Pre paid postal system
Colonial Postmaster-General of New South Wales, James Raymond introduced the world's first pre-paid postal system.
James Harrison invented a practical refrigeration system for the brewing and meat-packing industry.
Australian Rules Football
Tom Will and Henry Harrison wrote the first ten rules of Australian Rules Football and became the first people in the world to codify a kicking-ball game. These rules predate those of Rugby, Soccer and Gridiron.
Louis Brennan invented the torpedo.
Stump jump plough
Robert and Clarence Bowyer Smith developed the stump jump plough that jumped over stumps and stones, enabling newly-cleared land to be cultivated.
The Combine Harvester was developed by Hugh Victor McKay that both stripped and collected the grain.
Arthur James Arnot patented the world's first electric drill.
The box kite
The Box Kite was invented by Lawrence Hargrave during his investigation into the lifting properties of curved surfaces. Hargraves himself flew 16 feet on 12 November 1894 by linking a group of such kites together and adding a seat.
Federal patent office
Federal Patent Office established in Melbourne.
First patent application
First patent application received under Commonwealth Patents Act 1903 – locomotive brake system. Since the invention of the locomotive, slowing and stopping these large, fast moving machines had always been a difficult and dangerous exercise. Brakes were applied by ‘brakemen’ who would run along the roof of the carriages to brake each car manually. Exposed to the elements and ducking tunnels, it was a risky and dangerous job that often led to severe injury or death. Westinghouse Air Brakes allowed the engineer to apply the brakes automatically – saving the need for men to risk their lives to apply the brakes manually.
Dengue fever transmission by mosquitoes identified by Thomas Bancroft.
Commonwealth Trade Marks Act 1903 passed.
Commonwealth Designs Act 1906 passed; registration of trade marks joins federal Patent Office.
Kiwi boot polish manufactured by William Ramsay and Hamilton McKellan.
The story of the Kelly gang
The first feature film The Story of the Kelly Gang, produced by Dan Barry and Charles Tait, premiered at the Athenaeum, Melbourne. Audiences of the time loved this film's boldness and, with its live sound effects and narration, to them it didn't seem silent.
Surf life saving reel
The first surf life saving reel in the world was demonstrated at Bondi Beach by its designer Lester Ormsby. Surf life-saving reel and surf lifesavers are now icons of Australian surf. Surf lifesaving by volunteers as begun in Bondi has saved many lives and is now an integral part of Australia's beaches.
Registration of copyright and designs joins federal Patent and Trade Mark Office.
Rexona personal care range devised by Alice Sheffer.
Preferential voting instituted in Western Australia and Victoria.
The tank was invented by Lance de Mole.
Periscope rifle invented by Lance-Corporal W C Beech at Gallipoli. This device allowed a soldier standing in a trench to take accurate aim and fire without exposing himself to the enemy.
Spring tine drill cultivator that sowed, fertilised and harrowed simultaneously was built by Raimond Squire.
Anthrax vaccine revealed by John McGarvie Smith, Sydney.
Aspro trade mark registered by George Nicholas, for the substitute aspirin he had invented.
For nearly 90 years, Vegemite has been fuelling our unique Australian spirit. Four generations of Australians have been 'raised on' this unique and humble dark spread. It is an icon of the nation and an integral part of Australia's culture, identity and personality. Invented in 1922 by Cyril Callister, VEGEMITE sells over 23 million jars every year.
Transceiver was invented by Alf Traeger for the Flying Doctor Service.
Australia accedes to the Paris convention allowing Australian inventors to file overseas using their Australian patent application dates as priority.
In 1926, Dr Mark C Lidwell of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital of Sydney, supported by physicist Edgar H Booth of the University of Sydney, invented the world's first electronic pacemaker.
Flying Doctor Service
Flying Doctor Service established by John Flynn, Cloncurry, Qld. Working as a minister in the bush, Flynn dreamed of making the outback a safe place to live. He thought that instead of a patient travelling in tough conditions to get to a doctor, the doctor could go to the patient. World War I then prompted the idea of using planes to take doctors to where they were needed.
Improved tiger snake antivenim produced by Doctors Kellaway and Morgan.
