Hills hoist
The hills hoist is a rotary clothes line fitted with a hoist that is operated by a crown and pinion winding mechanism. In Australia Lance Hill is commonly thought to have invented the rotary clothes hoist, but he adapted the existing design in 1946 by including his own winding mechanism. The name hills hoist is used generically in Australia for any rotary clothes line. As a symbol, the hills hoist has both positive and negative connotations in Australian culture. As a positive symbol it featured in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics: 'The cultural symbols of our backyard suburbia-the Hills Hoist and the lawn mower-are so respectably well entrenched that they featured at the Olympics.' (Australian 7 October 2000). As a negative symbol it stands for the dreary sameness and ordinariness of Australian suburbia. In an interview in the Sun-Herald in 2007 Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage explains what would have been the Dame's fate if she had not met Barry: 'I would still be in a suburban house, I might even be dead ...I would have been up to my wrists in grey water with peas and mutton fat floating in it. I would have been staring through chipped venetian blinds at rusted Hills hoists and broken plastic toys. I would be locked into the rather sad Valium-infested life of so many women'.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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