Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Australian Firsts and Inventions

Continuing the list of Australian firsts and Australian inventions...
  • Plastic bank notes - the Australian-invented technology used in producing plastic bank notes is now licensed in many countries. 
  • The pedal-operated generator, connected to a wireless, was invented by Alfred Traeger in 1927, thereby creating the pedal operated wireless, a boon in the Outback. 
  • Dr Kenyon Welsh and pilot Arthur Affleck began operating the first flying doctor service out of Cloncurry, Queensland in 1928. 
  • The inflatable aircraft escape slide, which doubles as a raft, was invented in 1965 by Jack Grant of Qantas. 
  • Puncture-proof tyres made of hollow rubber segments bolted onto a steel rim, were invented by Alan Burns in 1967. 
  • Variable ratio rack and pinion steering in motor vehicles was invented by Australian engineer, Arthur Bishop. 
  • The world's first laser beam lighthouse was at Point Danger, New South Wales. 
  • The production of large diameter pipes from spirally wound interlocking plastic strips was invented by South Australian engineer Bill Menzel in 1978. 
  • The tiny camera used in sports broadcasts was developed by Australian engineer, Geoff Healey. 
  • The technique for spinning lightweight wool was invented at the CSIRO. 
  • The first frozen embryo baby, Zoe, was born at the Queen Victoria Medical Centre in Melbourne in 1984. 
  • Dr Stuart Wenham and Professor Martin Green from The University of Sydney invented the world's most efficient solar cells. 
  • A group of engineers and scientists led by Dr Doug Ford invented the continuous self-cleaning microfiltration. 
  • The system of capturing flavours and aromas normally lost during food processing was invented by Dr Don Casimir at the CSIRO (1985). 
  • In 1876 Robert and Clarence Bowyer Smith developed a plough, known as the stump jump plough, which could jump over stumps and stones, enabling newly-cleared land to be cultivated. This was prompted by the prevalence of mallee scrub which, when cleared, continued to cause problems through roots remaining and being difficult to eradicate. 

McKay Sundercut, ten disc, stump-jump plough, 1920 
  • In 1946 George Shepherd invented the dome shaped castors which replaced traditional pivoted wheel castors. 
  • The Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, the complex analytical instrument used in chemical analysis, was invented by Sir Alan Walsh of the CSIRO in 1952 but I bet you already knew that. 
  • The process for producing permanently creased fabric was invented by Dr Arthur Farnworth of the CSIRO in 1957. 
  • A “ute” may be what Vinny Gambini calls a “youth” in his Brooklyn accent in My Cousin Vinny, but in Australian parlance it refers to a vehicle with the cabin of a car and the rear of a small truck, popular with Australian farmers and tradesmen, called a utility or "ute" for short. James Freeland Leacock invented and built the first ute in 1929. The first commercially produced ute was sold in 1934 by Ford and designed by Lewis Brandt at the Ford Motor Company in Geelong, Victoria. Brandt’s ute was designed as a response to a Gippsland farmer’s wife’s request to Ford: “Why don’t you build people like us a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday without getting wet and my husband can use it to carry our pigs to market on Mondays?”  Brandt's design was not the first to have a cabin with a tray, there were earlier designs to that effect which referred to the design as a coupe utility:

Brandt's design:

The modern day ute:

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