Do You Use Fridge? You Have an Australian to Thank For That, And 11 More Common Items That Were Invented in The Land Down Under

Edward DennisFor Fun


When you think of Australia, the first things that come to mind are probably grouchy koala bears munching on Eucalyptus leaves, baby eating dingoes lurking in alleyways, ferocious spiders the size of dinner plates, and other dangerous wildlife just waiting for its next victim.

You may also think of the gorgeous topless beaches, the great Outback and walkabouts, and bustling cities full of people calling you “mate” and inviting you to “barbies”.

However, what you are probably not thinking about is what Australia has contributed to the rest of the world and we promise it is more than just aggressive animals!

When locals are not busy running away from feisty kangaroos and angry Aborigines, they are busy making some pretty cool things.

For centuries, Australia has been producing some pretty awesome inventions, including some that we still use and benefit from today.

Although we think they should definitely invest in some armor styled clothing to protect them from the two inch fang length of the local spiders, we have to admit that we are pretty impressed with some of these:



This is easily one of the most valuable things in existence today and anybody who has been forced to sit in a doctor’s office for extended amounts of time can thank Australia for inventing Wi-Fi which allows you to enjoy the internet on the go without suffering those annoying data charges.


Anti-flu medication

For those of you who are not terrified of needles and go regularly to get your flu shot, you have the scientists of Australia to thank for that pin prick!


Spray on skin

If you have ever been to the hospital or doctor with a pretty nasty wound and been terrified of getting stitches only to have the doctor spray something magical on your skin rather than stitch you up like the bride of Chucky, you should probably send a thank you card to Australia.


Dual flush toilet

Although there certainly are those of us who are concerned about water usage and enjoy the option of two buttons when it comes to flushing, the rest of us spend more time trying to figure out which one we are supposed to press. None the less, it is a pretty nifty invention!



Ultrasounds not only allow parents a glimpse at their future offspring, but they also help detect complications within the body without forcing the patient to go under the knife.

We would much rather have that cold gel and weird feeling gadget as opposed to a bunch of slice marks and prodding fingers!


Electric Drill

In 1889, Arthur James Arnot made every hard working handy man’s job easier by patenting the world’s first electric drill.

It was originally designed to drill rock and coal, but since its arrival it has been used for a wide variety of uses.

Regardless of what it was designed for and how it is used, one thing is for certain: anybody who has been doing home repairs by hand without one can tell you how helpful this tool is!



Before James Harrison created the first ice box and refrigerator by using the principle of vapor compression, people were forced to use streams to cool their goods or order large blocks of ice as we became more sophisticated and advanced.

For those of us who are huge fans of microwave dinners and frozen entrees (do not judge, not everybody wants to come home and cook a gourmet meal every night) we cannot thank James Harrison enough!



Before its invention, people were forced to use paper that was supplied in annoying, long, loose sheets.

This went on for a staggering 500 years before Launceston stationer J.A. Birchall had the brilliant idea cut the sheets in half, put cardboard on each side, and glue the top.

Although laptops and tablets have replaced notebooks for the most part, nothing compares to being able to take a notebook with you and writing on it without having to drag around a long sheet of paper.



Lance de Mole wrote to the British War Office, requesting “a chain-rail vehicle that is can be steered easily and is capable of carrying large loads over various types of terrain all while protecting the passenger.”

He even made their lives a little easier by submitting drawings of the design.

It was originally rejected but Lance refused to give up.

He wrote to the office two more times and in 1912, they finally accepted his proposal and even awarded him the position of honorary corporal.

This just goes to show that persistence, or bugging people over and over, pays off!


Power Board

Just like the name implies, this invention allows users to power multiple electrical devices where only a single socket plug is located.

Peter Talbot, who was working for Kambrook at the time, is responsible for its creation.

While Kambrook was too busy trying to prepare the product for immediate commercial release, Peter Talbot patented the design and took all the credit and the money.

Kambrook never received any royalties. Always watch your back guys!



Clapperboards were created by Frank Thring Senior of Efftee Studios in Melbourne.

They were used to synchronize sound and film and are still used on sets today.

Although you may not be familiar with the term, you have definitely seen them: clapperboards are the black and white boards that directors use in between takes.

Typically, the director will say “cut” or “take 1” and “clap” the two pieces of connecting wood together.