At the opening in 2018 of the Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub's factory of the future, showcasing the latest in digital manufacturing technologies.

TONSLEY INNOVATION HUB IS BUILDING ON
STATE'S
HERITAGE OF INVENTIONS from
Ridley's reaper to wine cask to dual-flush toilet

 

TONSLEY INNOVATION HUB, ON THE FORMER 61ha SITE OF CHRYSLEY/MITSUBISHI CAR PLANTS, handed over to the state government in 2008, has been criticised as too ambitious – but it certainly has a rich tradition of South Australian innovation behind it.

The harsh demands of agriculture drove some world-changing South Australian inventions. John Ridley had been credited with saving the young colony in the 1840s by inventing a wheat reaper, although Mount Barker farmer John Wrathall Bull claimed the same invention.

The stump-jump plough, invented by Richard Bower Smith and his brother Clarence in 1876 was another breakthrough in cultivating paddocks.

Another agricultural innovation that went worldwide was Frederick May’s Model 115 harvester – with the first adjustable comb – produced at his Gawler factory in 1906.

South Australian also has important effects in everyday life in other ways.

Hungarian immigrant Charles Rothauser, a Hungarian immigrant, in 1956 renamed his plastics company Caroma and began making bathroom products, including the world'’s first one-piece plastic toilet cistern.

In 1980, with $130,000 government help, Bruce Thompson of Caroma developed a cistern with two buttons and flush volumes (11.0 litres and 5.5 litres) as a water-saving measure.

The wine cask, the flexible bag inside a box was first developed by Thomas Angove in 1965. It was later given the tap by Penfolds Wines and brought to market by Sam Wynn of Wynnvale Wines.

 

JOHN RIDLEY, JOHN BAGSHAW, SMITH BROTHERS, ALF HANNAFORD, FREDERICK MAY, DAVID UNAIPON

WHEAT REAPER MACHINE AND STUMPJUMP PLOUGH CRUCIAL
among inventions meeting South Australian agiculture challenge

John Ridley's wheat reaper, The Stripper, saves early South Australian agriculture

John Ridley has been credited with saving the young colony of South Australia in the 1840s by inventing The Stripper wheat reaper. By 1843, the colony was in financial trouble but it had an expanding wheat crop – that would make South Australia the early granary of Australia – exceeding the workforce needed to harvest it by the old hand methods. Ridley produced a machine that enabled crops to be reaped mechanically. Combs and beaters swept off heads of wheat, so binding, carrying and stacking were avoided. Although Ridley won the prize offered by Agricultural and Horticultural Society for the invention, others believe that Mount Barker farmer John Wrathall Bull was first to come up with the idea, claimed as a world first. Arriving in South Australia in 1839, Ridley bought land to farm at Hindmarsh, near Adelaide city centre. He took over the South Australian Company flour mill and installed the colony’s first steam engine (a Watt’s beam) able to cut wood and grind meal. Ridley, a lay church preacher, refused to take out a patent, or received a reward, on his wheat reaper, allowing South Australia to reap the full benefits. Thousands of Ridley reapers were built. In gratitude, South Australian colonists presented a silver candelabrum to Ridley, who returned to England in 1853. The candelabrum is now at Waite Agricultural Research Institute. Ridley is honoured by a scholarship at Roseworthy Agricultural College, memorial gates and a pavilion at the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society's showground at Wayville and Adelaide suburbs Ridleyton and Ridley Grove.

John Bagshaw's wheat reaper contribution leads to Australia's first winnowing machine

John Stokes Bagshaw was recognised for making the original patterns, in 1843, for John Ridley’s The Stripper wheat reaper machine that saved South Australia early agriculture by being able to reap six acres of grain in a day.  Inspired by this success, Bagshaw invented Australia’s first winnowing machine in Australia. This replaced the old method of grain being separated from the chaff by using a flail on a hardened floor or by using horses or bullocks to walk over the grain, before it was manually sieved. Champion winnowers, as they became known, cost £17 each and Bagshaw sold more than 200 of them. Bagshaw continued to design and make much-needed agricultural machinery such as chaff cutters, corn crushers and churns.  Bagshaw, who had arrived in South Australia with his Shropshire farmer parents and family in 1838, applied his mechanical skills by setting up an agricultural implement workshop in Elizabeth Street, Adelaide, initially working on floor mills at Noarlunga, Port Noarlunga and Encounter Bay. As one of the colony’s earliest pattern makers, Bagshaw was in demand for the first foundries – and John Ridley. In 1852 Bagshaw’s eldest son, John, also a skilled engineer, and second son Thomas joined J. S. Bagshaw and Sons, later The Pioneer Works. It produced agicultural seed cleaners, baggers, threshers, graders and feed grinders. John Bagshaw was active in Anglican Holy Trinity Church on North Terrace, Adelaide; member of Adelaide Municipal Council for Gawler Ward (1870-74) and a founder of the Ancient London Order of Oddfellows in South Australia.

South Australians come up with the stump-jump plough solution in 1870s to mallee farm problem

The stump jump plough invented by Richard Bowyer Smith and his brother Clarence – or James Winchester Scott – in South Australia in the 1870s solved a major problem in cultivating mallee lands.  Mallee scrub that originally covered much of southern Australia was difficult to clear, quickly regrew, and left big roots even after burning. The South Australian government was offering mallee scrub leases in 1966 but grubbing the land was costly, By 1878, the government offered £200 for an effective mechanical stump puller. Mullenising (named after Wasleys farmer Charles Mullens) became popular to clear scrub. This involved dragging a heavy roller over roughly cleared ground to crush young shoots; the field was burnt and a spiked log run over the ground before wheat was sown. Next season, the stubble and mallee regrowth was again burnt. Eventually the mallee died, though stumps remained. Richard Bowyer Smith and his brother perfected their stump-jump plough in 1876 on Yorke Peninsula. The plough's blades rose out of the ground when they hit a mallee stump. Used with mullenising, the plough was hailed as “complete revolution” in cropping the mallee lands. Smith was credited controversially as the stump-jump plough inventor, in 1883, by the South Australian parliament. Controversial, because James Winchester Scott, a prolific inventor from Alma, had also come up with a stump-jump plough, in 1877, to go with his cultivator, slasher, scarifier and double-furrow inventions. Scott and manufacturers the Mellor Brothers lodged the first stump-jump plough patent in Victoria.

