Famous Australian inventions
Many of these devices and technologies have become an integral part of our daily lives, but did you know that they were all invented by Aussies?!
1. The Hills Hoist
After a request from his wife, Lance Hill's clothes hoist became a symbol of Australian home life in the 1950s. But Lance Hill did not invent the rotary clothes hoist; Gilbert Toyne patented one in Adelaide in 1926, which was sold in small numbers until the early 1960s.
2. Google Maps
Created by Sydney-based brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen, at a time when the technology required to deliver their idea was still being developed the brothers formed a mapping technology company. A year later it was acquired by Google and Google Maps was born.
In 1932 a farmer wrote to the boss of Ford Australia to ask, 'Please make a two-in-one car and truck, something I can go in to church on Sunday, and carry pigs to market on Monday.'
Lewis Bandt was given the job to develop such a multi-purpose car. His solution was to graft a high-sided open or 'utility' back onto a two-door Ford V8 Coupe. What made it different from a truck was that the interior was as luxurious as a coupe, and the side panels and roof were pressed in steel like a car.
4. Black box
In 1956 Australian engineer, Dr David Warren of the Aeronautical Research Centre in Melbourne, produced a prototype flight recorder called the ARL Flight Memory Unit which improved on earlier models by including voice recordings of the cockpit during the flight.
Unfortunately the Australian aviation authorities overlooked his invention and it took the British and US to develop and manufacture the device. The flight recorder (or 'black box' as it is commonly known despite being orange) is now standard equipment on all commercial aircraft. It has proven to be extremely valuable for investigating the causes of aeroplane crashes, not just through voice recording but also through incidental sounds captured during flight.
5. Ultrasound machine
In the 1950s, doctors grew concerned about the effect of taking X-rays on pregnant women to determine the health of their babies. In 1961 David Robinson and George Kossoff, working at the Ultrasonic Research Group of the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories, built Australia’s first ultrasound scanner, called the CAL Echoscope. While others had used the same ultrasound technology for similar purposes around the globe, it was discovered in 1962 that the results from the Australian version – called grey-scale ultrasound – were technically superior to other scanners, as well as being the first commercially practical option.
28 July 2015