerto rican inventions: Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Puerto Rico

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Puerto Rico


  1. Many of the streets in old San Juan are paved with adoquines, or blue cobblestone pavers, made from waste from iron smelting.

    The famous cobblestones were brought as ballast on European ships in the 18th century, and were later used to pave streets of San Juan. Over years of wear and exposure to the elements, they have developed their characteristic blue color.

  2. Puerto Rico is home to the largest living sea turtle in the world – the leatherback sea turtle.

    The World Wildlife Fund categorizes it as vulnerable in Puerto Rico, but it is critically endangered in other locations. The Proyecto Tinglado conservation project is based on Puerto Rico’s Culebra island, one of the few places in the world where the leatherback’s population is on the rise.

  3. The unofficial mascot of Puerto Rico is the coquí tree frog, a tiny creature with a distinctive high-pitched chirping heard across the island from dusk until dawn.

    The coquí measures just 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) in length and weighs 2 to 4 ounces (57 to 113 grams). The male coquí sings «co» to ward off other males and «qui» to attract females, but recent climate change has altered its song in a way that could interfere with its survival.

  4. El Yunque, just a few hours from San Juan, is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System.

    El Yunque is one of the smaller forests in the system, but its hundreds of plant and animal species make it one of the most biologically diverse. Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, damage assessment and cleanup efforts are ongoing, with updates posted regularly on the Forest Service’s website.

  5. In 1992, Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory discovered the first planet beyond our solar system.

    Arecibo is the second largest single-dish radio telescope in the world. Built into a natural limestone sinkhole, the dish measures 1,000 feet (305 meters) in diameter, 167 feet (51 meters) deep, and covers about 20 acres. Arecibo opened in 1963 – and has been involved in many other important discoveries. In 1967, Arecibo measured that it took Mercury just 59 days to orbit the sun (not 88 days, as was believed).

  6. One of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders, the Camuy River Cave Park has more than 200 caves to explore.

    The Camuy River has carved out one of the largest underground cave systems in the world, surrounded by a 268-acre park. Cueva Clara (Clear Cave) is massive – more than 170 feet (52 meters) high and 200 feet (61 meters) wide. Along with impressive formations comes an eerie soundtrack of rushing and dripping water…and bats.

  7. Puerto Rico is not one island; it is actually an archipelago with one main island and many smaller islands.

    The Puerto Rican Islands are part of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico is by far the largest, but there are three main offshore islands: Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. Of these, only Vieques and Culebra are inhabited – Mona has no known water supply.

  8. La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    The site, built from the 16th to the 20th centuries, comprises fortifications and parts of the old city walls of the city of San Juan. La Fortaleza, built between 1533 and 1540, is its oldest structure, and was previously an arsenal and a prison. It now serves as the office and residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

  9. The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest point of the Atlantic Ocean, and is one of the deepest trenches in the world.

    Located just north of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Trench separates the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. At its deepest point, the trench is 5.2 miles (8.4 km) deep. The site is geologically complex, and is also associated with the most negative gravity anomaly (or downward force) on earth.

  10. The piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico, but the details are disputed.

    The Caribe Hilton claims that its bartender Ramon Marrero served the first piña colada in 1954. But Ricardo Gracia, another bartender at the Hilton, says he invented it, but was on strike and couldn’t serve it. And a plaque in front of Restaurant Barrachina claims it created the drink in 1963. Regardless of what really happened, the piña colada became Puerto Rico’s national drink in 1978.


Kimberly Enger

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Notable Puerto Ricans: Scientists — Puerto Rico Report


Puerto Rico celebrities are often known for their contributions to the arts, and Puerto Rico has produced many of America’s scientists as well. The list below shines a spotlight on just a few of the many notable scientists from Puerto Rico.

Vanessa Aponte Williams

NASA had 70 Puerto Rican scientists on staff in 2003, according to a report by Margarita Santori Lopez. Aponte Williams was one of them. She is currently the Human Spaceflight Exploration Lead of Advanced Programs for Lockheed Martin Space. She was twice selected as a finalist in the Astronaut Selection Interview process at NASA, but has spent her career as a systems engineer focusing on human spaceflight. Born and raised in Lajas, Aponte Williams received degrees in Chemical Engineering from UPR at Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from CU Boulder. 