Alf Hannaford trucks his wheat seed grading and pickling machine invention to farmers

The ninth of 10 children of a Riverton, South Australia, farmer, Alf Hannaford, in 1924, invented a combined seed grader and dry-wheat pickler – a breakthrough in controlling smut disease and cleaning/grading wheat for farmers throughout Australia. In 1927, the wooden machine was converted to steel-bodied, the first of its kind in Australia. Alf Hannaford & Co., started in 1925, built between 500 and 600 machines a year until farmers couldn’t afford them during the Depression. The company then introduced a contract scheme, taking the machines on trucks to farms where they graded and pickled the wheat at a bag-rate charge. By 1933, the firm had 200 trucks and graders operating, with offices in Victoria and Western Australia opened later. In 1944, 11,000 farmers had their grain treated by the Hannaford On-Farm Grading Service, producing enough seed to cover five million acres. Committed to improving the quality and yields of Australian crops, in 1937, Hannaford built a clover harvester and begun extensive harvesting of barrel clover, later named after him. Alf Hannaford's inventions started on the Riverton family farm. In the farm’s blacksmith's shop, he developed a wet-wheat pickling machine fashioned from a railway sleeper: dipping seed in a copper sulphate solution helped combat rust in wheat. His invention was inspired by a machine, at a farmers’ conference, that he was confident he could improve. He continued to refine the pickler in Adelaide and patented it in 1914. With the help of J. E. Swann, several machines were made. Hannaford's five children all worked for his company. 

Frederick May’s ideas
 and skill have big effect on 
South Australian agriculture and mining 


Frederick May’s inventions, such as the adjustable harvester comber and ore concentrator, revolutionised Australian agriculture and mining for South Australia’s benefit. May brought inventing talent to South Australia from Cornwall where, as a 12-year-old in 1852, he built a steam engine. He later applied this self-taught steam-engine technology to the copper mining towns of Burra and Moonta, preventing  the mines from flooding and saving the copper industry that rescued the South Australian colony drowning in debt. In Broken Hill, he was hailed for inventing an ore concentrator be used in BHP’s thriving ore mine. This mine had to flow-on effects to South Australia through local investors but also on the Port Pirie lead smelters. May’s worldwide effect was in agriculture. In 1906, he produced his Model 115 May Harvester from his Gawler factory north of Adelaide. This was the first harvester with an adjustable comb. It went global and is still used today. The Model 115 had a patented lubrication system, a clutch and a brake, all at the cutting edge of harvesting in 1906. The Model 115 was offered to farmers in a choice of colours: yellow, red and blue. Frederick May’s Model 115 harvester is exhibited at Adelaide University’s Roseworthy Agricultural College Museum near Gawler.

David Unaipon invents straight-line shearing machine without credit or compensation in 1909

The first straight-line motion shearing machine, invented in 1909, is featured on the $50 Australian note tribute to David Unaipon. He developed and patented (provisional patent 15 624) the handpiece that became the standard in woolsheds across the country. It converted curvilineal motion into the straight-line movement that's the basis of modern shears. It was introduced without Unaipon receiving financial return and, apart from a 1910 newspaper report naming him as inventor, he received no credit. Unaipon has been called the Australian Leonard da Vinci for his mechanical ideas. These included pre-World War I drawings for a helicopter design, based on the boomerang, and his research into the polarisation of light. Unaipon took out provisional patents for 19 inventions between 1909 and 1944 but couldn't afford to get any fully patented. Other inventions included a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device. Unaipon was a recognised authority on ballistics. Unaipon was born at Raukkan (Point McLeay) Mission in 1872. Educated at the mission school and in Adelaide, Unaipon was interested in science but also became known as a writer, musician, preacher and spokesman for Aboriginal people. Unaipon was the first Aboriginal writer to publish in English, with many articles on Aboriginal rights and Legendary Tales of Australian Aborigines eventually published under his name. In his nineties, Unaipon returned to Raukkan where he continued working on inventions, convinced he was close to discovering the secret of a perpetual motion machine.

MAKING A COMMERCIAL IMPACT ACROSS AUSTRALIA FROM THE 19th CENTURY INTO 20th

ADELAIDE GIVES BIRTH TO BURST OF BRANDS AND PRODUCTS 
from a group of bold and adventurous migrant family businesses 

Safes, stove and signs make A. Simpson & Son Australia's biggest metal manufacturer

Alfred Muller Simpson, apprenticed in his father’s Adelaide business in 1857 and a partner in Alfred Simpson & Son metal manufacturers from 1864, took the company to new levels of innovation. He introduced products such as fire-proof safes, bedsteads, japanned ware, colonial ovens and gas stoves. Fire- and thief-resistant Simpson safes became an early speciality, used in offices and banks through South Australia and interstate. In 1878, Alfred Muller Simpson visited the Paris Universal Exhibition and brought an American double-action press back to Adelaide along with ideas for new products. In 1885, Alfred Muller Simpson became South Australia’s first maker of munitions, including submarine mines – a response to Russian invasion fears. A new Simpson plant in Wakefield Street, Adelaide, in 1894, included electroplating and furnaces for hollowware and porcelain enamelling – a first for Australia. Enamelled street and advertising signs from Simpson’s appeared in most Australian capitals, making the firm’s name known throughout the country. The remarkable Simpson dynasty began with Alfred Simpson, who was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Tinplate Workers and in 1829 became a Freeman of the City of London. Twenty years later, Simpson and his family had to migrate. Simpson started tin smithing in Adelaide, making pots and pans, and cans for Glen Ewin jam factory. His son Alfred Muller Simpson built the business into largest metal manufacturer in the country. A next generation made Simpsons a major whitegoods maker from its Dudley Park factory in the 20th Century.
 

Soap brands produced at operatic rate by W.H. Burford dominating the South Australia market

Signal soap, Apollo laundry soap, Sayso carbolic family soap, White Dove soap, Dr Bayley’s medicated soap, Southern Sky washing blue, Exhibition candles and Brunswick stove blacking, Snow White starch and Magic egg preserver. These were some of the products developed or made by W.H, Burford and Son that became the dominant soap maker in South Australia and Western Australia into the 20th Century. William Burford had founded the business, on the Grenfell Street-East Terrace corner, Adelaide, in 1840 as one of the Australia’s earliest soap makers and its oldest up to the 1960s when it closed. Carried on in the 19th Century by Burford’s son, the business opened bigger factories in Sturt Street and later Adam Street, Hindmarsh (taking over Apollo Soap). Fire destroyed both factories. The fires – rather than £12,000 offered by the council in 1919 for Burfords to move their smelly factories out of the city altogether – prompted new premises at Dry Creek in 1922. In the late 1890s, Burfords had opened factories in Western Australia. In the 1920s, W. H. Burford and Son was taken over by its eastern states rival J. Kitchen & Sons, who became Lever & Kitchen, part of the British Lever Brothers empire, which in 1930 merged with Dutch Margarine Unie to form the multinational Unilever.The Burfords factory was still running profitably in the 1950s, and the factory at Dry Creek was still listed in 1962. The office at 83 Sturt Street still bore the Burford’s name, alongside that of its nominal owner J. Kitchen & Sons, Rexona Pty. Ltd. and Lever Brothers.

