The home of tomorrow, 1944 style


Yes, we would like to live here.

We here at Dodgy Perth have lost count of the number of times we’ve been asked “Where was the most futuristic house in Western Australia?” Actually, the number is zero. But that’s never stopped us from imagining people asking such questions.

Anyway, even though you don’t care, the answer is a large residence on First Avenue, Mt Lawley. Unfortunately, the house number appears lost to history, but if you have any additional information please let us know.

In 1944, an RAAF man had some brief leave and decided to turn the family home into something out of Star Trek. The first thing you would notice is that the front door bell automatically triggered a light over your head. Now that’s space-age.

Then he modified the grandfather clock’s pendulum to work with two magnets, meaning it never needed winding and kept perfect time. This clock was wired to half-a-dozen other timepieces around the house, which ensured they always told the same time.

Both husband and wife were musicians, so the house was wired with an amplification system, which was reported as being one of the very best. We’re sure the neighbours would have loved that.

After this, it gets a bit weird. There were many other electric gadgets, all beautifully designed and finished from Tasmanian woods. But part of the house was a self-contained flat leased to tenants. And as the newspaper report cryptically put it:

There are naturally certain domestic offices which have to be shared by householder and tenants. To obviate any embarrassment, electric gadgets flash signals to the house indicating whether or not they are in use.

Embarrassment? What kind of electric devices would cause embarrassment if you were to be discovered using them? So you had to flash signals to the house? What? How? Why?

Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re sure there is an innocent explanation. Surely there must be an innocent explanation.

Something on the Internet is wrong

Not exactly,  Master Jones

Not exactly right, Master Jones

Kids at Guildford Grammar School, next time a teacher tells you off for just cutting and pasting from the internet without checking your sources, tell them that the school has just done exactly that.

The above poster, near the Mt Lawley underpass, has an inspirational quote from Benjamin Franklin. Well, almost from Ben.

Or, to be more exact, it’s not a quote from Benjamin Franklin at all. He never said it. Or anything like it.

The closest thing to this quote is from a 1966 educational book, although some people like to find its origin with the Chinese Confucian philosopher Xunzi (312-230 BC). However, since Xunzi wasn’t translated into English until the 20th century, Mr Franklin could not have been familiar with it.

But, if you rely on for your research, you will find it incorrectly attributed to Ben there.

So kids, now you know. Passing off a quick Google as research is fully approved by your teachers. Go for it.

UPDATE: The school responds here.

The Inglewood scanties


We imagine they looked something like this

As the Dodgy Perth team desperately tries to delete their names from the Ashley Madison database (we had no idea what the site was, we thought it was a garden equipment retailer), we look back to a time when more direct evidence of infidelity was left behind. In the laundry at an Inglewood home.

The date was 13 December 1947. The time, 11.30pm. Laura came back from her friend’s house, and opened her front door. In the living room she discovered an unknown dishevelled couple, while her beloved carpets were covered in beer and cigarette ash. There was no sign of hubby, James.

Screaming abuse, Laura ordered the strangers to get out. This brought James running into the room. Slurring and barely able to stand upright, he too was told to get out the house.

Muttering curses, Laura set about with a mop and brush to restore some order. After that, she stepped into the garden for fresh air.

There were scuffling noises from the outside laundry, and then a woman scampered out and fled. James poked his head around the laundry door.

Naturally, Laura accused him of less than honourable behaviour, but he denied it. By now she was in no mood to argue, and went to bed. Where James slept that night is not recorded.

The next day she went back to the laundry and in the middle of the floor were a pair of scanties. They definitely weren’t hers.

Taking the panties in her hand, she again confronted hubby. This time, with a sore head, facing the irrefutable evidence, he agreed he had not been completely honest the night before. He didn’t even know the woman’s name, having picked her up at the local pub (probably the Inglewood Hotel) for a quickie after he’d been thrown out earlier.

Laura moved out to Fourth Avenue in Mt Lawley, and got her divorce the following year.

The moral, dear reader, is to always clean up after you. And that includes email addresses.