To celebrate Australia Day this week, we’re looking at some of the best inventions to ever come out of our sunburnt country. Today, we pay homage to Lance Hill, who created one of the country’s most recognisable icons, the Hills Hoist clothesline .
Returning from World War II, Lance Hill was seemingly in an inventing mood. Working in his shed in the backyard of his Adelaide home, Hill created a revolution in Australian clotheslines. While rotary clotheslines were nothing new, Hill combined it with a crown and pinion mechanism for raising and lowering the line. Joining forces with his brother in law, they managed to create a high-quality, functional product for a relatively cheap price. Production began in 1946 and by 1948 was selling for 11 pounds, which was twice the average weekly wage. Yet demand was reportedly so high the factory making the clotheslines could barely keep up.
10 years after the Hills Hoist began production, Lance Hill was awarded a patent for his invention, despite the fact his initial patent application had lapsed. The company now sells clotheslines all over the world, and while they aren’t necessarily high tech, they’ve definitely helped shape Australia as a nation. And dried our clothes, of course…
Image: Wikimedia Commons