Sal Vital and Dexal add to the cordials as the household brands from A.M. Bickford & Sons

Besides its famous cordials, produced from a factory in Waymouth Street, Adelaide, from 1874,  A. M. Bickford & Sons continued producing household-name brands into the 20th Century. These included its Coffee and Chicory Essence (later Bickford's Iced Coffee Mix) in 1920, winning the gold medal at the All-Australian Exhibition in 1930. In 1922 , Bickford's Sal Vital, an effervescent “health salt” powder. Dexal and Sopaderm were other brands developed by Bickford’s. The company started with William Bickford working as a chemist’s assistant after arriving, aged 23, in Adelaide in 1839. Next year, he opened his own shop in Hindley Street, near Rosina Street, with borrowed capital of £220. But he died five years later, leaving his wife Anne pregnant and with four young children. When Adelaide pharmacist William Bickford died in 1840, his wife Anne continued trading with sons Harry and William. Anne Bickford engaged qualified chemists Edwin Page and Robert Hutton to carry developing drugs sold by the business for 14 years. Son Harry, now a qualified chemist, returned from England to join his mother in the business as A.M. Bickford & Sons. Eldest son William in 1871 joined A.M. Bickford and Sons. Looking to diversify, the family built a factory in 1974 that produced soft drinks and cordials including the now-famous lime cordial (to be a cure for scurvy) that gained international awards. In 1914, the Adelaide manufacturing laboratory moved to Waymouth Street, Adelaide, alongside the cordial factory. In 1930 , Bickford's combined with similar companies to form Drug Houses of Australia (DHA).

F.H. Faulding: from 1845 Rundle Street pharmacy to multinational based on eucalyptus oil brand

Adelaide’s F.H. Faulding – a small Rundle Street pharmacy from 1845 that became a multinational company –  had its product success in the 19th Century founded on eucalyptus oil, the basis of an antiseptic marketed as Solyptol (for soluble eucalyptus oil). Two of Faulding's major innovations were a process to distil eucalyptus oil and to develop the test for eucalyptol content of the oil. The test became the industry standard, and the British Pharmacopoeia standard method in 1898.  Other well-known products were Milk Emulsion (a pleasant alternative to cod-liver oil), Solyptol Soap (gold medal winner at the Franco-British Exhibition in London in 1908), Solyptol disinfectant, junket tablets, cordials, essential oils for perfumery and reagents such as Epson salts, most produced in its Thebarton factory. Other products developed by the company included Barrier Cream, formulated in 1941 to counter dermatitis in armament factories, and penicillin produced at a bacteriological laboratory built at Thebarton in 1944. After World War II, Faulding extended its products and wholesaling, becoming a public company in 1947. In the 1980s, Fauldings opened its W.F. Scammell Research Centre in Salisbury and developed drugs such a Doxycycline capsules and enteric-coated aspirin. Eryc – enteric-coated pellets of erythromycin – was a notable success in helping Faulding set up a bridgehead in the USA. A $2.3 billion a year revenue earner employing 4300 people and selling pharmaceuticals and healthcare into 70 countries, Fauldings became a takeover target and was bought out by Mayne Pharma in 2001.
 

Wholesalers D. and J. Fowler create shelves full of food products around the Lion brand

Lion was the core of a raft of food brands created by D. and J. Fowler (Australia), started by Scottish brothers David and James Fowler in 1854, originally as a grocery shop in King William Street, Adelaide, but expanding to became one of Australia's largest wholesale grocers. Fowlers started a shipping agency to handle their wholesale imports and exports including wool, wheat, meat and flour. They built the Paou Chung Factory on King William Road and took over Barnfield & Turner’s London Condiment Company at Maylands. They renamed H. B. Hanton's at Fullarton as Lion Preserving Company and expanded their canned fruits, jams and pickles. More factories followed for Lion canned fruit at Nuriootpa (later sold to R. McEwin and Sons of Glen Ewin fame) and the premises of Henry Harford in Mill Street, Adelaide, became the Lion Confectionery Works. Fowlers contracted farmers in the colony’s south-east to grow chicory for Lion coffee and chicory essence. They introduced packaged tea to South Australia with Paou Chung (1883) and Amgoorie (1896) brands, and produced Maori and Clan oatmeal.  Adelaide Milling Company (bought in 1895), Robur Tea Company (1931) and its subsidiary the Oriental Tea Company; Adelaide Bottle Company (1912) and Waltons (1931) added to the firm’s diversity. The Lion Factory, packaging Lion self-raising flour and other goods, opened on North Terrace, Adelaide, in 1907. In 1899, D & J Fowler became a limited liability company, with 2,000 shares given to the firm's employees. In 1982-83, it was taken over by Adelaide-based Southern Farmers.

IDEAS THAT DEVELOPED THE DISTINCTIVE WAY THAT SOUTH AUSTRALIA FUNCTIONS

SOUTH AUSTRALIA BOLDLY DOING THINGS ITS VERY OWN WAY
with innovations like secret ballot, land titles system, Stobie poles

William Boothby starts 1850s South Australian secret voting ballot that spreads across world

William Boothby, the commissioner in charge of every South Australian parliamentary election from 1856 to 1903, pioneered the secret ballot system that was followed later by the rest of the world. On April 2, 1856, South Australia enacted a law introducing the secret ballot that had been adopted two weeks earlier in Victoria. But Boothby developed the system and prepared the clauses of the South Australian Act 1856 that instituted voting by ballot. In 1858, he introduced placing of a cross against the name of the favoured candidate on pre-printed ballots papers that would be place in sealed box. This was a big change from the British practice where voters assembled at election centres and called out the name of their chosen candidate. That public process made the voter vulnerable to bribery and intimidation. A secret ballot was one of six demands of Chartism that the British parliament refused to consider in 1842. Boothby’s system was adopted for federal government elections in Australia when he was the state returning officer for the first House of Representatives election in 1901. The South Australian federal seat of Boothby was named in his honour in 1903. First used by South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, the “Australian ballot”, as it became known internationally, was later adopted by other Australian colonies, by New Zealand in 1870, United Kingdom 1872, Canada 1874 and a United States of America presidential election in 1892. Seven USA states didn't have government-printed ballots until the 20th Century. South Carolina created them in 1950, Georgia in 1922.

