From sunscreen to NASCAR, the Sunshine State is home to a slew of cultural contributions. Home to some of the nation's most beautiful beaches, it is also a home for some of the brightest minds. Here are six unique inventions we can all thank Florida for.
Yes, the Sunshine State is where sunscreen originated from. This one probably doesn't come as a big surprise. In 1944, pharmacist Benjamin Green used red veterinary petrolatum mixed with cocoa butter and coconut oil. Thus, Coppertone suntan cream was born. The iconic Coppertone girl on the bottles did not make her appearance until 1956. It's hard to imagine bracing the sunshine here without a few layers.
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We can all thank an assistant coach and a team of scientists at the University of Florida for quenching our thirst all these years. After hours of practice in the heat, Dwayne Douglas was searching for a beverage that could replace the carbohydrates and electrolytes the players were losing. After reaching out to a team of college researchers in 1965, they created Gatorade. According to UF, kidney disease specialist Robert Cade was the person to point to the loss of electrolytes for the loss of strength and endurance felt by the Gators team. His determination was correct, and now we can thank him for the cool taste of blue raspberry.
This Florida staple is a coveted sweet treat by the people of Key West. Named after the Key limes found in the Florida Keys, this tangy dessert is the official decadence of the State of Florida. However, there's debate on who actually concocted the recipe. Botanist Jack Simons is often credited for creating the pie, but the cooking directions were allegedly first mentioned by Key West millionaire William Curry. No matter who was the first to put it together, we can all be thankful for those Key limes that made it all possible.
As a state known for its citrus, this is another invention that shouldn't leave you in shock. In an effort to provide a better alternative for American troops during World War II, C.D. Atkins connected orange juice concentrate. Developed in 1984 at the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center, this creation helped keep a smile on soldiers' faces during breakfast.
If you have the need for speed, you can thank Florida for the creation of America's beloved NASCAR. In 1930 mechanic Bill France began spending his extra time making cars faster. In a few years, drivers were setting new records on the tracks of Daytona–France started to promote them. After turning high profits, he began to expand these races to the Carolinas. In 1947 France held a meeting where he mapped out the foundation for a national series. This series became known as the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racine, or NASCAR.
Try to pick your jaw up from the floor. Again, it is no surprise that Florida is home to inventions that protect us from the sun's hot rays. Everyone in the Sunshine State, and anywhere else in the world that experiences summer, can thank Dr. John Gorrie for developing artificially cooled air. This precursor to modern A/C was brought into existence in 1851 to relieve patients suffering from yellow fever and malaria.
While you may think of California when you hear about the rise of computers, the first personal computer was actually created here in Florida. The IBM Personal Computer (IBM PC) was instituted by a team of engineers and designers in Boca Raton. The team was led by director Don Estridge who introduced the PC in 1981.
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