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.
1906 – Feature Film
The Story of the Kelly Gang was the world’s first feature length film.
1906 – Kiwi Boot Polish
The boot polish that could restore the faded colour of brown shoes was first available for sale.
1913 – Automatic Totalisator
Invented by George Julius, this was the ‘tote automated betting’ at horse races.
1922 – Rotary Hoe
Cliff Howard, with help from his brother Albert built the first full-size rotary hoe cultivator. It uses energy to turn the soil directly, rather than dragging a plough behind a tractor.
1924 – Car Radio
The first car radio was fitted to an Australian car built by Kellys Motors in New South Wales.
1928 – Royal Flying Doctor Service
Reverend John Flynn was the founder of the world’s first Aerial Medical Service, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). In May 1928, Dr St Vincent Welch made the first official RFDS visit.
1928 – First Crossing of the Pacific
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew performed the world’s first air crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
1928 – Speedo Swimwear
This swimwear originated in Sydney when the MacRae Knitting Mills manufactured the company’s first swimsuit, the razorback, made from silk and joined in the middle of the back. Speedo introduced the world’s first nylon swimsuit in 1957.
1930 – Letter Sorting Machine
Sydney GPO was the site for the first mechanised letter sorter which was developed by an engineer with the Postmaster-General’s Department.
1933 – Utility Vehicle
The ute, with a front like a car and rear like a truck was designed by Lewis Bandt at the Ford Motor Company in Geelong, Victoria.
1945 – Hills Hoist
This rotary clothesline with a winding mechanism allowing the frame to be raised and lowered was invented by Lance Hill of Adelaide in 1945.
1946 – Shepherd Castors
George Shepherd invented strong, easily manoeuvrable dome-shaped castors for furniture. These replaced traditional pivoted wheel castors.
1947 – Cloud Seeding
Scientists at CSIRO conducted the first successful cloud seeding experiments, making rain fall near Bathurst, NSW.
1950s – Distance Measuring Equipment
Every airliner in the world uses a piece of navigation equipment called DME, or Distance Measuring Equipment.
1950 – School of the Air
The first ever radio lesson was broadcast using the transmitter at the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Base at Alice Springs.
1952 – Victa Lawnmower
The Victa version of the petrol lawnmower with rotary blades was developed by Mervyn Victor Richardson, and became an Aussie icon.