South Australian land titles system in 1857 becomes Robert Richard Torrens' claim to fame

Robert Richard Torrens, the son of South Australian founding figure Robert Torrens, became South Australia’s third premier but he is more famously associated with the land titles system that has been copied elsewhere. Arriving in South Australia in 1840, Torrens became collector of customs and ran into controversy. But he was nominated by the governor to the enlarged Legislative Council in 1851. When responsible government started in 1856, Torrens became treasurer in the ministry of Boyle Travers Finniss. He was elected as House of Assembly member for the City of Adelaide and in September 1857 became premier but his government lasted only a month. In December 1857, Torrens promoted an act for the transfer of real property. The system, later known as Torrens title, transferred property by registration of title instead of by deeds. Torrens’ credit for the system has been questioned. While the system may have also derived from a report to the British House of Commons in 1857, it was Torrens and German lawyer Dr Ulrich Hubbe (who knew the real property laws of the Hanse Towns), who put it into practical shape, with support from Carl Muecke and the German community. They fought it through parliament, with fierce opposition from the legal profession. Torrens later visited Victoria to help bring in the new system. In 1863, Torrens left Australia and became Liberal member for Cambridge in the House of Commons 1868-74.

South Australian urban electricity carried by 725,000 poles invented in 1924 by James Stobie

An ungainly South Australian icon, the Stobie, a powerline pole made of two steel joists held apart by a slab of concrete, was invented in the 1920s by Adelaide Electric Supply Company engineer James Cyril Stobie. His idea overcome two South Australian problems: scarce timber and abundant termites. As Adelaide Electricity Supply’s chief draftsman, Stobie invented his pole to carry electricity cables and telegraph wires in 1924. The company paid him £500 for the patent rights. The first of the now-725,000 poles were erected in South Terrace, Adelaide, and were then used extensively in building the electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure throughout the state. The Stobie pole was central to the rapidly expanding Adelaide Electricity Supply’s network. In 1936, Stobie converted a Sterling coal truck so it could install 21-metre long concrete-steel poles weighing 7.7 tonnes. The Electricity Trust of South Australia took over from Adelaide Electric Supply in 1946 and Stobie became chief design engineer. In that year, Stobie and Wheadon, with John Ragless Brookman, formed The Stobie Pole Syndicate  to patent the design and then sell it or the manufacturing rights. The Hume Pipe Company became their first agents but, despite many international inquiries, South Australia has largely remained the only place where they are widely used. SA Power Networks (formerly the Electricity Trust of South Australia) continues to make stobie poles at a plant in Angle Vale. The expected service life of a Stobie pole is more than 80 years. 

ROLLING INTO THE 20th CENTURY WITH IDEAS BUBBLING

FULL STEAM AHEAD WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INNOVATIONS
as David Shearer's car gets OK to grace Adelaide's streets in 1900

David Shearer’s steam 
car at Mannum in 1897
 Australia’s first – with
 world-first differential

David Shearer made a major contribution to the independent development of the motor car, with the world’s first differential, in Australia, at Mannum on the River Murray in South Australia. In about 1882, he adapted the principle of the differential to a hand tricycle. Around 1885, as a hobby, he began making a steam-carriage, basing transmission of power from engine to wheels on the stripper harvester and steering on a principle used for the stumpjump plough. By 1897, he was driving his steam car round Mannum. Shearer got special permission for his “automobile” to be driven in Adelaide city streets in 1900 when it brought it to the chamber of manufacturers exhibition. Shearer’s vehicle lasted for trips of 100 miles and travelled at 15 miles an hour, faster than England’s first car, two years later, that reached 10-12 mph. David Shearer began working day and night in 1894 on his “horseless carriage” powered by steam with mallee wood firing the engine. But Shearer wasn’t interested in making cars. He just wanted to prove the horseless carriage was workable. After his success, he returned to making agricultural machinery at Mannum with his brother John. The Shearers were invited to Mannum where the farmers needed tough equipment to clear land of mallee and pine. In 1888, they invented a virtually unbreakable wrought steel plough share at one quarter the price of the old forged share. These shares swept Australia in popularity and saved farmers millions in plough-share costs. The steam car project was just a background to all this.

Adelaide orthodontist Percy Begg extracts a world-wide revolution in dental practice in 1928

Brilliant Adelaide orthodontist Percy Raymond Begg revolutionised dental practice worldwide in 1928. He broke with tradition as the first orthodontist to extract selected teeth to correct dental crowding. He overcame the problems of previous techniques to close the extracted teeth gaps by using new bracket styles, special stainless steel wire, light forces and three stages of treatment. Today’s many orthodontic techniques still include aspects of Begg’s philosophy and appliances. In 1965, Begg helped write the textbook Begg Orthodontic Theory and Technique and, in 1977, he received the Albert H. Ketcham Award, the highest honour from the American Board/Association of Orthodontics, for outstanding contributions to orthodontic science. Born in a tent in the goldfields of Coolgardie, Western Australia, goldfields in 1898, Begg came to Adelaide two years later with his accountant father and family. He attended Pulteney Grammar School and St. Peter’s College where he was a classmate of Nobel Prize winner Howard Florey. In 1923, Begg gained his bachelor of dental science from Melbourne University and spent two years at Angle School of Orthodontia in Pasadena, California, under Dr. Edward Angle, father of modern orthodontia. Begg began orthodontic practice in the Verco Building, North Terrace, Adelaide, moving later to the Shell Building. He was the only orthodontist in Adelaide until 1951. He began teaching orthodontics, in 1926, as honorary dental surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital and lecturer in orthodontics at Adelaide University.

