Lancelot (Lance) Leonard Hill (1902-1986).
He invented a rotary clothesline that could be raised and lowered.
He called it the Hill's Hoist.
The Hill's Hoist
The Hill's Hoist rotary clothes hoist was invented by Australian Lance Hill.
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.
In 1946, Hill and his brother-in-law opened a factory making Hill's Rotary Clothes Hoist. Later the clothes hoists became known as Hills Hoists and the clothes lines are still being sold in Australia and around the world.
There were also other rotary clothes lines but they didn't catch on until Lance Hill's invention. And Lance Hill was the first to attach a handle to raise and lower the hoist. He patented his invention in 1956.
Millions of Hill's Hoists have been sold, and became such a feature of suburban backyards that they are now recognised as an Australian 'cultural icon' - something that identifies as a feature of our culture. They have even featured on postage stamps and in the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
What is a Patent?
If a person has a good idea for an invention, they can apply for a patent for it, as long as the idea is new. Once the government gives them a patent, no one else can copy the idea, design, pattern or object and make money from it. A patent lasts for about 15 years, depending on the product.
Did you know?
The Hills' Hoist was not the first 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'.