What did david unaipon do

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what did david unaipon do

Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines by David Unaipon

David Unaipon - the man on the Australian $50 note - was a most extraordinary person. An early Aboriginal political activist, he was also a scientist, a preacher and an inventor. In the 1920s, under contract to the University of Adelaide, he was commissioned to collect traditional Aboriginal stories from around South Australia. The stories were published in 1930 as Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals, but the author of the work was given as W. Ramsay Smith, FRS, anthropologist and Chief Medical Officer of South Australia. Unaipons name does not appear anywhere in the book, except where he is mentioned in passing as a narrator.
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Published 16.09.2019

David Unaipon

David Unaipon - Aboriginal Inventor and writer on the $50 note

A prestigious place for a portrait, so how did David Unaipon become so noteworthy? Unaipon was born in on the Point McLeay mission in the town of Raukkan, just 80 km southeast of Adelaide. He was the fourth of nine children of evangelist and father, James Ngunaitponi and Nymbulba, Uniapon's mother. Both his parents were of the Yaraldi, lower Murray region, group. Unaipon showed academic promise as young as 7 years old, when he started attending the mission school. When he returned to the Point McLeay mission in , Unaipon continued to read widely and learned new skills like playing the organ and bootmaking.

David Unaipon (), preacher, author and inventor, was born on 28 By Unaipon had developed and patented a modified handpiece for shearing. stressed improvement: 'Look at me and you will see what the Bible can do'.
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Victoria / NSW

David Unaipon: Author, Inventor, Leader

David Unaipon , by unknown photographer, David Unaipon , preacher, author and inventor, was born on 28 September at the Point McLeay Mission, South Australia, fourth of nine children of James Ngunaitponi, evangelist, and his wife Nymbulda, both Yaraldi speakers from the lower Murray River region. James was the Congregational mission's first Aboriginal convert. David attended the mission school from the age of 7. In he left to become a servant to C.

He was born this day in and throughout his life was a noted inventor, writer and lecturer and he lived to be 95 years old. Unaipon invented many mechanical devices during his lifetime, such as the centrifugal motor, the multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device, in addition to new, more efficient design configurations for things such as sheep shearing devices. He even worked on the theoretical development of lasers and had designs for helicopters based on the Boomerang, as well as perpetual motion machines and anti-gravitational devices. For most of his inventions he commenced the patent process — called provisional patents — however, he was rarely able to afford the more formal patent process. Unaipon was also the first Aboriginal author to be published after he was commissioned in the early s by the University of Adelaide to assemble a book on Aboriginal legends. He went on to publish three short booklets of Aboriginal stories in , and David Ngunaitponi Unaipon in the late s.

What is his story and what makes him so extraordinary to be given such an honour? Not only was he a proud Ngarrindjeri man who was well known for being a spokesperson for improving the conditions and rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Some of David Unaipon's inventions include an improved hand tool for shearing sheep, a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device. Unfortunately, he unable to get financial support to develop many of his own ideas in his lifetime. David Unaipon died at the age of A man of great intelligence and vision, he was well before his time and his achievements truly speak for themselves. His search for the secret of perpetual motion lasted throughout his lifetime.


  1. Logan C. says:

    David Unaipon was an aboriginal Australian who is famous for his inventions most prominently an improved mechanical sheep shearing hand tool. He applied for patents for as many as nineteen inventions and conceptualized the helicopter 22 years before it became a reality.

  2. Ellie P. says:

    David Unaipon | 10 Facts About The Australian Inventor | Learnodo Newtonic

  3. Bethcompgasmi says:

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