Hills Heritage

The history of an Aussie icon

In 1945, Lancelot (Lance) Leonard Hill returned home from the Second World War. He found his wife Sherry struggling to hang the washing between the overgrown trees in their Adelaide backyard, so he took some old pipe, a welder and an innovative idea and created what was to become a world-famous Australian Icon. The Hills Hoist was born.

Word of Lance’s invention quickly spread until one day, on a tram on his way to work, Lance overheard two women talking about wanting a rotary clothes hoist they had seen in a friend’s yard. Lance got off the tram at the next stop, walked home and told Sherry that he was going into business to make the Hills Hoist.

In an era of post-war growth, the Hills Hoist quickly became a household name, symbolic of the classic Australian dream of a house on a quarter-acre lot with a big backyard. To put it simply, the Hills Hoist was a practical design solution for the common Australian backyard. It provided an innovative and far superior solution for drying clothes compared to the single post strung lines which came before it. The hoist function lifted washing clear from the ground for clean and quicker drying, and its extensive hanging space was well suited to large families.

Today, the Hills Hoist is considered to be one of Australia’s most recognisable icons and remains a common fixture in suburban backyards throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Scroll to Top