A VERY CLEVER COUNTRY
EARLY in this series, host Matt Parkinson (Goliath to fans of TheChase Australia) says that when it comes to world-changing inventions, Australia has “punched well above our weight”. You had better believe it, because it’s taking eight episodes to cover all of this country’s groundbreaking innovations. Parkinson is joined by journalist Anja Taylor, inventor Sally Dominguez and historian David Hunt to look at themes of communication, wartime, farm smart, medicine, food preservation, airborne and super vision. Tonight’s first episode is all about home life. I was aware of the Hills Hoist but we discover that it was Gilbert Toyne who created the backyard icon, only to see someone else reap the profits. The boneless corset, designed by Myra Taylor, was a revolution for women. Mervyn Richardson is renowned for inventing the Victa lawnmower. Dr Steve Cummings and Bruce Thompson’s dual flush toilet is a major water saver. Other inventions set to be featured in the series include the bionic ear, highspeed WiFi, and pre-paid postage. If that’s not enough for you – how about the stump jump plough, ute, Akubra, the Coolgardie safe and the wine cask. With home life, it was all about wanting modern convenience and time saving devices. At first, the rotating clothes hoist was a status symbol for the wealthy before spreading to backyards right across the country.