Throughout its history, Spain has been the birthplace and residence of some of the world's most important poets, writers, thinkers, painters or actors. But not only artists, our country has also seen the birth of scientists who have created some of the most revolutionary inventions of the last centuries. For example, the submarine, the steam engine or the digital calculator. These are the most serious, although there are other really curious that have filled many gaps in our lives . This is the case of the Cachopomatic, the table football, the croquette or the lollipop. We do a review of all these inventions and some others.
Who has not ever tried Asturian cachopo ?, a classic in the cuisine of this region. It consists of two large veal fillets, including cheese and serrano ham. It is not necessary to go to the place to try it, it is very easy to cook at home, although it is even easier to get it directly from a vending machine. It exists and is called Cachopomatic. The idea arose in the mind of the Asturian butcher Juan José Piñero, who took one of these machines to the Oviedo bus station and then did the same to the Atocha station in Madrid.
With a price of less than five euros, these cachopos are sold by the hundreds during the week, reaching almost 100 units in just one weekend. Customers can choose from several types of cachopos with beef or chicken. They include different ingredients, such as ham and cheese, jerky and goat cheese, goat cheese and onion or garlic mushrooms and cheese. Without a doubt, an original and creative dish as well as delicious that we can enjoy at the touch of a button. In any case, the idea itself is not revolutionary. It is an adaptation of what we can see in Japan for a long time. In fact, in Tokyo there are vending machines to buy all kinds of objects or food. From mobile chargers, chopped apple, to sushi or toy cars and tanks.
Foosball tables are a classic of Spanish bars and cafes. Playing games with friends at coffee time is something we've all done at some time. Although there is evidence of this game in Germany in the 20s and 30s, the truth is that it is an invention "made in Spain". How could it be otherwise, a Spaniard invented it. Specifically, the Galician Alejandro Finisterre (1919-2007), who was in a hospital in Barcelona to recover from the wounds suffered by the bombings of the Civil War, decided to create a game to make the days of admission less heavy.It should be noted that many of the patients there were young men with serious injuries caused by the bombs. Thus, in order to lift their spirits, Finisterre decided to create these wooden tables, simulating a soccer field to organize championships. Pretty curious, huh?
In 1937 this Galician patented his invention. However, when he fled to France escaping the Franco regime, he lost all papers with the patent and the plans for the first table football because of a storm. He spent many years outside of Spain, and not only in France, but also in America, where he toured countries such as Mexico, Guatemala or Ecuador perfecting and commercializing his invention. That is why table football is not only known here, but also in many other parts of the world.
A tasty candy with a stick to take it easy. What seems very simple, at the end of the 50s it was not so simple. In fact, at that time many children were assiduous to remove the candy from their mouth to make it last longer. Chupa Chups caused a whole revolution at the time, another curious invention attributed to a Spaniard. In this case, the Catalan Enric Bernat (1923-2003). The first chupa chups was baptized with the name of Chups. It was put on the market at the price of one peseta, very high at that time. Despite this, the idea succeeded and Bernat managed to transform his small family business into a much larger one, which acquired the name of the invention in 1964.
Such has been the success of the Chupa Chups, that in 1979 , more than 10,000 million units had been sold all over the planet, not only in Spain. Later, in 1995, this lollipop was even a diversion in space for Russian astronauts from the MIR space station. Over time it has been perfected. There are giant Chupa Chups, with new flavors, even filled with gum. It is important to note that the logo so popular and characteristic of the brand was made by the great Salvador Dalí.
Filter for cigars
Although tobacco itself comes from America, from the time of discovery to be exact, it has not always been smoked as it has been until now. In fact, the filter, so important in the puffing process, is the invention of a Spaniard. And it is not too old. It dates from the 1960s. At that time, more specifically in 1958, Ramón Galindo was going to visit his girlfriend at the tobacconist where he worked. During his visit, he noticed how people who bought tobacco made the cigar by hand to smoke it directly. There were no filters, of course, just a few nozzles that could be bought separately to attach them.
