Australian Inventions - Mid 1900s

The Australians have always been an inventive lot, not only did the Aboriginals invent some amazing things, in more recent history we have created some much needed things to make life easier and more comfortable. Here are more of our marvellous inventions.

1952 – Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
Sir Alan Walsh of the CSIRO invented this instrument used for high speed chemical analysis of metallic elements.

1953 – Solar Water Heater
The first prototype of a solar water heater was developed at CSIRO in Victoria.

1957 – Permanent Crease Trousers
The process of producing permanent creases in fabric was developed by Dr Arthur Farnworth of CSIRO by adding a special resin to wool fibres to change their chemical structure.

1958 – Black Box Flight Recorder
Dr David Warren in Melbourne invented the first black box flight memory recorder. The unit recorded the pilot’s voice and a few instrument readings.

1958 – Round-the-World Airline Service
Qantas inaugurated a pioneering round-the-world airline service with two aircraft taking off from Melbourne.

1965 – Inflatable Aircraft Escape Slide
Jack Grant of Qantas invented the inflatable aircraft escape slide which can also be used as a raft on water. These slides are now standard safety equipment on all major airlines.

1965 – Wiltshire Staysharp Knife
The Wiltshire Staysharp knife was invented with a sheath which sharpens the knife each time it is withdrawn.

1965 – Wine Cask
Invented by Thomas Angrove, the wine cask is a cardboard box housing a plastic container which collapses as the wine is drawn off, thus preventing contact with air.

1969 – Australia Shows the First Steps on the Moon
The radio telescope in Parkes, New South Wales, received and relayed to the world the first pictures of the first moon landing.

1970 – Variable rack and pinion steering
The variable ratio rack and pinion steering in motor vehicles was invented by Australian engineer, Arthur Bishop.

1973 – Pop Top Can
Sir Ian McLennan of BHP came up with the idea of press-buttons where the button is hinged to the can and does not cause a litter problem.

1973 – In-vitro Fertilisation
The world’s first pregnancy using IVF technology was reported from Monash Medical Centre.

1975 – Interscan
An aircraft approach and landing guidance system using microwaves was successfully tested at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne.

1976 – Electronic Ignition System
A silicon-chip ignition system for small engines in lawnmowers and chainsaws was developed by the Notarus brothers in Sydney.

1979 – Race Cam
A lightweight, fixed camera used in car racing and other sports broadcasts was developed by Australian engineer, Geoff Healey.

1979 – Cool Lightweight Wool Fabrics
The technique for spinning lightweight wool was invented at CSIRO.

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