Inventions from Spain

by Catherine McCulloch

When you think of Spain, you might think of their afternoon siestas, Mediterranean diet and Catalan music. However, the country is responsible for introducing the world to a number of different inventions that we still use very much today in our everyday lives. Here's a list of some of the most unexpected contributions from the country.

You can also thank the Spanish for inventing cigarettes, thought to be created by the country's street beggars who could easily find pieces of waste paper to wrap their tobacco in.

Perhaps the most famous and world-changing of all alleged Spanish inventions is the acoustic guitar. In fact, many people refer to the traditional acoustic guitar as the Spanish guitar. The shape and form of the modern classical guitar is an Iberian invention and is credited to Antonio Torres in around 1850. Torres took steps to increase the size of the guitar body and made changes to the top bracing pattern to create the model we know today. His actions made huge improvements to the tone, volume and projection of the instrument and his measures remain pretty much unchanged today.

Sherry also happens to be Spanish. Loved by UK grannies and problem drinkers alike, the idea of sherry originating from anywhere but Blighty is a bit hard to swallow. In actual fact, sherry comes from the Spanish town of Jerez, close to Cadiz. The English pronunciation actually derives from the old Arabic word for the town, Sherish. A far cry from the beverage we drink in the UK, traditional Spanish sherry is absolutely delicious and is the perfect accompaniment to tapas.

It's fair to say that the Spanish also have a bit of a sweet tooth, which is evident through their invention of the famous lollipop, the Chupa Chup, which was created by Enric Bernat in 1958. His Catalan-based company also founded the small mint, called the smint.

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