By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Australia’s Greatest Inventions & Innovations
By Christopher Cheng & Linsay Knight in association with the Powerhouse Museum (Random House, $24.95, softcover, 184 pages)
Australians have played a mammoth role in spearheading many technological innovations in science, industry and design.
The clever country has a rich history of discovery that has seen doctors, scientists, engineers and designers kept busy in saving lives and time.
Authors Christopher Cheng and Linsay Knight, in association with Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, have produced a worthy reference for people of all ages shedding light on who has found realistic solutions to momentous problems.
You’ll be astonished by the inventions, their creators and, in some cases, the amazing ways in which the inventions became a reality.
Here is a short, but impressive list: cochlear implants (Dr Graeme Clark) bringing the wonder of sound into lives of thousands of people; spray-on skin (Dr Fiona Wood) is a patented skin culturing treatment for burns victims; black box flight recorders (Dave Warren); Wi-Fi (John Sullivan); dual-flush toilets (Bruce Thompson), an’ ubiquitous’ feature in Australian bathrooms; disposable syringes (Harry Willis) where Cheng and Knight argue that we owe this life-saving therapeutic tool to the expertise of a toymaker from SA; andMountbatten Braillers for people with impaired vision.
Vegemite, the Victa lawnmower and Hills clothes hoist (Gilbert Toyne) are ranked alongside UI Octoson ultrasound; Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie invented the Fairlight digital sampling synthesiser (named after a Sydney hydrofoil ferry); and a delicate line is drawn between the Stuart &Sons piano and the didgeridoo.
Packed with colour pictures, diagrams, facts and fun revelations, Australia's Greatest Inventions and Innovations is divided into nine categories and covers appliances ranging from health, communications and transport, manufacturing and agriculture to everyday household items.
The illustrious inventors and their ‘bright ideas’ provides a fascinating journey through history and a celebration of some ingenious ideas.
Edition 342, 4 December 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.