Surf life saving reel

Lyster Ormsby (Inventor)1955-1965

Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum
Sydney, Australia

The surf lifesaving reel is an Australian innovation which was invented in 1906 by Lyster Ormsby who made a model of his invention from a cotton reel and two hairpins. Countless Australians were saved by a life saver using a reel, line and belt. This timber life saving reel dates from the about 1960 and was used by the South Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club in the Sydney beachside suburb of Curl Curl.


  • Title: Surf life saving reel
  • Creator: Lyster Ormsby (Inventor)
  • Date Created: 1955-1965
  • Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Physical Dimensions: 860 x 870 x 1410 mm
  • Provenance: Used by South Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club, Gift of South Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club, 1985
  • See MAAS website: 85/826 Surf life saving reel

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps