New Mexico September 04, 2017
Some People Don’t Know That New Mexico Was The First To Do These 10 Things
If you think New Mexico is a follower, think again. New Mexico has often been at the forefront of policy and invention. We’ve built world-changing devices and come up with some things that make everyday life a little better. Below are 10 things that New Mexico was the first to do, establish or use.
1. Build the atomic bomb
After just 20 months of work, the Manhattan Project scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory completed construction of the first atomic bomb. It was detonated on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity Site on an Alamogordo bombing range.
2. Developed the water disrupter
The "water disruptor" uses a blade of water to pulverize targets. The device, developed by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, was used by troops in Afghanistan to disable roadside bombs. Time magazine called the disruptor one of the 50 Best innovations of 2010.
3. Sold the first personal computers
The first personal computer came as a kit. The Altair 8800 was developed by Ed Roberts, co-owner of the Albuquerque calculator company, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS).
4. Designed the modern cleanroom
Sandia National Laboratories scientist, Willis Whitfield invented the cleanroom in 1962. His idea entailed a ceiling-to-floor forced-air system to help protect experiments from dust, microbes, and humidity. Today, cleanrooms are used in the manufacture of everything from semiconductors to screen prints.
5. Created nicotine patches
This one was an accident. Frank Etscorn, a retired behavioral psychologist at New Mexico Tech accidentally spilled liquid nicotine on his arm. When the liquid made him nauseous, he realized that nicotine could be delivered via the skin.
6. Required emergency personnel to carry overdose antidote kits
In April 2017, New Mexico became the first state to require that all state and local law enforcement officers carry antidote kits (naloxone) to help prevent deaths from opioid drug and heroin overdoses. New Mexico also was the first state to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.
7. Outlawed lunch shaming
Also in 2017, New Mexico became the first state to outlaw practices intended to embarrass students with overdue lunch money accounts. The law also encourages schools to work with parents to resolve payment issues directly. This is in contrast to states like Alabama that stamp "I need lunch money" on children's arms.
8. Coined the term "breakfast burrito"
New Mexicans (and probably some other folks) have been eating eggs rolled up in a tortilla for ages. However, the original owner of Tia Sophia's, a Santa Fe restaurant, claims he was the first to call the concoction a "breakfast burrito" and to put it on a menu. Tia Sophia's also claims that one of their waitress was the first to use the term "Christmas" when using both red and green chiles.
9. Created the Frito pie
This one is under dispute. Texans have this funny idea that someone in San Antonio, Texas, invented it (Daisy Doolin, the mother of Fritos inventor Charles Doolin). The New Mexico version of the story says the Frito pie was invented in the 1960s by Teresa Hernández, who worked at the F. W. Woolworth's lunch counter (now the Five & Dime General Store) in Santa Fe. We'll stick to that story.
10. Cooked up the green chile cheeseburger
Remember those scientists from the atomic bomb? They may have had a part in the creation of the green chile cheeseburger too. During their off hours, the scientists hung out at the Owl Bar, a little joint in San Antonio, New Mexico, near the bomb test range. When the scientists got hungry, the bar's owner set up a grill behind the bar and started serving hamburgers topped with New Mexico chile.
How many of these New Mexico firsts did you know of? What other inventions, creations, or firsts should be on the list?