Henry Sutton (inventor)

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Henry Sutton
Born (1855-09-03)3 September 1855
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Died 28 July 1912(1912-07-28) (aged 56)
Malvern, Victoria, Australia
Occupation Inventor

Henry Sutton (3 September, 1855 - 28 July, 1912) born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia[1] was an inventor credited with contributions to many forefront technologies of the day. Sutton studied and then lectured at the Ballarat School of Mines (SMB).[2][3][4] He died in 1912 at the age of 56. [5]


Sutton's telephone was attached to the wall in the tower of Ballarat East Fire Station at the spot.

Sutton was potentially responsible for the telephone, the lightbulb, and front wheel drive automobiles. He was visited in Ballarat by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison before they made their respective discoveries. The first telephone existed in Ballarat and Ballarat East and linked fire stations between the two towns. The exact location of one of these telephone prototypes can be seen in the Ballarat East Fire Station. The device once allowed communication between the two fire brigades in Ballarat so that they could more accurately locate fires from their watch towers. Some of his inventions include

A Henry Sutton car, built in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, in 1900, believed to be the first front wheel drive vehicle in the world. On display in 2011 at the Ballarat Heritage Festival.

Sutton Autocar[edit]

From 1898 Sutton held patents for improvements in combustion engine carburettors.[15][16] By 1899 he had built and driven the Sutton Autocar, one of the first motor cars in Australia.[2] In 1903 Sutton was a founding member of the Automobile Club of Victoria.[5]


  1. ^ Victorian BDM index
  2. ^ a b Gervasoni, Clare. "Henry SUTTON". Federation University Australia Honour Roll. 
  3. ^ Withers, William Bramwell (1887). The History of Ballarat, from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time (2 ed.). Ballarat: F.W. Niven And Co. 
  4. ^ Beggs Sunter, Anne. "Henry Sutton the Eureka man" (PDF). Australian Heritage. 
  5. ^ a b McCallum, Austin. "Henry Sutton". Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 
  6. ^ Improvements in electric circuits for telephonic purposes Patent 1886
  8. ^ Watt, Jarrod (12 Feb 2012). "Australian's forgotten radio pioneer: the amazing Henry Sutton". ABC radio. 
  9. ^ Sutton, H. "On a New Form of Secondary Cell for Electrical Storage". Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 1882. 
  10. ^ Sutton, H. "Description Of Vacuum Apparatus" (PDF). Review 13 Dec 1881. 
  11. ^ Sutton, H. "1885 Telephane system diagrams" (PDF). Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review 7 Nov 1890. 
  12. ^ Henry Sutton bio – IEEE Global History Network.
  13. ^ * Photography Patent 1887 Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute
  14. ^ "An improved process of converting a photographic image on a gelatine surface into a relief or intaglio printing surface. US381091". Google patents. Nov 9, 1887. 
  15. ^ "Explosive-engine. US 650736". Google patents. Dec 7, 1898. 
  16. ^ "Speed-regulator for explosive-engines. US 664689". Google patents. Jul 10, 1899. 

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