 Juan Arturo Rivero Quintero

Rivero Quintero was a zoologist who discovered more than 100 species of animals. He founded the Juan Arturo Rivero Quintero Zoo and the Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico.  Born in Santurce, Rivero Quintero completed his undergraduate work at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and his graduate degrees at Harvard. He returned to his alma mater in Mayagüez and headed up the biology program, becoming the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences during his 65 years at the university. He also founded and led the Puerto Rico Zoological Society. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences.

Miguel Morales

Miguel Morales is a physicist studying materials at extreme pressures and temperatures. He credits his fascination with math and science to his experience after a hurricane. Having no electricity, Morales used the opportunity to read constantly. He first encountered stories about Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and this led to his Bachelor of Science degree in theoretical physics and mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. He earned his PhD at the University of Illinois. Morales was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers by President Barack Obama in 2014. He currently works on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore labs.

Ana Roqué de Duprey

Ana Roqué de Duprey, a botanist and educator at the turn of the 20th century, founded a college for women which became the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She was born in Aguadilla and later moved to San Juan, where she was the first woman allowed to have a library card. Her interest in education was the focus of her activities, but she also composed music, wrote a number of books including Puerto Rican Flora and Botánica Antillana, The latter book describes more than 6,000 species of plants and includes her own illustrations. She also worked for voting rights for women in Puerto Rico and was an honorary member of the Paris Society of Astronomers.

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100 Women Special Project: Nine Amazing Things Women Invented

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Image copyright Hannah Eachus

If you are asked to name the most famous inventors, you are likely to think of names like Thomas Edison, Alexander Bell or Leonardo da Vinci.

What about Mary Anderson? Or Ann Tsukamoto?

You probably don’t know their names, but these are just two women from a long list of inventors who are behind both household items familiar to us and grandiose scientific discoveries.

  • 100 Women: How a widow with five children became a model and movie star women» with a list of nine inventions made possible by the innovative ideas of women inventors.

    1. Software — Grace Hopper

    After joining the US Navy during World War II, Grace was assigned to work on the creation of the new Mark I computer. with computer support.

    She developed the first compiler for a programming language, with which it became possible to translate verbal instructions into a digital code that could be read by a computer processor. This helped speed up the programming process, fundamentally changing how computers work.

    The American scientist is also credited with popularizing the term «debugging», which is still used to fix code errors in computer programs. This word came to Hopper’s mind after she managed to extract a moth (bug) that got into her computer.

    Grace Hopper, nicknamed «Amazing Grace» (after the first line of the Christian hymn «Amazing grace»), continued to work with computers until she retired from the US Navy at the age of 79years, becoming the oldest active officer.

    Photo by Hannah Eachus

    2. O limit caller caller and call waiting — Ann Jackson

    American physics work to the emergence of two telephone services: a caller ID system and notification of a new incoming call while talking to another person.

    Her innovative discoveries in the field of telecommunications led to the development of a portable fax modem, optical fiber and solar panels.

    Shirley Jackson became the first African-American woman to receive a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and head one of the world’s leading research universities.

    Photo by Hannah Eachus

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    3. Car Wipers — Mary Anderson

    On a cold winter day in 1903, during a trip to New York, Mary Anderson had to turn her window and notice that Mary Anderson had to turn her window outside to clear the windshield of falling snow. And of course, after each such cleaning, the car became colder.

    This observation inspired Anderson to develop a device like a rubber paddle that could be set in motion from inside the cabin, for which she received a patent the same year.

    However, her invention was not well received by car companies, who felt that the movement of the wipers would distract drivers from the road.

    For her invention, which later became an integral part of any car, Anderson never received anything.

    4. Space station battery — Olga Gonzale s -Sanabria

    This invention may not seem like the most attractive of our list, but the long-life hydrogen-nickel battery deserves attention, if only because it played a key role in powering the International Space Station (ISS) ).

    This was made possible by the research of Olga González-Sanabria, a Puerto Rican scientist who developed energy systems in the 1980s and is now head of the NASA Research Center Engineering Department.

    Image copyright Hannah Eachus

    100 Women Special

    As part of the BBC’s annual 100 Women special, we feature women who invent inventions that are used in everyday life, from computer software to washing machine.

    Over the course of three weeks, we will share inspirational examples of women who have achieved success in sports, music, politics and other areas of life, as well as discuss feminism and other issues.