Reg Sprigg builds a dive chamber to confirm his deep-sea canyons find off Kangaroo Island

Reg Sprigg is possibly South Australia’s greatest innovator. A geologist, explorer, environmentalist and a founder of South Australia's oil and gas industry, Sprigg added a stunning list of scientific firsts. He discovered the oldest fossils in the world: the 500-million-year-old Ediacara fossils in the Flinders Ranges. He was among the first to theorise about climate change. In 1948, he formed a theory – rejected by the International Geological Congress in London - that sand dunes at Beachport and Robe in South Australia's south-east came from sea level changes and glacial melting. He was first to propose a theory about Adelaide's landscape being formed by movement under the earth's crust – before plate tectonics were known. Sprigg’s ocean-floor studies were Australian leaders. He found some of the deepest undersea canyons, south of Kangaroo Island. One of the largest undersea canyons is named after Sprigg who found them with Royal Australian Navy help in 1947. To confirm his find in the 1960s, Sprigg took up scuba diving and built his own oceanographic vessel, Saori, that operated across the southern continental shelf and into New Zealand waters in sea-bottom geological exploration. Sprigg also built his own diving chamber for more than 500 dives. Sprigg started one of Australia's first eco-tourism resorts at Arkaroola in the northern Flinders Ranges. This is where diving enthusiasts Richard Harris (Australian of the Year 2018 for his part in the Thai boys’ cave rescue) and Ken Smith discovered the old diving chamber. They restored it, now displayed at Glenelg North.

Don Schultz's academic, wartime research adds to Adelaide's Laubman & Pank lead in optometry

Don Schultz, nephew of Carl Laubman, added to the already-impressive innovative record of his uncle’s Adelaide optometry practice Laubman & Pank. Between 1919 and 1928, Laubman & Pank had designed, patented and built lens grinding machinery, a mobile optometry consulting room (the perspectoscope), an instrument for measuring visual reaction times and a production process for the then-revolutionary solid one-piece bifocal lenses. Previously, bifocals had been made as two separate lenses cemented together. Laubman & Pank also introduced making artificial eyes to their practice. After Schultz was indentured as a teenager to the firm’s enthusiastic and inventive drive, he was one of the first graduates in 1929 from Adelaide University’s optometry course (possibly the first in the British empire). Two years later, aged 21, Schultz was chosen as the course’s principal lecturer (for the next 24 years). Schultz was registered as an optometrist in 1930 but his interest lay more in lens and instrument design. With World War II, an optical munitions panel was formed in 1940 to coordinate efforts around Australia and Schultz was coopted to work under Adelaide University physics professor Kerr Grant at the Weapons Research Establishment in Salisbury, north of Adelaide. At war's end, the panel had developed and made 19 optical instruments, including submarine and tank periscopes, range finders and aircraft glide slope indicators; produced six types of optical glass. Schultz worked on many of these projects and he transferred several of them to Laubman & Pank practice.

Laubman & Pank's lab and Don Schultz create a range: rocket cameras to road markers in 1950s

Don Schultz, nephew of Carl Laubman, continued bringing a stream of innovations to Adelaide optometry company Laubman & Park, after 1947 when, with David Pank, the son of Harold Pank, he bought a controlling interest in the practice. While Pank looked after management, Schultz started the company’s instrument construction department for wartime defence work and extending optic technologies. The department made an optical range finder, an aerial photostereoscope, a low f-number Cassegrain telescope with a hyperbolic figure on the primary mirror, Schmidt camera corrector plates and signal lamps for the navy. In 1952, it made catadioptric cameras for Blue Streak missile tests by the Weapons Research Establishment at Woomera rocket range. It made a toolmaker’s profile projector and an optical device for road marking, a biocular catadioptric magnifier for low-vision patients, a visual field screener, a Greens-type refractor head and vision screeners for industry and children’s vision. In 1953, it was the first laboratory in Australia to use high-vacuum coating technology for optical surfaces. In 1956, it patented a concept for making one-piece industrial eye protectors. Schultz, with his brother Ross, developed lens processing machines including a lens edging machine and a diamond generator. Schultz made painstaking optical design calculations carried out using seven-figure logarithmic tables. In the l950s, Schultz saw possibilities for CR39, a plastic resin used during World War II. A major industrial offshoot of Laubman & Park called Sola International was created around CR39.

Don Schultz's CR39 lens takes Adelaide's SOLA company worldwide and goes to the Moon in 1969

The first astronauts on the Moon in 1969 wore the lightweight eye lens developed by Don Schultz for Adelaide-born SOLA International that had manufacturing plants in 11 countries and employed 6,000 people by 1987. SOLA was the legacy of Schultz’s intellect and inventiveness in the instrument construction department of South Australian optometry firm Laubman & Pank that Schultz ran with David Pank from 1947. Among a raft of his innovations, Schultz’s big break was his interest in CR39 resin and applying it to plastic lightweight eye lens that Laubman & Pank had made for many years. These lenses were hard to polish accurately and easily scratched. Schultz envisaged casting lenses from CR39 by creating a cavity between two polished glass moulds separated by a plastic spacer, and pouring CR39 into the cavity and polymerizing it. Schultz approached his colleagues at Adelaide University (where he lectured in optics), who helped develop isopropyl peroxy percarbonate, used for the next 20 years to make several hundreds of millions of lenses at a new company SOLA International. Before the first lens were produced, Schultz overcame complex technical problems with realms of seven-figure hand-written calculations. A trip to Europe and UK in 1959 convinced Schultz the lens were commercially viable and the subsidiary SOLA (Scientific Optical Laboratories of Australia) was born with a plant at Black Forest, later moving to bigger premises at Lonsdale. Best known among Schultz's other achievements (with Rod Watkins) was the Schultz-Crock ophthalmoscope.

ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE AND THE SCHOOL OF THE AIR

OUTBACK LIFE TRANSFORMED BY SOUTH AUSTRALIAN IDEAS:
John Flynn, Alfred Traeger and Adelaide Meithke the key figures

John Flynn's outback care born at Beltana: leading to flying doctor, Alfred Traeger's radio

The Royal Flying Doctor Service came from a concept born at Beltana in outback South Australia. Beltana was home of The Smith of Dunesk Mission of the Presbyterian Church of South Australia, begun in 1894 and funded by an 1853 gift from Henrietta Smith of Scotland, to benefit the Aboriginal people of South Australia. Presbyterian minister John Flynn worked in rural areas of Victoria and South Australia before he arrived in the real outback at Beltana, 500km north of Adelaide, in 1911. Flynn saw the rigours of outback life with no medical care for inland residents and travellers. Within a year, Flynn was commissioned by the church to report on life in the Northern Territory. This led to him becoming head of the new Australian Inland Mission. For the next 10 years, Flynn campaigned for an aerial medical service as a “mantle of safety” for the people of the bush. A large bequest enabled Flynn to get the flying doctor service airborne but it lacked communication technologyt This was solved by South Australian radio enthusiast Alfred Traeger, who'd built a high-voltage generator for his final exam at the school of mines and industries. Through this device, Traeger was introduced to Flynn in 1925. In 1926, Flynn and Traeger’s outback radio trials resulted in Australia’s first radio telegram. Traeger invented a pedal-operated generator to power a radio receiver and, later, created Australia’s first home-made typewriter for those who couldn’t use Morse code to relay radio messages. By 1929, outback people could call the flying doctor. Traeger later developed a voice-capable transceiver.

