Frozen ice cream and 6 other things you can thank Australians for

Frozen ice cream and 6 other things you can thank Australians for

Frozen ice cream and 6 other things you can thank Australians for

Updated 28 January 2014, 12:53 AEDT

Australia is known for its innovative spirit and our inventors have had a huge impact on how the world works. From the fridge to solar hot water, the notepad to the black box, here's some Australian inventions that have helped the world progress.

1. The Refrigerator
Refrigerator
Refrigerator
Source: ABC Open, Kim Piddington
Can you imagine a house without a fridge? How would you keep food, milk and meats fresh? James Harrison produced the world's first practical ice-making machine and refrigerator with vapor-compression system in 1856. But when he first invented it, the fridge didn't look like what it looks like now. It was way bigger than that.
2.  The Eight Hour Work Day
Working 8 Hour a Day
Working 8 Hour a Day
Source: ABC International, Erwin Renaldi
Also in 1856, stonemasons in Melbourne fought for the eight hour day: eight hours work, eight hours rest, and eight hours recreation. It was James Galloway who brought the case to success. On 21 April 1856, the stonemasons at University of Melbourne stopped work and marched to Parliament House, leading other stonemasons to join. Several weeks later, the sustainable eight hour day was achieved.
3. Medical Application of Penicillin
Medical Application of Penicillin
Medical Application of Penicillin
Source: ABC News
In 1939, Howard Florey, a scientist from Adelaide developed penicillin - the world's first antibiotic. It was then mass produced and used to help those who were ill from World War II. Today, penicillin has saved millions of people, particularly by preventing infection.
4. 'Black Box' flight decoder
'Black Box' flight decoder
'Black Box' flight decoder
Source: ABC licensed, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
An Australian invention you might not have seen, but which has saved many lives, the 'Black Box' flight recorder was invented by Dr David Warren in 1958. It records all the flight instrument details and the voices of the pilots. When bad things happen up in the sky, investigators are able to find out what happened and how to prevent future mishaps, all thanks to this invention.
5. Bionic Ear or Cochlear Implant
Bionic Ear or Cochlear Implant
Bionic Ear or Cochlear Implant
Source: ABC News
The happiest moment for Rod Saunders was probably in 1979. He was deaf, but then he heard sound for the the first time thanks to a cochlear ear implant done by Professor Graeme Clark at Melbourne's Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. The bionic ear could be one of the biggest Aussie inventions ever. It has changed the world for people with hearing problems.
6. WiFi Technology
WiFi Technology
WiFi Technology
Source: ABC licensed, Mario Tama - Getty Images
You probably could not live without this one. Everywhere we go, we are now asking 'is there a free WiFi connection?' In the early 1990s, an Australia radio-astronomer, John O'Sullivan 'accidentally' discovered the potential of WiFi while doing research on black holes.
7. Google Maps
Google Maps
Google Maps

Source: ABC News
No more getting lost!  In 2003, Danish-Australian brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen invented a mapping program at their technology company based in Sydney. A year later, Google Inc. acquired the company and transformed the program into a web application most of us use every single day.

 

Contributors

Erwin Renaldi

Erwin Renaldi

Producer

Erwin has been working in broadcasting industry for more than 10 years. He is now working with ABC International. He used to be a TV anchor for a South East Asia News TV network.