Simply Electric

The American inventor Thomas Edison is claimed to have said that to invent ‘you need a good imagination and a pile of junk’. It would have been easy for excavators working in William Street, Brisbane, to see these tubes as junk and throw them away. But these tubes are of World Significance as some of […]

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Darkness at Will

When lecturing on the advancements made in electric light technology to 1882, Rookes Crompton (1845-1940), the inventor and maker of the current indicator shown here, told his electrical engineering colleagues that with ‘more light’ darkness could be determined at will, rather than controlled by the cycle of night and day. From early childhood Crompton was […]

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Give Me Power

With most of our appliances requiring power, new houses have multiple power points. If you’ve ever lived in an older, unrenovated building the frustration of not enough power points is very real. Electricity was first introduced into Australia for lighting. Stoves burnt fuel such as wood, heating was an open fire or oil heaters, while […]

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Shocking Times

The use of comic or cartoon characters in advertising is well established. Mr Safety Pin, the comic character shown in this poster, was introduced in the early 1950s through a NSW government campaign designed to educate families on electrical safety in the home. When electricity was first introduced, it was primarily used for lighting. As […]

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What’s in a Comb?

Inspiration comes from many places. Sometimes an object’s story is much bigger than simply what it is or did. Hinting at what inspired Headlie Taylor’s (1883-1957) innovative agricultural inventions, this comb also reveals the story of the dynamic Henty community the designer was a part of. This comb is known as a short comb, most […]

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Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

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