Alfred Traeger's two-way pedal radio enables flying doctor service and outback school of the air

The two-way-radio powered by a pedal-operated generator, invented by Alfred Traeger in 1927, became the central to the success of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and long-distance education in the Australian outback. Traeger studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries (1912-15) then joined the Metropolitan Tramways Trust and Postmaster-General's Department. By World War I, Traeger was passionate about aircraft and tried to enlist with the Australian Flying Corps. He was turned down because of his German ancestry, even though his grandparents had long been naturalised Australians. In 1920, Trager applied to the US Patent Office for a combined variable-speed clutch and free-wheel device for motorcycles. He worked for Hannan Bros in Adelaide, handling car generator and electrical repairs. Always intrigued by radio, he obtained an amateur operator's licence and built his first pedal transmitter/receiver. He was contacted by flying doctor service founder John Flynn to help give remote outback families radio access to medical treatment. Trager suggested the school of the air, later established by Adelaide’s Adelaide Meithke. Traeger developed a pedal generator to power a Morse code wireless set. He later added a keyboard that enabled unskilled operators to type a message in plain language. In 1939, Traeger's set dispensed with pedals and adopted a vibrator unit. With his brother and father, he founded Traeger Transceivers and started exporting his radios. In 1962, pedal sets went to Nigeria; in 1970, Traeger’s firm provided an educational radio network for Canada. Traeger also designed a turbine-driven car and used solar power to convert salt water to fresh water.

Adelaide Miethke drives Alfred Traeger's idea to start an outback school of the air from 1951

Adelaide Miethke, a member of the council of the flying doctor service of South Australia, drove the idea fron 1944 of using the service’s two-way radio to give education talks to children in outback Australia. Miethke, an Adelaide teacher and wide-ranging contributor to education, brought the founding energy to an earlier idea for a school of the air by another South Australian, Alfred Traeger. Traeger invented the two-way pedal-powered radio that enabled the Rev. John Flynn of the Australian Inland Mission to get the communication technology needed for his flying doctor service from 1929. After a long wait for special communications equipment, a trial program for the school of the air began in 1850, using teachers from Alice Springs Higher Primary School. The first official lessons were sent from the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Alice Springs on June 8, 1951. Miethke told outback children listening to the opening ceremony that they were taking part in the first school of the air in the world. The school had been set up with funds left over from the South Australian schools’ patriotic fund of World War II. Mietthke had directed that fund 1941-46 and served on the Women’s War Service Council. Besides enabling the school of the air to start, surplus money from the schools’ patriotic fund also went towards building a hostel, named Adelaide Miethke House, run by the YMCA and to be used by country girls attending schools in Adelaide. A senior teacher in the South Australian education department, Miethke was also secretary/ president of the Women’s Teachers Progressive League (formed in 1912).

FAMILY ENTERPRISES A FEATURE OF 20th CENTURY SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INNOVATION

IDEAS THAT CHANGE THE WAY OF LIVING AT HOME AND WORK
from dual-flush toilet to photocopying to wines casks to housing

Charles Rothauser's Adelaide inventions: world firsts in syringes and dual-flush toilets

Besides inventing the world’s first disposable plastic hypodermic syringe in Adelaide in the late 1940s, Charles Rothauser, a pioneer of the injection-moulding of plastics, also developed the first all-plastic toilet cistern. Hungarian-born Rothauser, educated as an architect in Vienna, had begun making dolls with his wife Christine in Adelaide in 1939 as the Quality Toy Company. Finding a niche in the nascent plastics field enabled Rothauser to invent the plastic hypodermic syringe – a medical breakthrough that benefited millions of people. Starting with a factory in Norwood in 1941, his Caroma company became Australia’s leading manufacturers of bathroom products, including the world-first dual flush toilets system in 1982. He developed the Caroma Deluxe, the world’s first all-plastic one-piece moulded toilet cistern to combat Adelaide water’s corrosive effect on brass fittings. He built on the Caroma innovations with the first two-button dual flush and smartflush technology. Caroma was the first company to achieve the Australian water efficiency labelling and standard (WELS) five-star rating. Rothauser won a swag of export and design awards for his Caroma products out of the factories in Wetherill Park, Sydney (closed in 2014) and Norwood (closed in 2017).
Caroma products continue but are now all made overseas, with the Norwood plant shutting in 2017. The Caroma Dorf group of companies continues to offer bathroom, kitchen and laundry products from brands such as Fowler, Dorf, Clark, Epure, Radiant and Irwell. But its products are now made in Malaysia, China and Europe.

Photocopying developed by Ken Metcalfe and Bob Wright at 1952 Defence laboratory in Adelaide

Xerography (photocopying), using liquid developer, was advanced by Ken Metcalfe and Bob Wright of the Defence Standards Laboratory in Adelaide in 1952.  Xerography is a form of copying invented by American Chester Carlson in 1937. Carlson based his method on the property of some materials to increase their ability to conduct electricity when exposed to light (known as photo-conductivity).The xerographic process exposes a photosensitive surface to light reflected through or from the image to be copied. Next the surface is dusted with a dry powder developer that adheres to the charged areas creating a copy of the image. The copy is then transferred to paper and fixed with heat. Carlson's process reproduced black and white images well, but not images, such as photographs, with any shading. Metcalfe and Wright of the Defence Standards Laboratory (formerly the Munitions Supply Laboratory) in Adelaide studied xerography to adapt it for industrial and military use. In 1952, they began to use liquid developers which, because they contained more pigment particles than the dry developers, allowed copying of images containing continuous tones. Metcalfe and Wright's invention allowed the development of colour copying by overprinting consecutive image.

