Antonio Alago Acevedo
An American Inventor
By Roberto Alago
My Father was a Master Mechanic and responsible for the invention of many tools, while he was working for the US Air Force. He served in the civil service from 1945 - 1971. He wasn't always a Mechanic; he started out as a Shoe Shine Boy, a Store Clerk and a Carpenter. When Ramey Airfield began construction in 1936, he became a Contractor Carpenter.
While working in the construction of Ramey Airfield in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, he decided to take advantage of a new on-the-job training opportunity being offered by the Air Force and that's how he became a Civil Servant and a Mechanic, in 1945. He remained at his post until Ramey Air Force Base was closed in 1971.
The Automobile was a new thing on the island and there weren't many Mechanics around. So, I guess we could say, my Father was a Pioneer in his field. In fact, by the time I was growing up, every Mechanic in Aguadilla knew my Father. Many would tell me he had been their Teacher and how good he was at his chosen career.
As part of his job, my father used tools on a daily basis. Many times, he would suggest to their tool suppliers a modification or the creation of new tools. Tools that I know he create himself, even tho he didn't get the credit, were the "L" shape Flathead Screw Driver, a simple, portable, three screws, Steering Wheel Puller, a Remote Starter Switch, an Amp /Volt Meeter combo tester box, the Starter/Alternator Motor Magnetic Tester, and a high beam Flash Light.
Not only did he created them, he had the prototypes in his tool box. Unfortunately, upon his death, one of my brothers inherited his toolbox and sold it. Somewhere out there, is a lucky person, holding the original prototype of these tools and probably, don't even know it.
My father's name was Antonio Alago Acevedo and his tools would be marked AAA. If you come across a toolbox full of tools bearing that mark, you maybe holding a one of a kind or the first tool off the assembly line; a real piece of Auto Mechanics' history.
As to why he would not seek credit for his inventions, it may have been a combination of factors. You see, he was born in 1918 in the island of Puerto Rico. He was a Mulatto, the Child of a black man and a Taino woman. Back in those days, being a Mulatto, in Puerto Rico, meant you were a third class of citizen. So, he grew up accustomed to not owning property and not being recognized for his good deeds. He was happy, just getting enough to feed his family and staying under the radar of those who would hurt him just for not being white. Don't get me wrong, he was not afraid to fight, to defend himself, if he had to. But, he chose to live in peace and avoid conflict, whenever possible.
His creations, except for the high beam flashlight, were inspired while he was working for the Air Force. So, as far as he was concerned, he had been handsomely rewarded and they belonged to the Air Force. So, he never thought about applying for a patent or seek the recognition he rightfully deserved.
Depicted is My father's 20 years of service Certificate from the Dept. of the Air Force. After receiving this award he served another six years, until Ramey Air Force Base closed and the Air Force offered him a choice between reassignment to the Continental United States or retirement. Refusing to leave his home town, he opted for retirement.
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About the Creator
Born in PR. Married, Father of four and Grandfather of eight. Soldier, Computer Expert. Admissions Associate at Interactive College Of Technology. A versatile man with interests too numerous to list; including: Acting and Public Speaking.
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