Four of the Most Useful Products That Came from Florida
Recently, product design firm, MAKO, opened its doors in Miami, Florida. The Sunshine State has been filled with incredibly
design talent, and we’re incredibly excited to be on the ground there. Situated in the innovative, and artsy neighborhood of
Wynwood, neighboring entrepreneurs, startups and tech mammoths, MAKO is excited to have their third North American
office in Miami.
We decided to celebrate some of the great Florida Product Designers, by featuring some of our favorite designs we’ve seen
come out of the state recently. What are your favorites?
If you’ve sold a used car that needed a little bit of work, you’ve probably used or heard of Bondo. Bondo is a putty that is
used as an automotive body filler. It is now owned by 3M but when it was first introduced in 1955 it was developed by World
War II veteran, repair shop owner, and one of Florida’s product designers, Robert Merton Spink of Miami, Florida.
Mechanical Fridges & the Air Conditioner
Yes, we can thank Florida for our lovely AC units that keep us cool in the hot weather, and the fridges that keep our food
cold. John Gorrie was a doctor in Florida who decided in 1845 to give up his medical practice to pursue refrigeration
products. In 1851 he patented a machine to make ice. It was from there he went on to produce an apparatus for
producing cooling fluids and was coined the “father of the refrigerator.”
Those wonderful electrolyte beverages that help athletes, hangovers, and restore our bodies when we have
the flu, were invented in Florida by an assistant football coach. In 1965 a team of scientists had a request
from Florida Gators football coach to create something to help athletes replace body fluids lost during
physical exertion. The earliest versions of the drink contained a mix of water, sodium, sugar, potassium,
phosphate, and lemon juice, and was credited to helping the team win the Orange Bowl which helped the
beverage pick-up major traction.
How do you prevent yourself from turning red as a tomato in the Florida sun? Sunscreen. And that’s exactly
why Florida product designers are responsible for the invention of sunscreen. Benjamin Green invented
sunscreen in Miami in 1944 to protect soldiers fighting in World War II from the sun. However, he was given
partial credit for the invention because several international inventors had already invented it years prior.
Green’s formula however was the one bought by Coppertone and sold to the people of the USA for the first
Florida is filled with incredible history of fantastic design and inventions. MAKO can’t wait to be part of
more innovative Florida product designers journeys.
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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