    5. Dishwasher — Josephine Cochrane

    Josephine Cochrane, who loved to throw luxurious parties in her mansion, dreamed of a device that could wash dishes faster and more accurately than her servants, who periodically beat dishes during washing.

    Cochrane built the first automatic dishwasher using water pressure, with a copper tank running a wheel driven by a motor.

    Cochrane’s husband was an alcoholic and after his death left the inventor with a lot of debt, which inspired her to obtain a patent for a dishwasher in 1886 and open her own factory for their production.

    Photo by Hannah Eachus

    6. Home Security System — Mary Van Brittan Brown

    A nurse who often spent the night at home alone had the idea to create a home security device to help her feel safer.

    In response to the rising crime rate in America in the 1960s and the inability of the police to arrive quickly on call, Mary and her husband Albert developed the first home security device.

    It was a complex and overloaded mechanism: a camera, for example, was driven by a motor and moved up and down the door to look through the door’s peephole.

    Information was displayed on a screen in the inventor’s bedroom, and the monitor was equipped with an alarm button.

    Photo by Hannah Eachus

    7. Stem Cell Isolation — Ann Tsukamoto

    Ann received a patent for stem cell isolation technology in 1991.

    Her contribution to the study of circulatory processes in cancer patients may help in the development of a cure for cancer.

    Today, Tsukamoto has seven patents to her credit and continues to research stem cell growth.


    Kevlar — Stephanie Kwolek

    Stephanie Kwolek is known for inventing Kevlar, a lightweight fiber used to make body armor and protective equipment.

    Since Stephanie’s discovery in 1965, five times stronger than steel, Kevlar has helped save the lives of millions of people around the world and continues to be used by millions of people every day.

    The material has a wide range of uses, from home gloves and mobile phones to the aviation industry and suspension bridge construction.

    9. Monopoly Game — Elizabeth Magee

    Monopoly, the most popular board game in the world, is credited to the inventor Charles Darrow, although in fact the rules of the game were developed by American Elizabeth Magee.

    Elisabeth, an anti-monopolist, wanted to demonstrate the negative effects of land monopolization through the innovative game «Land Owner», in which players traded property using counterfeit banknotes.

    The developer received a patent for the game at 1904 year.

    The original Monopoly game was first released by Parker Brothers in 1935. At the same time, company management became aware that Darrow was not the only developer of the game and that he bought Magee’s patent for $500 and effectively «monopolized» the game.

    Adolph Sax inventor of saxhorns and saxophones and father of the modern tenor saxophone Coleman Randolph Hawkins

    DS: Prior to the introduction of the now much-maligned, if not cursed common currency, the euro, the Belgian 200 franc note featured Adolphe Sax, a native of Dinan in Wallonia. The banknote could well have been French, since in 1842 Adolphe Sax moved to Paris, where he opened a factory for musical instruments, which were originally called «saxhorns». World fame brought him the invention of the saxophone. He took the clarinet, replaced wood with metal, adapted a more comfortable mouthpiece and changed the section, making the instrument flaring downwards, providing the new instrument with more progressive oboe and flute fingerings. The patent for the saxophone was received on June 23, 1846.
    An interesting stupid fact: five months before obtaining a patent, Sachs lost a case in court — he was accused of «fraud and falsification.» A court decision has been preserved stating that «a musical instrument called the saxophone does not and cannot exist.»
    Today we will deal with the refutation of this stupid accusation.
    In Pskov and Vyatka, Vladivostok and Tomsk, Yerevan and Odessa, as well as in Jaffa, Oakland, Seoul and San Francisco — you listen to the weekly Jazz Time on short and medium, as well as from our magic line svobodanews.ru . – LIVE or on a podcast. The microphone in Lutetia has your permanent DC.

