National Library of Australia

The Hills Hoist

Lance Hill (1902–1986)Order book for Hills Hoist clothes lines 1945–1946

manuscript in commercially produced memo book; 17.5 x 10.0cm

Donated by Trevor Hill, 1996

South Australiana Collections, State Library of South Australia
Order book for Hills Hoist clothes lines 1945–1946

Lance Hill returned to Adelaide from the war in 1945 to find his fruit trees competing for space with the family clothes line.

In his laundry workshop, Hill set about creating a rotary clothes hoist for his family that would later develop into that symbol of Australian suburbia, the Hills Hoist.

Not only could the line be raised and lowered, it could spin to take advantage of the wind. The Hills Hoist was also popular because it could hold four nappies on each of the four outer wires.

Orders from impressed neighbours and relatives began flooding in, even though it cost twice the average weekly wage. This order book records Hill’s very first sales, when a hoist cost £10.10s and installation an extra £1.5s.

Today, Hills Industries operates internationally and produces a wide range of products from building and industrial parts to play equipment.

The Hills Hoist is an enduring Australian icon in more ways than one. A Darwin family reported that the only thing left standing, and working, after Cyclone Tracy was their Hills Hoist.

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