When it comes to innovations that have changed the world, Santa Cruz gets sold short. Silicon Valley gets all the hype for being at the cutting edge of technology—but next time you take a selfie, hear a bad singer sound good, use a wireless headset, or stand in front of a baseball pitching machine, you should think about our side of the hill. Here are 10 things you might not know were invented here.
In the 1970s, Mike Pfotenhauer made a name for himself in Santa Cruz with a company called Santa Cruz Recreational Packs. It was a backpack company run out of the front of his house that produced custom-fitted, made-to-order backpacks. Word of mouth about the business kept a line of travelers coming to his door and waiting for days to have their packs made.