Hills Hoist hailed as a great South Australian innovation but it pegged onto Gilbert Toyne's idea

The Hills Hoist, hailed as “iconic Australian structure, an emblem, kid’s gym and merry go round, in every backyard”, has been proudly claimed as a South Australian innovation but the idea should be credited to Victorian blacksmith Gilbert Toyne. After serving in World War I and suffering personal troubles afterwards, Toyne pressed on with his rotary line idea and even had it made and marketed by the 1930s. Toyne lived to see his classic 1925 rotary clothes hoist design dominate Australian backyards after World War II but in a version credited to Lance Hill of Adelaide’s Hills Hoists. Having sold the rights to manufacture the hoist in Victoria, Toyle moved to Adelaide in 1926 to set up manufacturing centres in other states, including South Australia. In 1929, he shifted to Sydney and established his business at Five Dock, with his hoist selling nationally in the 1930s. Lance Hill’s 1945 Adelaide version of the rotary hoist was inspired by his wife’s frustration with her failing propped-up single line. Hill teamed up with is brother-in-law and started churning out the first of millions of hoists from their Adelaide factory. Hills Hoist, the rotary washing line with hoist quickly became a fixture in Australian backyards. Hill added and patented the winding mechanism in 1956. The company Hills Hoists became Hills Industries in 1958. Hills Limited developed into a technology product and services business. Gilbert Toyne died in 1983.

 

Adelaide University trio in 1959 opens way for Codan as global leader in electronic solutions

Codan is an international company developing rugged electronics solutions for government, corporate, NGO and consumer markets across the globe. It originated in 1959 from Adelaide University friends Alastair Wood, Ian Wall and Jim Bettison setting up EILCO (Electronics, Instrument and Lighting Company) to tackle challenges in electronics engineering. Codan now makes and supplies communications, metal detection and mining technology, headquartered at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide. Codan (then EILCO) released its first high-frequency radio – a Type 6104 HF transceiver in 1961 for the School of the Air operating in the Australian outback. In 1980, Codan equipment was chosen by the United Nations to support its relief efforts in Uganda, cementing Codan as the leading global supplier of high-frequency communications to humanitarian organisations. Codan now has a global footprint, with offices in the US, Canada, Ireland, United Arab emirates, South Africa and China. Its customers include some of the world’s largest aid and humanitarian organisations, mining companies, security and military groups and governments. Its products are sold in more than 150 countries, with exports making up about 85% of revenue, through a global network of dealers, distributors and agents. Publicly floated in 2003, Codan bought Minelab Electronics in 2008, supplier of world’s best hand-held metal detection technology. Minetec and Daniels Electronics were added to the Codan Group in 2012, cementing its world-class offerings in radio communications, metal detection and tracking solutions.

Tom Angove brings out first cask bag-in-a-box wine from Renmark, South Australia, in 1965

Cask (bag in a box) wine was invented by Tom Angove of Angove's, a South Australian winemaker from Renmark, and patented by the company in 1965. His design was based on a product already on the market: a bag in a box that held battery acid. The Angove bag took two years to develop before polyethylene bladders of one gallon (4.5 litres) were placed in corrugated boxes for retail sale of table white, table red, port, sweet sherry and muscat. Tom Angove’s original 1965 cask design didn’t last long. The consumer had to open the box, take the bag out, snip off a corner to pour the wine, and seal the bag with a paperclip. During the next few years others improved on the design. In 1967, Melbourne wine merchant Dan Murphy worked with Geelong inventor Charles Malpas to develop a tap that could be attached to the bag, letting wine out but stopping air getting in. Penfolds winemaker Ian Hickinbotham also worked to perfect the tap idea and it appeared on that company’s first version of the cask in 1968 — a bag inside what looked like a paint tin. In 1971, Sam Wynn of Wynnvale Wines reverted to the bag-in-box technology patented by American company Scholle in the 1950s for battery-acid containers. All modern wine casks now use a plastic tap, exposed by tearing away a perforated panel on the box. The bag-in-box packaging concept expanded to other beverages including spring waters, orange juices and wine coolers but today wine and spring water are the main two beverages packed into these bags.

Alan Hickinbotham a leader in environmental innovation for housing estates in Adelaide

Alan Hickinbotham brought a radical innovative environmental philosophy to South Australian housing. His family-owned company is now Australia's 10th biggest and the state's biggest home builder of 35,000 houses and more than 50 estates. Alan Hickinbotham came to housing as an Adelaide University graduate (after RAAF war service) in science and education and teaching science and maths in his birthplace town at Geelong Grammar. He also was a footballer with Geelong, South Adelaide and South Australian state teams. With his father, Alan entered housing by building on a block of land in Sturdee Street, Linden Park, in 1954. The house, that quickly sold, still stands today. With environmental awareness and saving precious water, the Hickinbotham family, also in the wine industry, were the first developers to put phone and powerlines underground and have restrictive covenants on felling trees at their Athelstone estate in the 1960s. This estate was the first development to win a Civic Trust award. The concept of storing run-off stormwater in the aquifer for later reuse was pioneered by Hickinbotham with the CSIRO, put into practice at the company's Andrews Farm estate. This project set standards for Australia. Hickinbothams were instrumental in Australia's first joint ecumenical Anglican/Catholic school St Columba College at Andrews Farm estate. When the state government couldn't provide a primary school for Woodend Estate, Hickinbothams found private investors to fund it. The company built the campus and leased it to the government, creating the first privately-owned public school.

Crotti family creates San Remo pasta giant with South Australian points of difference

Luigi Crotti founded what became the San Remo pasta brand company when he arrived with his wife in Adelaide from the Lombardy region in 1936 ­– when there were about 2000 Italians in the state. San Remo is still a family company, based at Windsor Gardens, but now the No.1 dry pasta producer in Australia and exporting to 35 countries from its 750 products. Luigi Crotti’s son Aldo was founding partner in his family business that survived the days when pasta was still a niche product in Australia. When pasta was more common in the 1960s, the Crottis’ San Remo brand was competing with nine others. The San Remo Marcaroni Company turned to a high-quality product at low cost through economies of scale. It was the first manufacturer to foster distribution to supermarket model developing in Australia. San Remo is Australia’s No.1 pasta brands, with a 50% market share, and one of its largest manufacturers. Since the 1990s, San Remo has worked with farmers and Adelaide University’s Waite Agricultural Research Institute at Roseworthy developing a better-quality durum wheat. San Remo’s special durum wheat mill is one of the largest and most sophisticated mills in the Australian and South-East Asia. San Remo semolina mill at Windsor Gardens is also the largest in Australasia. The company had been inducted into the Family Business Australia Hall of Fame. In 2008, San Remo bought another iconic South Australian food business: Balfour's, maker of pies, parties, sausage rolls and famous green frog cake.

