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Did You Know This Was Invented In Australia

Updated on October 9, 2011

Map Of Australia

Map showing the political breakdown (states and territories) of Australia
Map showing the political breakdown (states and territories) of Australia

Did You Know

Until the advent of international flights, Australians had to rely on their own skills, know-how, ingenuity and 'tasks for the job at hand' to fulfill the needs and requirements of their daily lives.

Until at least the 1960s travel to and from Australia, was primarily by ship, a journey depending on where one as coming from or going to would take months for a single journey.

Add in the harsh and in many places the inhospitable areas of the land, the unique flora and fauna, some of which are very deadly to humans, would make one think that Australia, especially in the early days from colonization, would be the last place on earth to live!

There Is More Here Than Meets The Eye

In those early days, since food was scarce, although sheep, goats and cattle were brought over and for a lucky few, pastoral land was found in various areas, Goulburn, New South Wales, about 120 south west of Sydney, being one of the first established.

For those early explorers, some actually had taken the initiative of learning from the first inhabitants, the Australian Aborigines, who taught these explorers, where to find water, safe grasses and berries to eat and even the local animals that could be hunted and cooked.

This became an excellent way to subsist salted meats, hard cheeses and even harder bread, which was the only known way to preserve food at the time, and was cumbersome to move, especially for the early explorers.

From the 1800's with pastoral lands being granted to settlers and soon to become a common way to produce corn, wheat, rye, barley and other grains. There was on perennial problem, almost now matter how many trees were cut down, these trees grew back with swift speed before the time of planting the next harvest.

Pre Paid Postage 1836

As the settlers settled across Australia, most townships would be rather distant to one another, hence making the delivery of postage a difficult prospect.

Postmaster General James Raymond, in New South Wales, introduced the first pre-paid postage system by creating pre stamped sheets as envelopes.

The Coolgardie Safe 1892

Especially the northern part of the country being hot for a possible 7 months of the year. Keeping food in a state without spoiling was very difficult.

Arthur Patrick McCormick noticed that a bag thoroughly drenched in water and placed over a bottle cooled its contents, and the cooling was more pronounced in a breeze and more effective at night. The Coolgardie safe developed into a box made of wire and hessian bag sitting in water, which was placed on a verandah so that any breeze would evaporate the water in the hessian and via the principle of evaporation, cool the air inside the box. The Coolgardie safe was used by many right up until the middle of the 20th century until the advent of ice boxes and then refrigeration.

The Stump Jump Plough 1876

Although tree lopping and eventual burning of the stumps and roots for trees is one solution for creating farmland, Australians discovered another issue. Ploughing the fields still became extremely frustrating due to the burnt stumps and vast tree root systems, being too large to dig out.

Various stump pullers were made, yet still remained not as effective as three axemen to do the same job.

The situation was deemed so bad the South Australian Government would offer £200 to anyone whom would provide a solution. Richard Bower Smith in 1876 and an agricultural machinery apprentice and later perfected by his brother, Clarence, created a plough that had a pivot point in the middle, and when encountering a stump the plough section itself would pivot up and over the stump, by pushing forward, and a weight attached at the top would push it back down into the soil after passing the stump and allow one to continue to furrow.

It proved remarkably effective and was given the name of the 'Stump-Jump' Plough.

More To Come

Some of those early creations and invention certainly started to make life easier for the first explorers and settlers and helped to create a better life for their own and many others.

For a lot of these inventions, designs and new discoveries, Australia slowly didn't start to seem such a different, harsh country after all. It was a place uniquely located with unique needs that needed solutions that may have only become available by those living within its shores.

This hasn't stopped Australia being a provider of innovation. More information to come on some of these discoveries that occurred right up til 2006, of which some will surprise!

Did You Know Autralians Were An Enterprising Lot?

Submit a Comment

  • Kangaroo_Jase profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia


    Our isolation and independence has made it necessary, yet our closeness especially with communication with the rest of the world has also helped us to provide our unique solutions to long term problems.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • vespawoolf profile image


    6 years ago from Peru, South America

    As they say, necessity is the mother of invention! This is a fascinating history of innovative Australians. Voted up!

  • qwark profile image


    7 years ago

    Hey --roo:

    That was an interesting and informative read!

    Loved it.

    I gave you a vote up and "useful."


  • elayne001 profile image


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Who knew - I guess we know now. Thanks for the informative hub. Looking forward to more.

  • billyaustindillon profile image


    8 years ago

    Jase the fridge sounds brilliant - perfect in an energy challenged world. I look forward to the next installment.

  • Kangaroo_Jase profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

    @Abwaan, just one of the reasons Australia is referred to as 'the lucky country'

    @Miss Turban, is a great site that one, lists a valuable resource to just about all those great inventions in Australia, although, not often the reasons behind why they were created, some are obvious, some are not.

    Thankyou for sharing

  • profile image

    Miss Turban 

    8 years ago

    There is a great list of Australian inventions at:

  • Abwaan profile image


    8 years ago



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