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Andre Reboucas | African American Inventors and their Inventions

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Andre Reboucas


Warfare is the defining characteristic of human development, and in many cases it was the ability to dominate battles on the high seas that separated the victors from the conquered. Designing military technology often means the difference between victory and defeat, and truly inspired weaponry can lead to new strategies and ideas. In terms of maritime battle, one invention stands out as the most effective when it comes to eliminating your opposition – the torpedo. This inredible weapon was designed by the Brazilian-born black inventor Andre Reboucas.

Devices that launch projectiles to inflict damage have been a mainstay of war for millennia. Whether it was trebuchets, cannons, or rockets, the ability to launch objects great distances caused massive damage without risking the lives of your own army. In terms of maritime battle, cannons could destroy ships, but they were reliant on fighting above the water’s surface. Reboucas, he was extensively trained in the military arts as well as engineering, saw a fault in the existing system. While it was no doubt advantageous to damage the ship above water, a blow to the hull would be far more effective as it is likely to sink the ship. The solution, as Reboucas noted, was to send a missile below the surface of the water that would penetrate the hull and cause flooding.

 

 

It was quite a challenge to create this kind of weapon, but thanks to his understanding of hydrodynamics, water resistance, and weapon propulsion, Reboucas managed to invent the torpedo based on existing missile designs.

While war is not anybody’s favourite, the fact is that every country has had to defend itself at some time, and that without the development of such technology, we would be at risk from constant attack. Andre Reboucas saw a need and filled it, and thus warrants his position as a prominent black inventor.

 
 
 
 

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