5 amazing South Australian inventions


Creative Commons Creative Commons

This is a Creative Commons story from Brand SA News, a news service providing positive stories about South Australia. Please feel free to use the copy in any form of media (not including any photographs or video unless otherwise stated), including a link back to the Brand SA News site.

Copied to clipboard

You may have noticed around our State we’re celebrating South Australia’s History Festival this month.

So we thought we’d dig deep into the archives and share some of the amazing inventions by South Australians.

Who knows, it may well inspire a South Aussie to invent the “never ending” toilet roll.


Blog770px-invention 4

Wi-Fi inventors Diet Ostry, Graham Daniels, John Deane, Dr John O’Sullivan and Dr Terry Percival at CSIRO’s Marsfield site.

South Australian Dr John O’Sullivan led the CSIRO team who invented WiFi. The discovery, made in 1992, has completely changed modern living and affected billions of lives around the world. The breakthrough provided the CSIRO with its most lucrative patent and Dr O’Sullivan was presented with ‘The Prime Ministers Science Award’ in 2009.

Boxed Wine or as we know it ‘Cask Wine’

Blog770px-invention 6

Thomas Angove – picture Will Slee from the Murray Pioneer.

Invented by South Australian winemaker, Thomas Angove back in the 1960’s. This South Aussie invention changed the way Uni students experienced their first taste of wine and gave wine consumers a more efficient way to buy wine in bulk. So next time you grab a cask wine from your local outlet raise a glass to Thomas Angove.

The Military Tank

Blog770px-invention 2

Long viewed as a British invention, the military tank was actually first conceived by an Adelaide inventor named Lancelot Eldin de Mole in 1912. Lancelot sent his drawings along with the name “Tank MKI” to the British War office, but was rejected. In 1916 a variation of his design (that he deemed “inferior”) was released by the Brits. After a lobbying effort by the South Australian government, he was recognised for his design and paid £987 for his efforts.

Hills Hoist

Blog770px-invention 3

The Hills Hoist can be found in many Aussie backyards and was first manufactured in Adelaide by Lance Hill back in 1945. This problem-solving invention has been used to dry our clothes and entertain our kids ever since. A Darwin family even reported it was the only thing to survive after Cyclone Tracy tore a path through the Northern Territory.


Sunbath protection

Sunscreen protection

It makes sense that the first Sunscreen was developed in Adelaide. Our sunny skies have long been the bane of existence for those with pale skin. Although it was much less effective as the cream we use today, the idea was first concocted by a young South Australian Chemist named Milton Blake, in his Adelaide kitchen. In 1932 it was tested by the University of Adelaide and sold by Blake’s family owned business, Hamilton Laboratories for 78 years.

Any thoughts on that toilet roll?

Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Facebook SHARE