Noting this, Galindo began to think about incorporating a filter directly. He made several different sketches, of different sizes, and a year later he presented his idea in that same Barcelona tobacco shop (Casa Gimeno) and from there to Tabacos de Filipinas, which had a branch in Barcelona. The first filters were made of cotton and began to be distributed through the Spanish Tobacco Company , who guaranteed Galindo a job for him and his family in exchange for the invention. On this we must add that the cigar as such is also a Spanish invention. It had its origin in the Seville of the 16th century to take advantage of the tobacco waste that was rolled into sheets of rice paper.
We were born and raised with a mop at home. Perhaps it does not attract us much attention, but many of our grandmothers can tell us that it is a really curious invention as well as effective. Before they had to clean the floor squatting in every corner of each room. Nowadays scrubbing is not only a women's thing, thank goodness , although we have a man to thank for his invention, Manuel Jalón Corominas. This aeronautical engineer and Air Force officer patented in 1964 a device to clean the floor without having to kneel. All this, thanks to only three simple elements: a bucket, some cotton strips and a stick.
Specifically, the inspiration for this invention came when he was having a few drinks with one of his friends. The two were talking about the possibility of creating parts for airplanes, but in one of the moments of the conversation their partner pointed to a woman who was scrubbing on her knees and said : “Look, Jalón, don't complicate your life and make something for yourself. the army. You will have many problems and few clients. Better make something so women don't have to bend over to wash. You will sell much more ”. It was then that the aeronautical engineer had something light up in his brain.
Science, like many other subjects related to art and letters, have been primed for centuries and centuries with women. This does not mean that some did not want to stand out and fight through thick and thin to expose their ideas, logically with the total disapproval on the part of the macho society. One of these examples we have in Ángela Ruiz Robles, the ignored, although authentic inventor of the ebook in 1949.
This woman, a teacher in the Second Republic, after spending the worst years of the Civil War and the establishment of the Franco regime, invented the precursor to the current electronic book. As we say, she did it in 1949 and it consisted of a mechanical, electrical and air pressure procedure to read books. The objective was that the children did not have to carry so much weight to go to school. It was known as the Mechanical Encyclopedia, and although it was never commercialized, it is considered a precursor to the electronic book.In any case, it was Michael Hart who took the credit for being the inventor of the ebook some years later, in 1971. Although it does not hurt to know what were the true origins of one of the most curious inventions that we can have access right now. Thanks now, of course, to the advancement of technology.
Really curious and important inventions have been patented in Spain. Man does not only live on cachopos, or on table football and Chup Chups, many also need to wear a space suit for their missions and space tests. It was, precisely, an engineer from Granada, Emilio Herrera, who invented in 1935 an “astronautic diving suit”, which NASA later adapted to the needs of astronauts.
This Granada-born man became an aviation pilot, although his goal was not just that. He intended to go even further. For this I devised an astronautic diving suit, a suit very similar to the one we know today with the aim of easily reaching the incredible height of 22,000 meters in an open nacelle balloon. The original suit included a breathing system, microphone, as well as a visor to avoid ultraviolet radiation. The trip, which was to take place in the summer of 1936, was to mark the first milestone in the conquest of space.The bad thing is that the Civil War broke out and could not be carried out. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, did not forget this curious invention, and, as a tribute, he presented a small moon rock to Herrera's assistant, Manuel Casajust.
Marcos Pérez from Zaragoza launched “La croquetera” on the market in 2016, a curious kitchen utensil made up of interchangeable molds that aims to ensure that the croquettes have the same size and thickness. And not only the croquettes, but also so that the meatballs, the potato balls or even the sushi, achieve the same dimensions. In this way, they can fulfill an aesthetic canon, perfect for when guests come home or for bars and restaurants.
Although it is a recent invention, it is already on the market. In fact, there is a website enabled for anyone who wants to buy it. Its price is only 12 euros and it consists of a scissor-shaped mold with which to easily grip any type of dough and give it the exact shape to make balls of the same size and weight. Thus, we will not have problems later to fry in the pan, and, above all, when presenting the dish on the table.