June 15, 2012 ·

The Often Overlooked Argentine Legacy



Every time I’ve gone to another country and said I’m Argentine, I’ve always gotten the same response: “Aha! Argentina! MESSI!!” Yes, this is the country where Lionel Messi, the famous football player, was born. And before him (as you football fans may know), there was Diego Maradona. While Argentina is home to these famous footballers, Argentina is also the home of a number of inventions that shouldn’t be forgotten:

1891Juan Vucetich was a police officer who created the method and technology for deciphering and classifying fingerprints from a crime scene. The first crime solved by this method was also in Argentina.

1914Luis Agote figured out a way to keep stored blood from clotting during blood transfusions. He also invented the proper instruments for the procedure.

1916Raúl Pateras de Pescara: Even though the concept for the helicopter had been around since before Leonardo Da Vinci, around the XV century, Pateras de Pescara created the first helicopter with a control system. The same technology is still used in the production of modern helicopters.

1917Quirino Cristiani developed the technology to create animated cartoons and made the first animated feature film.

1921José Mario Fallótico: Upon seeing a blind person waiting for someone to help him to cross the street, and seeing other people walk by without noticing, he came up with the idea of a tool and at the same time a symbol to show that the person needs help: a long white cane.

1944Ladislao José Biro: motivated by society’s desire for something between a pencil and a quill and his daughter’s distress at being bullied in school by classmates, who dipped the ends of her pigtails in inkwells, Biro spent around six years experimenting with different inks and pen designs until he reached the invention of the now classic ballpoint pen.

1953José Fandi created a one piece tool that could be used to wipe /sweep water off the floor, today recognized as a plastic or rubber wiper or scraper.

1967René Favaloro: this cardiac surgeon developed the bypass technique to reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease.

1968Jorge Weber: We owe this great Argentine for inventing the screw-on cap for jars and bottles.

1983Mario Dávila created an alarm to accompany traffic lights to help the visually impaired with crossing streets.

1989Carlos Arcusín: With the outbreak of AIDS throughout the world, Arcusín developed the disposable syringe and a safety cap for hypodermic needles to prevent the virus from spreading any further.


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