George Lewin Lecture: The Triton Workbench Story
And now for something completely different... how a journalist became a highly successful inventor of a woodworking machine.
Former ABC journalist George Lewin shot to prominence in 1976 at the age of 27 when his Triton workbench featured on ABC TV’s The Inventors program. Prior to the TV exposure, he’d been a typical inventor going nowhere fast... a shiny new prototype, a patent application, and not a single order from anyone – not even on consignment.
The day after the show aired, there were more than 1,000 machines on order and retailers around the country were clamouring for stock. After a baptism-by-fire entry into full-scale production, the Triton Workcentre eventually became ubiquitous in the garages of home hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts, contributing to the development of a company that employed over 120 staff with annual turnover growing to $20m and with markets in 17 countries.
More than 350,000 Triton Workcentres plus two million accessory products were sold in the 25 years that George lived and breathed the company, before he negotiated the biggest deal of his life to sell out to Hills Industries in 1999.
The University of Newcastle is delighted to welcome George – a UON honorary doctorate – back to Newcastle and invite you to hear from this giant of Australian invention.