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1906: Surf life-saving reel — 1912: Surf ski — 1927: Speedos
Australia has a beach culture like no other country, so it's unsurprising that many of our innovations revolve around it. On 23 December 1906, surfer Lester Ormsby demonstrated the reel, to which a rescuer could be harnessed in order to battle dangerous surf more safely.
In 1912, Jack and Harry McLaren invented the surf-ski, a kind of lightweight, one-man kayak for quickly and efficiently navigating the surf.
And in 1927, Australian underwear manufacturer Speedo introduced its first line of racing swimwear — declared somewhat racy at the time, but positively tame compared to the budgie smugglers that would come later.
And one of the first people rescued using the surf life-saving reel was a nine-year-old boy on 2 January 1907. Later on, he himself would become one of the leading pioneers in the field of aviation. His name was Charles Kingsford-Smith.
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