Francisco Javier Estrada the great Mexican inventor


Francisco Javier Estrada was born on February 11, 1838. He did his first studies in San Luis Potosí, and then moved to continue them in Mexico City. In 1854, at the age of 16, he entered the College of San Ildefonso and completed the first year of high school. He later enrolled in the pharmacy career.

The young Estrada was 22 years old in 1860, when he finished his studies in pharmacy, lacking only the reception exam to graduate as a professor in that career. In the first months of 1861, Estrada graduated as a pharmacist.

After working for a while as the manager of a pharmacy, Estrada became passionate about physics and showed aptitudes for experimental and practical work. The telegraph became the means of communication and Estrada soon began working on variations to the transmission systems. His practical skill allowed him to familiarize himself with electricity and in a short time he set up his laboratory where he would build a variety of devices and improvements to common devices.

Estrada, the man of study and action par excellence, thought, projected, worked in the cozy silence of the laboratory. He was part of the faculty body in the reopening of the Scientific and Literary Institute of San Luis Potosí after the departure of the French troops. Thanks to his studies, for the first time in the entire Continent, the first electric arc light was lit, on the occasion of a Jamaica organized for charitable purposes, precisely in the courtyard of the current University.

In 1861, the German physicist and teacher Johann Philipp Reis developed the first telephone. On March 10, 1876, Bell presented his Box Telephone to the public. The invention of the carbon microphone in 1878 significantly improved the quality of the transmission.

At that time, Francisco Javier Estrada made important contributions to electricity and worked from the first days of reopening of the Scientific and Literary Institute, in 1867, on the great practical topics of the time. Estrada assured and verified that earthquakes, as well as volcanic eruptions, could be predicted and verified with the help of the telephone, reporting new discoveries and propositions based on the use of the telephone as a detection system.

With all these achievements, Francisco Javier Estrada promoted the telephone communication between Mexico and San Luis, one of the longest communication distances achieved at that time in the world, being able to do such a thing on January 20, 1882, using new instruments reformed by himself for long distances⁹. The national press reported on such an important achievement by announcing: Direct telephone communication between Mexico and San Luis Potosí, carried out on January 20, 1882 with the new instruments reformed for long distance by Francisco J. Estrada.

Francisco Javier Estrada goes down in the history of science in Mexico as the most important Mexican physicist of the 19th century, of which the then Scientific and Literary Institute, now Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, is proud of.

Source: Cronologia San Luis Potosi