    Coleman Hawkins — It’s The Talk Of The Town — 3:06 (Coleman Hawkins — The Bebop Years — Proper Rds) The same name was worn by the most popular London club, which existed from 58 to 82. But at the core it’s Jerry Livingston’s ’33 standard song (music), the lyrics were written by Marty Simes. At the same time, this is also a section of the New Yorker magazine, as I once had a chance to mention.
    This standard is one of the eight most famous solo improvisations by tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkinas, whose anniversary, and not Adolphe Sax, we will celebrate today. Hawk (Hawk) — «Hawk», he is also «Bean»: in this case, not a bean or a pod, but a «head», «clever», as one of the annotations to Hawk’s vinyl tells us, he was born on November 21, 1904 years.
    «Head» or «Hawk» the point here is rather that Hawkins was the father of the modern saxophone. He had only one opponent who played in almost the opposite style — Lester Young. Alas, Lester started late and finished early. About this — another time.
    But since I’ve named eight of Hock’s masterpieces, here are the other seven: «Stampede» 1926, «One Hour» 1929, «I wanna go back to Harlem» and «Stardust» — European tour of the late thirties, «Body & Soul» 1939 ; «The Man I Love» 1943 and «Picasso» 1947.
    Hawk recorded the first version of «Talk Of The Town» in 1934 with Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra. In this case, «Celebrities of the City» was recorded on March 9, 1945 in a Los Angeles combo by Coleman Hawkins himself. Howard McGee — trumpet Hawk — tenor sax; Sir Charles Thompson — piano; Alain Rius — guitar John Simmons — bass and Denzil Best — drums.

    Coleman Hawkins — The Man I Love — 7:16 (Coleman Hawkins — The Stanley Dance Sessions — LoneHillJazz)

    DC: — «The Man I Love», «The Man I Love» by George and Ira Gershwin. The classic version was recorded by Hawkins with Oscar Pettiford, double bass and Shelley Mann on drums at 1943 year. What you heard was recorded on November 7, 1955 at the Temple of the Pythia club in New York and, with Hock — tenor sax, they played: Hank Jones — piano; Wendell Marshall — double bass Shadow Wilson — drums

    DS. Adolph Sax conceived his saxophone as an instrument capable of overriding trumpets, flutes and clarinets. It was intended both for classical orchestras and for the more frivolous brass. For a time it was very popular in the military marching bands of Europe. But the composers of classical music (for example, Hector Berlioz) welcomed the new instrument and wrote music for it. Adolphe Sax taught the saxophone class at the Paris Conservatory and published manuals for the school of playing on all the instruments he invented. Interestingly, there was no tradition of playing the saxophone in New Orleans. It was too strange an instrument for early jazzmen. Something like euphorium or termivoks. The real birth of the saxophone took place in the thirties and already in Chicago.
    Your fourteen-year-old son has stopped listening to pop music and even «heavy metal» and is now collecting a collection of jazz records. The very moment to tell him our frequencies or our address on the Web: svobodanews.ru. The microphone in Lutetia has your DC.

    Coleman Hawkins — Lover Man — 9:35 (Coleman Hawkins — Lover Man — ESOLDUN-INA)
    (if only the sax and before the trumpet, then the name of the trumpeter must be removed)

    DS: — “Lover Man”, “Beloved, lover…” by Puerto Rican composer and pianist Roger Ramirez. Ramirez wrote this song especially for Billie Holiday. The words were composed by James Edward Davies: «Oh, my beloved, where can you be …».
    Hawkins (tenor) played with Harry Edison — trumpet; Sir Charles Thompson — piano; Jimmy Wood — bass and Joe Johnson — drums. October 2, 1964, Salle Pleyel, Paris Jazz Festival.
    And here is the famous version, Lady Day:

    4. Billie Holiday — Lover Man — 3:08 (Billie Holiday — Lady In Autumn — Verve)

    DS: — «Lover Man» — «I don’t know why, but I feel terribly sad… I’m looking for something that I never had. No kissing, nothing. I’ve lost so much! My beloved, where are you?
    Question… And the whole sadness of the song is that there is no answer!
    Billie Holiday — vocals mute Roy Eldridge; Jimmy Rowles — piano Ray Calendar — double bass Cozy Cole — drums Double album by Verve, remastered and released under the name «Lady In Autumn».