Ute designed for Ford Company by Lewis Bandt.
Sister Elizabeth Kenny's first clinics opened in Queensland to treat polio patients with her new method.
Federal Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Office moves to Canberra.
Birth defects linked to Rubella by Dr Norman Gregg, Sydney.
Owen gun, a simple submachine gun effective in wet conditions, invented by Evelyn Owen. It was used by the Australian Army from 1943 until the mid 1960's. The Owen was the only Australian-designed service firearm of World War II and was the main submachine gun used by the Australian Army during the war.
Before World War II several clever people had designed and promoted rotary clothes hoists but they never caught on. That was until Lance Hill came along and started manufacturing the Hills Hoist. With quality design and manufacture, as well as an innovative approach to marketing, the Hills Hoist quickly became a popular backyard feature. Today this Aussie icon is found in millions of backyards around Australia.
Lithium identified as treatment for psychiatric conditions by John Cade.
School of the Air launched in outback areas.
Cause of retrolental fibroplasia discovered by Dr Kate Campbell.
Victa Mowers Pty Ltd
Although the lawn mower was not a new invention, it's technology was revolutionised in 1952 by Mervyn Victor Richardson. He invented and patented the rotary action blades which enabled his mower to cut long thick grass. Victa Mowers Pty Ltd opened for business in 1953 producing 60 Victas a week and has grown to become a household name across Australia.
Aerosol Mortein released by Samuel Taylor Company. The name 'Mortein' is said to derive from the French word 'mort' (dead) and the German word 'ein' (one). Mortein has been the leading brand of household insecticide in Australian homes for over 100 years.
Mills cross radio telescope, designed by B Y Mills.
Cane chopper harvester invented by Ken Gaunt to mechanise harvesting of the Queensland sugar crop.
The black box
The Black Box flight recorder built by Dr David Warren to record the flight crew's conversation along with a few instrument readings. The first such recorder (called the 'ARL Flight Memory Unit') was made in 1958, but were not made compulsory in Australian aeroplanes until 1967.
Patent and manufacture
Landmark NRDC decision handed down by High Court, regarding manner of manufacture' definition of patents.
Round-the-world air route opened by Qantas. Qantas became the second round-the-world airline, flying Super Constellations westward from Australia to London through Asia and the Middle East.
Frozen embryos first successfully transferred (in sheep) by Neil Moore of the University of Sydney.
Thalidomide denounced as a cause of birth defects by Dr William McBride.
Ultrasound scanner built by David Robinson and George Kossoff at the Commonwealth Ultrasonics Institute, Sydney.
The first detection of a quasar 3C273 located by Parkes radio telescope NSW.
Inflatable escape slide
Inflatable escape slide for aeroplanes, which doubles as a raft, invented by Jack Grant of Qantas.
Wine cask invented by Tom Angoves of Angove's winemakers and distillers. The title of the invention was 'improved container and pack for liquids'. Up until then the bulk of wine in Australia was sold in bottles and glass flagons.
The first Ironman contest staged by Australian Surf Lifesaving Association.
Australia joins the World Intellectual Property Organisation..
Rotavirus discovered by Ruth Townsend and the Gastroenterology Research Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.
Triton workbench designed and built by George Lewin, Melbourne.
Solar powered telephones and digital radio concentrator system, for extending clear phone calls to the outback, developed by Telecom.
Double glazed solar water heater developed by Roger Morse..
Cochlear implant developed at Melbourne University by Professor Graeme Clark. Inspired by his close relationship with his deaf father, Professor Graeme Clark began researching the possibilities of an electronic implantable hearing device in the 1960s. The Cochlear 'bionic ear' is an implant to assist hearing-impaired and profoundly deaf people who are unable to benefit from traditional hearing aids.
Stabilised zirconia ceramics resistant to cracking were developed by CSIRO.
Race-cam camera installed in a car competing in the Bathurst 1000 for live broadcast by Channel 7 engineer Geoff Healy.
Computer socks with modulated elasticity to keep them up were released by Holeproof.
Duoset dual flush cistern
Duoset dual flush cistern released by Caroma, Adelaide. Bruce Thompson of Caroma in Adelaide developed the dual flush system as part of the company's commitment to offer water-saving systems. Researchers found that Australian toilets already used much less water than the very wasteful systems still favoured in North America, where a flush could be around 30 litres. However, with better design there was scope to reduce Australian flushing volumes further.
