19 Mexican Innovations

Mexican Creativity

From Mexico to the World

There’s no doubt that Mexicans are creative, just scroll around social media to realize that they have an idea for any problem, either it’s a comical one like transforming a broom into a selfie stick, a or a very ingenius one like creating translucid concrete. Here’s our pick of nineteen clever Mexican innovations:

1. Color Television
This one is perhaps the most popular and one Mexicans are very proud of. It was in 1940 when Guillermo González Camarena, Mexican engineer, came out with the idea that we could see colors through our favorite box.

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2. Tortilla Machine
Of course Mexican invented tortillas, but for Fausto Celorio that was not enough, he wanted to make life easier, so he invented the first automated tortilla machine in 1940.

 

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3. Scorpion Sting Antidote
Alejandro Alagón, Mexican scientific specialized in biotechnology, develpoed a scorpion antivenom in 1994 that has been used in the pharmaceutical industry and hospitals since. In 2011 United States approved its commercialization. Nowadays Alejandro is developing more antivenoms of other species such as corals, spiders and snakes, with the aiming of exporting them to Australia and african countries.

 

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4. Toilet Float
This creation that is used worldwide was invented by Mexican José Antonio de Alzate in 1970.

 

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5. Antigraffiti Paint
Some Mexicans have expressed their creativity by painting someone else’s wall with graffiti, so a group of scientifics from the UNAM created a hidrophobic and oleophobic paint, which basically means once it dries no water nor oil will stick to it.

 

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6. Earthquake resistant foundations
In 1948, Mexican Manuel González Flores introduced foundations that resist earthquakes, these help the structure to keep balance and to adapt to the movements of earth.

 

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7. The first atomated cigarrette machine.
Juan N. Adorno invented the first tube-like cigarette machine and thus industrialized the tobacco market, which was essential for the Mexican economy growth in 1940.

 

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8. Popcorn
As you may know, corn comes originally from México, well popcorn was first prepared in pre-hispanic cities in the center of Mexico. They used to make them in very hot clay pots and called them momochtli.

 

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9. Tequila
Of course we could not miss Tequila in our count. Proudly Mexican, it was also invented in pre-hispanic times in the state of Jalisco.

 

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10. Tridilosa
The Tridilosa is a three-dimensional construction system invented by Herbert Castillo, Mexican engineer, in 1966. This system can save up to 66% cement and 40% steel. It has been used in more than 200 bridges in Mexico and many more buildings like the World Trade Center in Mexico City.

 

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11. The first coin lathe
Mexico received global recognition when Jose Damian Ortiz de Castro created the first coin lathe in 1774. This converted Mexico in the first country to produce silver pieces with a perfect finish.

 

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12. Paddle
Paddle is a sport that is practiced in various parts of the world, was invented in Acapulco, Guerrero by Enrique Corcuera in 1962. This sport began to be massively practiced since the 80’s.

 

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13. Zero
It is known that the Mayas were great mathematicians, astrologers and architects, perhaps one of his achievements was to have invented the number zero. Other theories suggest that this discovery was preceded by the Olmecs.

 

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14. Chocolate
This certainly is one of our favorites: Chocolate. The Aztecs were the ones who began to prepare cocoa paste and drinks for its properties and health benefits. It was later adopted by other cultures such as the Maya, who believed it was a gift from God Kukulkan.

 

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15.  Sponge Iron
Hylsa, Mexican firm, patented the HYL process in 1957 by which the sponge iron is obtained. This facilitates the production of raw materials for steel production. This discovery is regarded as one of the best known in the world Mexican technologies.

 

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16. Translucent concrete
This great invention was created in 2005 by two Mexican civil engineers: Joel Sosa and Sergio Galvan. The translucent concrete is now being sold around the world for its main advantages: is lightweight, water repellent and has greater resistance to fire.

 

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17. Sisal
The Maya first begat to obtain this fiber from a kind of agave that proliferates in the Yucatan Peninsula. Countless items are produced with sisal such as ropes, cords, rugs and sacks. During the conquest large quantities were exported to Europe, nowadays the leading manufacturer of sisal is Brazil.

 

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18. Indelible ink
Filiberto Vázquez Davila, Mexican biochemical engineer, was the one who invented the indelible ink used in elections. It was introduced in 1994 and is used in elections since. In addition, it is exported to other countries and more than 10 million packs have been sold so far.

 

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19. Chewing Gum
This invention may also be of the most famous, the first who chew gum were the Mayans, they extracted sap known as sapodilla tree. It began to be exported to European countries and the United States, where the gum was first commercialized. Today, chewing gum is produced from other polymers.

 

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These are only 19 of many! Did you know of them? Which other Mexican inventions would you add to the list? 

Omar Ortúzar
Creative marketer, social media strategist, content creator and restless traveler