Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Inventions and electronic media

This subtheme contains clips and stills from the My Place TV series, teaching activities and associated student activity sheets. You will find activities that highlight innovations in lifestyle for families in Australia.


  • The dough machine [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    2:53

    The dough machine [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    Franklin and Henry invent 'The spoon cranking dough churner', which explodes when they fail to take into account the fact that dough expands when heated.


  • The penny-farthing [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    2:39

    The penny-farthing [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    Henry and his uncle make a sprung leather saddle for a penny-farthing. When Henry brings news of his success to Franklin, he is shocked to discover that his friend is still angry for the trouble he has landed them both in.


  • The Chinese house [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    2:53

    The Chinese house [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    Minna and her friend Adelaide visit Mr Wong's residence to give him some news about the change to a local law regarding Chinese migration. Mr Wong shows them a magic lantern that projects images of his family.


  • The ball of the century [Episode 2 | 1998 : Mohammed]

    2:20

    The ball of the century [Episode 2 | 1998 : Mohammed]

    Mohammed and his father discuss playing soccer, but Mohammed is not convinced he wants to take up the sport. His grandmother replays Shane Warne bowling a leg break to English batsman Mike Gatting during the 1993 Ashes series. They discuss the 'Magnus effect', which causes the ball to spin.


  • Eggs for tuppence [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    2:53

    Eggs for tuppence [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    After foraging in the forest for plover's eggs, Ben competes with Leck to sell them to the local populace. He then gets into trouble with his father after he repeats an ugly stereotype about Chinese people that he learnt from Mr Wilson.


  • Working together [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    2:39

    Working together [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    Ben and Leck work together to repair Mr Owen's broken clock. Leck corrects Ben on the truth behind the ugly stereotype he learnt from Mr Wilson.


  • Performance cars [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    3:01

    Performance cars [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    Mike discusses the validity of a Datsun as a 'muscle car' with his friend Ben. He visits the 'Tippy' to acquire some spare parts that Ben has requested and is introduced to the 1971 Ford GT-HO that the Tippy is remodelling.


  • The card collection [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    2:48

    The card collection [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    Mike needs to borrow $50 in order to buy the carburettor that Ben's brother needs for his performance car. But no one in the family will lend him the money even though he is prepared to sell his beloved card collection.


  • Speaking the language [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    3:07

    Speaking the language [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    Sofia and her friend Mareka are watching Professor Julius Sumner Miller's television science show, Why is it so? Janice arrives and meets Sofia's mother and grandmother. She needs Sofia to translate the conversation and Sofia deliberately tells each party the wrong translation.


  • Horsewhipping [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    2:15

    Horsewhipping [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    Mr Owen has Davey demonstrate whip cracking to his grandsons but then gives Davey some sad news about his favourite horse, Duchess. Despite Davey's protestations, Duchess is headed for the tannery.


  • The goodbye [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    1:53

    The goodbye [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    The family gathers to say goodbye to Michaelis as he leaves for national training. It is a time of reconciliation for Sofia and Janice.


  • Greek school [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    2:51

    Greek school [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    Attendance at Greek school is a common expectation for young Greek children in Australia. Michaelis is attending Greek school to learn about the history, language and culture of his ancestry, but his mind is still on the escapades of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a TV serial he is fixated on.


  • Pig forgery [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:39

    Pig forgery [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Freddie tells Alice about his forging history while they paint a piglet black. They then switch it with George's piglet Benny in order to fix the race. When Alice awakes she's shocked to find there is something wrong with Wilhelmina.


  • The pictures [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    2:38

    The pictures [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    Jen and her friends are at the 'pictures' watching a newsreel that includes an announcement of the birth of Prince Charles. In the cinema foyer the girls steal a movie poster of Prince Philip, the husband of Princess Elizabeth (who would later become Queen Elizabeth II). The girls discuss the importance of 'handsomeness' and Jen tells them the prince looks like her father, who died in the war.


  • Holdens [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    2:48

    Holdens [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    Wal visits Jen's mother to take her to the pictures in his new FJ Holden. Jen is unaware of the affections between her mother and Wal. When Wal gives Jen's mother a kiss goodnight, Jen becomes suspicious.


  • The Shadow [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    2:41

    The Shadow [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    The Shadow is a famous a comic character, popular at this time with children. The character and his adventures were made into a radio play, which was broadcast as a serial each week. Colum and Thommo are calculating how much they need to win on the Melbourne Cup to guarantee that Thommo's family will not be evicted from their home.


  • Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:53

    Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam enters Mr Owen's house through a hole in the roof, and is amazed when he sees his reflection for the first time. After failing to milk the goat, Sam has a difficult night's sleep on his new bed. He uses his ingenuity to dig hard ground.


  • Impact of war [Episode 10 | 1918 : Bertie]

    3:25

    Impact of war [Episode 10 | 1918 : Bertie]

    Evelyn, Bertie's sister, receives news of the death of Freddie Miller. Bertie laments the death of his father and Freddie; both killed in the war. He tells Sid, an Aboriginal soldier, about his plan to buy his brother Eddie a present on his return from the war and they devise a plan to raise the money to purchase the gift.


  • Mr Wong's Emporium [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    2:35

    Mr Wong's Emporium [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    Evelyn, Edward and Freddie try to replace the fireworks. They visit Mr Wong's emporium to buy a replacement box but find they can't afford it. They then try to obtain some gunpowder in an attempt to make their own fireworks.


  • Governor's orders [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    2:53

    Governor's orders [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    Dan tries to compensate Waruwi for the loss of her dingo by taking a number of items from around the camp and giving them to her. Dan drums out the marines as they march to the point.


  • Snakebite [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:15

    Snakebite [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    Bunda's father gives him and his brother advice on surviving a snakebite, and how to make a spear. Bunda and his brother constantly argue and compete with each other.

     

     


  • Early photography [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    2:04

    Early photography [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    Rowley visits Mr Merry, a photographer and boarder in Rowley's house. Mr Merry gives Rowley a photograph of the brickworks where Rowley's father worked. His mother asks Rowley about his 'book of good deeds' and Rowley explains that when he gets to 1,000 his father will come home.


  • Fishing [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:53

    Fishing [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    At the creek, Bunda's father tells him and his brother to catch a fish. Each uses a different method of fishing and Bunda's method of building a small dam proves to be the most successful. Their father is annoyed that they are not working together.


  • Water [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:39

    Water [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    Bunda and his brother Garadi are competing with each other to find the best method of transporting water. Bunda constructs a raft to carry the water down the river, while his brother carries his water on foot. Bunda's father then tells his sons to bring him something that takes two to get.


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