Sunday, February 24, 2013

Australian Firsts and Inventions, Part 2


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The first country to employ skiing as a sport. The first recreational ski club was formed in 1861 at Kiandra in the Snowy Mountains, NSW, Australia, where the first documented international downhill carnival was also held.
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The famous "black box" flight recorder for recording aeroplane movements was invented in Australia in 1958 by Dr David Warren at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne. 


Dr Warren with the Black Box Flight Recorder, which is actually orange. The origin of the term "Black Box" is uncertain. One explanation comes from the early film-based design of flight data recorders, which required the inside of the recorder to be perfectly dark to prevent light leaks from corrupting the record, as in a photographer's darkroom. 
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Also in 1958 the world’s first regular 'round the world' airline service was begun by Qantas 
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The inflatable aircraft escape slide, which becomes a raft if the aeroplane ditches in water was an Australian invention of 1965. 
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The Automatic Totalisator was invented by George Julius in 1913 for tote automated betting (TAB) at horse races. 
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The automatic letter sorting machine is an Australian invention from 1930 
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The two stroke lawn mower was invented by Aussie Mervyn Victor Richardson in 1952. The prototype was built using scrap metal, billy cart wheels, and a peach tin as a fuel tank. The prototype worked, and within three months had sold 30 units. Within four years he’d sold 60,000, created his own company, named Victa, and become a millionaire. 


Anyone interested in seeing that original mower can do so by visiting the City of Canada Bay Museum at 1 Bent St, Concord Sydney, NSW, the suburb in which Richardson resided. Opening hours are Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and admission is free


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Differential gears – In 1897 David Shearer of South Australia built a steam car with differential inside left rear wheel hub. Does anyone know what that means? 
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In 1898 the teleprinter for recording messages onto a tape was invented by Donald Murray of Sydney. 
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Around 1912, inventor Gilbert Toyne in Geelong (who later established his business at 661 Parramatta Road, Five Dock), designed a rotary clothes hoist. By the early 1920s, Toyne's 'All-Metal Rotary Clothes Hoist' was being manufactured and advertised in Australia - about 25 years before the first 'Hills Hoist' which was the first to attach a handle to raise and lower the hoist. In 1945 Lance Hills began manufacturing the Hills Hoist, patenting the design after Toyne’s patent had expired. 

Toyne established the Aeroplane Clothes Hoist Company in 1911 to sell his rotary clothes hoist inventions 

Note the following photograph from 1873 which shows a rotary clothes line 73 years 'before' the Hills Hoist developed by Lance Hill and before Toyne's clothesline


Also a joy to kids.
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Lithium as a treatment for manic depression. 
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The Australian Crawl. Until the 1890's competitive freestyle was done with the head out of the water. Australian Dick Cavill popularised it and enabled it to be accepted in world class meetings. 
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First woman to sail solo around the world, Kay Cottee, 1988. 

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George Richard R. Nicholas made the first Australian acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) in a tablet form, registered in 1917 as "Aspro". 

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Bruce Thompson invents the world’s first dual flush toilet in 1980, using alternative buttons for different strength flushing. 
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The first manufacture and marketing of the one piece bathing suit. 

In 1907 Australian swimmer Annette KIellerman visited the United States as an "underwater ballerina", a version of synchronised swimming involving diving into glass tanks. She was arrested for indecent exposure because her swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. 


Kellerman changed the suit to have long arms and legs and a collar, still keeping the close fit that revealed the shapes underneath. She later starred in several movies, including one about her life. She marketed a line of bathing suits and her style of one-piece suits came to be known as "the Annette Kellerman."


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