Australia has produced some of the scientific world’s best thinkers, researchers and inventors. Some of the following items on the list will likely surprise you, especially given Australia’s current place in the scientific world.
The Hills Hoist
Arguably one of the nation’s most famed inventions is the Hills Hoist. An adjustable, rotary clothesline was invented by Lance Hill, and have been manufactured since 1945. They have become a staple of Australian suburbia, often featuring in artistic works depicting Australia during the 1950s and 60s. Such is its cultural significance; the device is named a National Treasure by the National Library of Australia.
The first feature film
This one will shock a lot of readers, but it turns out Australia was the first country to produce a feature-length narrative film (over 60 minutes). “The Story of the Kelly Gang” traced the exploits of the 19th-century bushranger, Ned Kelly, and his gang out outlaws. The original cut of the film was more than 1200m, and it premiered in Australia in December 1906 and the United Kingdom in January 1908. As of 2020, only 17 minutes of the film have survived.
Also known as “cask wine” or colloquially known as “goon”, boxed wine is a cheaper alternative to premium bottled wine. The process of packaging was invented by South Australian winemaker, Thomas Angove, who patented the design in April 1965. His design required users to cut the corner off the bladder, pour the wine and then reseal the bag with a particular peg.
Two years later, Penfolds Wines and Charles Malpas designed plastic, air-tight tap that could be welded to the bag, allowing for easy distribution and more effective storage. These days, boxed wine bladders use plastic taps for distribution. It remains a household favourite for young people because of its low price and widespread availability.