    DS. Coleman Randolph Hawkins was born November 21, 1904 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Coleman’s mother, Cordelia, was a pianist and organist at the local church. She was sure that the future of her son was music. She took up the musical education of her son and, after he mastered the piano, bought him a cello. She imagined that her son would become a famous cellist. But on Hawk’s birthday (nine years old), she gave him a C-melody sax. In England it is called C-tenor. It was created by Adolf Sax with F-sax. The B-tenor sounded an octave higher than the simple tenor (its synonym is the tenor-in-do), and the ef-tenor was the tenor-in-mi. Purely physically, in size, the C-melody sax is larger than the alto and smaller than the tenor. A feature of this saxophone is the fact that it is not a transposing instrument, on which usually the real pitch does not coincide with the notated one, differing from it by a certain interval up or down. Simplifying, this C-melody is easier to play from sight.
    Having received his first sax, Hawk gave up both piano and cello. And if earlier the mother locked her son in the room during the lessons, now she had to remind him that it was time to have dinner. ..
    Short and Medium Svoboda and our website svobodanews.ru. Live or on a podcast, you listen to Jazz Time weekly. At the microphone in Lutetia — Dmitry Savitsky.

    Coleman Hawkins — Body and Soul — 2:59 (Coleman Hawkins — Complete Recordings, 1929-1941 — Affinity)

    DC: — «Body and Soul», «Body and Soul» by Edward Hayman and Robert Sur. A recording that became revolutionary, turning the tenor saxophone into the leading instrument of jazz. It is rightfully considered a masterpiece by Coleman Hawkins. Hock Orchestra, 11 October 39year, New York.
    As a teenager, Hawkins attended the Industrial Institute in nearby Topeka during the day and played in the Kansas vaudeville bands on weekends. Here he was spotted by Mammy Smith, a popular blues singer, whose «Crazy Blues» sold a million copies. Her band, the Hounds of Jazz, was very prestigious, as trumpeter Bubber Miley, the future star of Duke Ellington’s orchestra, played in it. The second star of the «Hounds» soon became a young Coleman Hawkins. He was 17 years old when his mother finally allowed him to go on tour with the Jazz Hounds. It was 22 years old, and a year later, Hock, enriched by his experience with the Hounds, moved to New York and began to play local combos. He still needed polishing and new ideas, and he was lucky — a young man, who had just left the prestigious job of a certified chemist and became a bandleader, invited him to his orchestra. His name was Fletcher Henderson and in New York he had a ton of connections. In 24, his orchestra received an engagement at the New York club «Alabam» and a newcomer appeared in the trumpet section. His name was Louis Armstrong.

    Coleman Hawkins — Laura — 4:30 (Coleman Hawkins — The Hawk Flies High — Riverside)

    DC: «Laura», David Ruxin and Johnny Mercer’s ’45 standard. Idris Saleiman — trumpet; JJ Johnson — trombone Coleman Hawkins — tenor saxophone Hank Jones — piano Barry Golbryce — guitar Oscar Petitford — double bass and Joe Jones — drums. March ’57, New York.
    Louis Armstrong left Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra in 1925, and Hock stayed another ten years. Satchmo and Hawk did not become friends, but Hawk learned a lot from Armstrong. Satchmo played more modern jazz or, as critics say, he had a «modern style». Hawk’s playing became more independent of the rhythm section, the sound became smooth and fluid. And since this sound had incredible power and density, it turned into the star of the Henderson orchestra for ten whole years and by 1928 was already the same Hawk, who began to work wonders in recording studios and at concerts.

    DS — I hope we have more time to talk about Hawkins’ early work. In the meantime, I propose to go to England: March 1934 is on the calendar — Hawk took an “academic leave” from Henderson and accepted an invitation from London bandleader Jack Hilton to perform for $ 150 a week in local clubs. «Academic leave» Hawk stretched for six years. He was already widely known, he recorded a lot, but the best records were ahead.
    Hawkins’ biographer, author of the excellent book The Song of the Hawk, John Chilton, wrote: «There was something special about Hawkins’ playing and presence on stage… Something that broke the barriers between the esoteric jazz artist and, more often than not, non-professional listeners. Hawk made no special effort to fit his style to European audiences and played undiluted jazz. But he did it with such skill and enthusiasm that he easily won the hearts of British music lovers.
    After London, the time has come for Paris, the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland.
    The finish line of Jazz Time. Noise and crackle of the air, and clear reception from the site of the radio station svobodanews.ru. At the microphone in Lutetia losing degrees is your DC.

    Coleman Hawkins & Roy Eldridge — Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho — 10:05 (Coleman Hawkins & Roy Eldridge — Live In Concert — BandStand) under Jericho» is a traditional spiritual. Joshua in Orthodox texts is Joshua.

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