World inventions in Cuba

World inventions in Cuba

Heritage & Traditions


At the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the world witnessed a wave of innovations in the fields of science and technology, of which Cuba was not unaware.

In 1898, Havana citizens saw the first automobile pass through the streets of the city, at a speed of 12 kilometers per hour; Its French-made engine had been produced at La Parisienne factory.

In 1900, an automobile company was already operating in Havana, whose cars made trips on the urban circuit and to other towns and cities near the capital, whose automotive fleet came almost in its majority from the United States.

A year later, a Canadian firm, the Havana Railway Company, started the electric tram service for the benefit of the citizens and greater mobility. Telephony as a national network began on the island in 1909, when the American-owned Cuban Telephone Company was granted the license to establish and operate the telephone service on a municipal and long-distance scale; this, already at the end of 1910, worked by the automatic Strowger system, with a capacity of 5,000 lines or more, controlled from a central station, with two branches and a link of underground lines.

In 1921, the three longest submarine telephone cables in the world began to provide service, through lines connecting Cuba with the United States.

The use of telephones had begun to expand in Havana in 1881 through the Edison Telephone Exchange, although in those early days it was also operated by the Compañía Eléctrica de Cuba.

The initial chapter of Cuban aeronautics began on May 7, 1910 with the take-off of a Voisin airplane operated by French pilot André Bellot at the racetrack for horses.

The aircraft, despite the skill of its driver, could not stay in the air for long and crashed near the place where it took off, on the Havana coast of Marianao.

Three years later, in the spring of 1913, two audacious Cubans, Domingo Rosillo and Agustín Parlá, revealed themselves as the initiators of the era of air flights to Cuba by covering, in an unprecedented action, the distance between Key West and Havana.

The flight of Lieutenant of the Constitutional Navy Antonio Menéndez Peláez in 1936, when flying the route from the Cuban city of Camagüey to the Spanish Seville, was also a feat for communications.

But if the telephone or the automobile, or any of the variants to travel by land or air were important for interpersonal communications and prompt and expeditious connections between human beings, the radio was, during the last century, one of the ways of greater social reach among Cubans.

Radio broadcasting on the island, which by 1935 had 81 medium-wave stations and 45,000 radio receivers, had its origin in the early years of the previous decade, with the first radio amateurs going into space and the installation and operation of a small radio station.

The small station, 2LC, operating in the home of popular musician Luis Casas Romero, rounded up the important conquests that have given rise to communication channels that seem to us the most normal thing in the world today.