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Memento : Issue 28
Summer--Autumn 2005 MEMENTO 13 As you would expect, staff at the National Archives handle hundreds of different documents and files every day of the week. What may surprise you is just how often we come across intriguing and unexpected items. Because we are constantly unearthing these delicious discoveries in our collection, we thought it only fair that we share the spoils by showing off the best of these finds. In our Canberra building, under the banner 'Find of the Month', we will display a different document or photograph discovered in the collection. These finds will rarely be of national or political importance, but rather an unusual, quirky or nostalgic item that reveals something about prevailing attitudes of the day or a seemingly inconsequential matter. Our January find is a letter from South Australian company, Hills Hoists Limited, offering to donate a rotary clothes hoist to Buckingham Palace. The original letter was sent to the Premier of South Australia in February 1959. He obviously saw merit in the Palace having an Australian invention in its backyard because by early March the offer had found its way into the Governor-General's in-tray. Sadly, despite Hills Hoists saying it didn't want any commercial gain from the gift, the request was officially denied because of 'the rules governing the acceptance of presents of value from commercial houses'. You can see the Governor-General's handwritten response on the bottom right-hand corner of the letter he received about the offer. It would appear he was less than impressed with the suggestion. Or perhaps he just wisely anticipated the company might try to capitalise on its philanthropy by announcing they were 'clothesline suppliers to the Royal household'! So if you are in Canberra, drop by and see the 'Find of the Month'. It also features on our website each month at www.naa.gov.au. You never know what the latest little gem from our collection may be. Hoisting the find of the month! NAA: A2880, 18/1/304