Report, ''Hotpoint' De Luxe Toaster' paper / board / metal, published by Australian Electrical Industries Proprietary Limited, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1956
In Australia, the 1950s was a period of growth and increasing consumerism. The local manufacturing sector expanded and output rose dramatically. The rise in the demand for consumer goods was driven by increased national income and population. This report on the manufacture of the De Luxe Toaster is a record of this growth. It is a significant document that records the design, manufacture and plant requirements to produce this Australian product in the 1950s.
Additionally, the photographs included in this report document women working in the Australian Electrical Industries plant. This is significant as it is a record of women in the workforce in the 1950s. This image is in contrast with the 1950s middle-class stereotype of woman as homemakers. This stereotype was perpetuated by magazines such as the 'Australian Women's Weekly' whose articles focused on women's work in the home. Working outside the home was a reality for many migrant and working-class women who had to work to survive. Australian census data reveals that: 'At the beginning of the twentieth century, approximately 20 per cent of women were in paid work, in 1947 female participation stood at 22 per cent ... slowly increasing to approximately a quarter of the workforce by the 1950s.' (1). These photographs provide a visual record of working women in the 1950s and the type of work that they did.
The history of this report is well documented. They belonged to one of the company's product designers, Robert Dwyer.
(1.) Baird, Marian and Todd, Patricia, 'Government Policy, Women and the New Workplace Regime: A Contradiction in Terms and Policies, www.econ.usyd.edu.au/download.php?id=429, pp 1-2.
This report on the 'De Luxe Toaster' was produced by Australian Electrical Industries Proprietary Limited, Australia in May 1956.
This report on the manufacture of the De Luxe Toaster was owned by the donor's father, Robert Charles Dwyer. Robert was a product designer at Australian General Electric (This company later became Australian Electrical Industries and then Malleys). He worked for this company his whole working life. Robert ran the drafting office and was responsible for the drawing and design of the "Hotpoint" range of products. He designed the steam and dry iron, the vertical grill and the fry pan. When the first fry pan came off the production line it was presented to Robert as a gift for his design work. He was also involved with the design of the "Hotpoint" De Luxe Iron and De Luxe toaster.
Robert was involved in putting this report together.
Reports, including photographs, plans and drawings, describing the manufactu5re of De Luxe Irons and De Luxe Toasters, at the Auburn Works of Australian General Electric, in 1953 and 1956