Frank Seeley's plastic air conditioner move sets off cool revolution around the world

Plastic thinking motivated the start of Seeley International in 1972 when Frank Seeley switched from selling portable evaporative air conditioners to making them. Seeley saw plastics as the way to overcome the problem of corroding metal air conditioners. He set up in his garage at home in suburban Adelaide, making 1000 plastic air conditioners in the first year. Despite the doubts of others, Seeley persisted and developed all-plastic evaporative air conditioners – first portable and then, in 1983, ducted rooftop air conditioners. This was a breakthrough for the whole industry. The all-plastic air conditioners helped grow the rooftop cooling market in Australia from 12,000 units each year to around 70,000 units a year. Plastic air conditioners became industry standard. This growth led to Seeley expanding in own manufacturing capacity and approach. After using assembled parts made by suppliers, Seeley gradually brought more and more processes in house at its Lonsdale plant. This included its own injection moulding of plastic, as well as making motors, pumps and filters. The in-house manufacturing at first happened because suppliers had a monopoly and were increasing their prices. Since then, it has become part of the Seeley philosophy to provide local jobs. During the 1980s, Seeley began exporting evaporative air conditioners – first to the Middle East, then USA, then UK. It opened several sales offices around the world and won awards for design and manufacturing best practice. Seeley’s passion for innovation continued in 2010 with another revolution: Climate Wizard.

Ennio International goes global in clever switch from fashion clothing to smallgoods netting

Ennio International of Holden Hill has built up a global market for its seamless smallgoods netting. This is a triumph in innovating for a company that started life as fashion business.  Husband and wife Gervasio and Giovanna Mercuri brought their design experience to Australia from Italy in 1957 and founded Mercuri Knitwear in Adelaide. They built their business with quality garments, winning numerous Australian awards. But the dropping of tarrifs on imported textiles in the 1980s forced the Mercuris to diversify. They realised they could use their machines to make netting for meats and smallgoods. Forming Ennio Pty Ltd in 1983, they soon added several new purpose-built knitting machines. The Mercuris were among the first in the world to make seamless smallgoods netting. Ennio International went global in the late 1980s with an improved design of elastic netting launched as String Cling. It now exports to Europe, China, the USA and Canada, as well as dominating the Australian and New Zealand markets. It won a $2 million federal government manufacturing grant to buy high-tech textile equipment for meat packaging. The Mercuris have launched more patented netting and casing products to fill gaps in the Australian and international market with quality packaging solutions for the meat, poultry and smallgoods worldwide. Ennio International was inducted into the Family Business Australia hall of fame in 2016 and won its distinguished family business of year award in 2017.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN IDEAS GETTING GLOBAL ATTENTION INTO 21st CENTURY

STILL SHOWING THE WORLD THING OR TWO WITH NEW IDEAS
including flashy displays at some major global sporting events

Mt Barker's Steriline at the start and finish of most prestigious horse racing around world

The world’s most prestigious thoroughbred racing clubs rely on Mount Barker-based Steriline Racing’s race-track infrastructure for perfect starts and finishes. The Mount Barker-based South Australian company designs, manufactures, installs and services everything from starting gates and running rails to finishing posts and presentation podiums. Steriline Racing began in the 1950s when it built the first movable starting gates in Australia and has grown into a global powerhouse exporting to more than 50 countries. Already holding 100% of the British market (including Royal Ascot), Steriline Racing’s racetrack equipment is now used at virtually every racetrack across Australia and it has most of the South East Asian market. Many major horse racing organisations including the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Happy Valley and Sha Tin Racecourses), Singapore Turf Club (Kranji Racecourse), Victoria Racing Club (Flemington Racecourse), Australian Turf Club (Royal Randwick Racecourse), Meydan in Dubai, and Riyadh Equestrian Club in Saudi Arabia use Steriline equipment. Starting gates involved sophisticated engineering but it also has to consider the psychology of horse and rider. This involves understanding the dynamic of the horses and also the thought processes of the jockey Safety is a key consideration. This pressure is on to load horses quicker so they are not standing in the gates for such a long time, because that reduces the risk. In 2015, the company was given the South Australian Regional Exporter Award and was a national finalist in the 53rd Australian Export Awards.

Adelaide firm FCT the designer/builder of torches and cauldrons for Olympics since 2000

An Adelaide company has designed, built and tested torches and cauldrons since 2000 for the Olympic Games, including Rio de Janeiro in 2016. FCT Flames, an industrial combustion company based at Thebarton, took a bold new direction – from designing burners for cement factories ­– in the leadup to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. When Cathy Freeman lit the Sydney Olympic cauldron, produced by FCT Flames, it was a game-changing moment for the Adelaide company. Since then, no challenge has proved too great for the company, including designing a torch to be used underwater at the Great Barrier Reef and a six-metre-high tornado-style flame used at the Youth Games in Singapore. But it ranks a “burning man”, created for the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku, as its most challenging project yet. The burning man's outline was created with 600 metres of pipe fitted around a moving stage and the effect was sequenced so that fire spread from the heart out along the man's arteries. There was extensive design and testing done in an Adelaide workshop before it took a team six weeks to install the effects in the Baku stadium. FCT Flames’ small team includes mechanical, electrical and process engineers, electricians, gas fitters and technicians. It takes a hand-drawn sketch or a computer-generated image and turns it into something real. With billions of people watching the flame lighting, there are no second chances. To make sure things go without a hitch, the team has back-up systems, multiple gas paths and back-up power supplies. It is important that the look is right, the safety is right, the performance's right and the fuel consumption understood


 

Zing International's Port Adelaide plant brings a flash to top-class cricket games seen by billions

The flashing cricket stumps and bails used in Test, Twenty20 and 50-over cricket at international and top domestic level, including the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL), were designed and made by Port Adelaide-based manufacturer Zing International. The LED technology Zing Wicket System has gone strength to strength since launching in 2012, consistently growing export markets to New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Television audiences for the Indian and Caribbean premier league Twenty20 matches run into the billions. Zing’s cricket stumps and bails had their United States debut in the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament in Florida. The Zing Wicket System was first tried in a club game in Adelaide. Once Cricket Australia was convinced about using it instead of the wooden stumps for night matches, it used them in the 2012 Big Bash League in Australia. Invented by Bronte Eckermann, Zing flashing stumps and bails work through an innovative patented sensor system in each end of the bail that flashes coloured lights the millisecond both ends of the bail lift from the stumps. The revolutionary product has solved a common problem where it can be difficult to determine on a TV replay if both ends of any bail have lifted from the stumps and, therefore, if the batsman is out. With the help of 3D printing technology, the company can now manufacture 90% of the Zing System in Australia, with 80% in Adelaide, allowing quality control and local jobs.

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