Australia accedes to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Funnel web spider antivenin was developed by Struan Sutherland.
Twins fertilised in vitro by Dr Alan Trounson's Monash University team were born in Melbourne.
Winged keel developed for use on Australia II by Ben Lexcen helped end the New York Yacht Club's 132 year winning streak in the America's Cup.
Invented in the early 1980's by Colin Michael Nagel and Robert Boyson Heath, the baby capsule consists of a basinet inside a base, which is kept in place by a car seat belt. During a collision the capsule has a release mechanism that activate and allows the bassinette to rotate, keeping an even distribution of force over the baby's body. When properly fitted, the Baby Safety Capsule is still the safest method of transporting an infant in a vehicle.
Solar cell with recessed current tracks developed by Stuart Wenham and Martin Green, University of NSW, Sydney.
Ken Done first registered his designs.
Synthetic sunscreen compounds imitating those in Pacific staghorn coral were patented.
CPAP method of treating sleep apnoea - invented at the University of Sydney by Professor Colin Sullivan - developed commercially by ResMed.
New Commonwealth Patents Act passed.
Dr Frazer and Dr Zhou patented the vaccine (GARDASIL) targeting human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many strains of HPV and some can cause cancer. HPV strains 16 and 18 cause around 70 per cent of all cervical cancers. The GARDASIL vaccine prevents infection from HPV strains 16 and 18 if individuals are vaccinated before they are infected with them.
'ReVinyl' bottles made from recycled PVC by Peteron Plastics, Melbourne.
Spray on skin developed by Dr Fiona Wood at the Royal Perth Hospital.
Wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology (WiFi) was invented by the CSIRO.
Results published of clinical trials of Polartechnics's cervical cancer detector built by Victor Skladnev, Sydney.
ADSL developed by Telstra for high-volume connections.
New Commonwealth Trade Marks Act passed.
Pink iceberg rose
Pink Iceberg rose created by Prophyl Pty Ltd was granted a Plant Breeder's Right. It has soft pink flowers which fade to white with age. The clusters of flowers are open in shape with gold stamens. It is disease resistant and vigorous. The flower has a soft, light apple-rose perfume.
Digital Medical Imaging System developed by Polartechnics, Sydney.
Fastskin competition swimsuit launched by Speedo.
Optim wool fibre processor introduced to produce enhanced fibres developed by the CSIRO and Woolmark.
Boost juice bars trade marked.
Innovation Patent system introduced; replacing Petty Patent system.
Scalpel with retractable guard launched by OMI Ltd.
SolarScan skin cancer detection device launched by Polartechnics, Sydney.
Bamboo surfboards launched by Bamboo Surfboards Australia.
Albion lightweight cricket helmet released.
Jindalee Over-the-Horizon radar system switched on across northern Australia.
Llama-cheetah battle simulation system - developed by ADI software division, Perth - used in war against Iraq.
New Commonwealth Designs Act 2003 passed.
Centenary of IP Australia - 100 years since the federal Patent Office began operation in 1904.
Jarlmadangah Burru Community and Griffith University patented the use of the bark from the Marjala plant as a novel analgesic compound.
Portable retinal camera invented by Greg Koennecke for public health in the developing world.
Programmable turning bed invented by Hanne Piazza was designed to assist carers and hospital staff turn patients safely.
'Cone-head' shock absorbing liner for motorcycle helmets invented by Don Morgan.
Bionic Vision Australia commenced development of the bionic eye and the first patient tests are scheduled to be completed by 2013. Bionic Vision Australia is a national consortium of researchers that have come together to develop technology to help restore some sight to people with particular forms of vision impairment. The Australian team working on this breakthrough technology are some of the world's leading experts in ophthalmology, biomedical engineering, neuroscience and circuit design.
Safety Propeller invented by Colin Chamberlain was launched.
'EVestG', a diagnostic technique that uses patterns of electrical activity in the brain to detect mental and neurological illnesses, was invented by Brian Lithgow and Jayashri Kulkarni.