Terrific Things Corpus Christi Gave the World: Inventions
So you think you know this city? Are you ready to earn your graduate degree in all-things Corpus Christi? Everyone knows what’s to love, with over 100 miles of gulf shore and bayside beaches ringing our Coastal Bend, not to mention an average year-round temperature of 72.15°. But do you know what else makes this city so special?
Okay, this might seem a bit random, but Corpus Christi has had interesting relationships with some modern inventions.
(Clockwise from top left: automatic sliding doors, Liquid Paper, OSHA OMB, Saffir-Simpson scale, masa spreader, Flowbee, Teflon)
• Automatic Sliding Doors Corpus Christi winds give Chicago a run for their money! In 1950, two men, Lew Hewitt and Dee Horton set out to find a solution to swing doors in this coastal windy environment. The duo invented the automatic sliding glass door. That business, Horton Automatics, still operates in Corpus Christi today, and you can see this invention on just about every grocery store and hotel you stroll into.
• Liquid Paper According to the Internet Movie Database, Bette Nesmith Graham, the Texas secretary who invented the revolutionary mistake-correcting fluid (and who was also the mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees fame) was born in Corpus Christi!
• The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Meteorologist Robert Simpson of the duo that developed the rating system for hurricane strength (1-5, with 5 being cataclysmic) was born and raised in Corpus Christi, and at the age of 6, survived the 1919 Key West Hurricane (the sixth deadliest storm in recorded history).
• Flowbee Notable 80s As-Seen-on-TV hair-cutting sensation, the Flowbee is currently manufactured in and distributed from Corpus Christi.
• OSHA Man Basket or OMBs In the late 1950s, U.S. Coast Guard veteran Billy Pugh worked as a deck hand offshore Corpus Christi. Back then, rig hands would amble boat-to-platform via dangerous cargo nets. Pugh invented safety baskets to safely transport crew. NASA adopted this technology to retrieve astronauts landing in the sea after missions. The company bears his name and is still an industry leader and based in Corpus Christi today.
• Mas Tamales Masa Spreader Whenever you bite down into a perfectly formed delicious tamale, raise your horchata to Sandra Vasquez of Corpus Christi, Texas, who created an ingenious tamale spreader to achieve the perfect balance of masa every time. These are available in H-E-B and other grocery stores and make great gifts!
• Teflon The accidental inventor of the polytetrafluoroethylene resin coating that changed the way Americans cook, passed away in a Corpus Christi nursing home in 1994. Roy J. Plunkett was 83 at the time.
Check out some of the other Terrific Things Corpus Christi Gave the World in More Trip Ideas before you plan your trip to the Coastal Bend!