Lancelot (Lance) Leonard Hill (1902-1986) and the Hill's Hoist

The Hills' Hoist was not the first rotary hoist of its kind. Around 1912, an inventor in Geelong, called Gilbert Toyne, designed a rotary clothes hoist. By the early 1920s, Toyne's 'All-Metal Rotary Clothes Hoist' was being manufactured and advertised in Australia - about 25 years before the first 'Hills Hoist'.

Lance Hill was the first to attach a handle to raise and lower the hoist and patented a new way of attaching the the lines to the central post.

Lance Hill was a motor mechanic and he made the first Hill's Hoist for his wife whose washing kept falling off the prop washing line. The year was 1945. The place was Adelaide, South Australia.

His line was a single steel pole with metal ribs spreading out from the centre pole. Between the ribs he strung rust-proof wire from which the clothes would hang.

Lance Hill then invented a way of winding up the top part of the centre pole. The clothes could be raised high to dry in the wind.The line was so successful that soon all the Hill's neighbours wanted one too. Lance Hill was happy to build them. At first he built them in his backyard workshop.


Lance Hill is in the centre. His brother-in-law, Harold Ling is on the left.The man on the right is a worker, Jack Short.

In 1946, Hill and his brother-in-law opened a factory making Hill's Rotary Clothes Hoist. Later the clothes hoists became known as Hill's Hoists and the clothes lines are still being sold in Australia and around the world.

Other sites with information about the Hills' Hoist:

If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, R. & Sydenham, S. Hill's Hoist (2004). [Online], Available:

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