Black History: Special Delivery!!
Andre Reboucas was born in 1838 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was the son of a former slave and a Portuguese tailor. Reboucas was educated at the Military School of Rio de Janeiro and became an engineer after completing studies in Europe. He became famous in Rio de Janeiro for improving water supply to the city, bringing it from fountain heads outside the town. In 1864, Reboucas was named a lieutenant during the Paraguayan War. Naval warfare played a significant role in this military conflict. Reboucas designed an immersible device which could be projected under water, causing an explosion with any ship it hit. The device became known as the torpedo.
After his military service Reboucas began teaching at the Polytechnical School in Rio de Janeiro. He became very wealthy and used his finances to aid in the Brazilian abolition movement to end slavery there. He eventually moved to Funchal Madeira off the coast of Africa. He died there in 1898.