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Lorayne Branch is the great granddaughter of Henry Sutton and has spent 10 years meticulously researching and documenting Henry Sutton’s life and work to bring this detailed account of this extraordinary and innovative Australian inventor.


Release Date: 1 December 2018

ISBN: 978-1-925332-34-6

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 410

Price: AU$65

Postage within Australia:

$17.50 (Postage and Handling)

Keith Scott

Managing Director at Product Distribution Australia Pty Ltd

Having lived in the Ballarat area for 20 years and being involved with radio communications since the 60s I did know a bit about Henry Sutton and could not understand why few people in Ballarat or anywhere had heard of him. You have fixed that! What a fabulous effort…My most rewarding read for many years, a fantastic story.   (Full review)



Nikola Tesla once said “Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments”

In his lifetime, Henry Sutton not only helped shape Ballarat's history but also that of Australia and the world. Very few people have crossed as many scientific fields as Henry Sutton. His life’s work spanned all avenues of science and engineering and he stands alone in history as one of Australia’s first true men of science and innovation.

Based on previously unavailable personal papers as well as articles and letters published in journals worldwide, this book captures the personal triumphs and tragedies of this remarkable Australian.

By age 26 Henry Sutton had won world acclaim and graced the world stage among the giants of the scientific world. He stood as an equal alongside such men as Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Although applauded around the world in his day for his remarkable achievements, Henry Sutton went largely unnoticed in Australia by his peers and the public. It is not until you begin to document, in one place, his enormous body of work that you start to gain the true picture and depth of his remarkable achievements. It is a travesty that these slipped largely unrecognised between the pages of Australian scientific history for over a century.

Henry Sutton’s inventions and contribution to science has been a part of the evolution of many inventions, including the light globe, telephone, battery, television and wireless technology all of which are now part of our everyday lives. Henry Sutton’s contribution to Australian and world innovation has been methodically researched and documented in this book and is the first fully documented account of this largely forgotten but very extraordinary Australian.




    I have no hesitation in claiming Henry Sutton is Australia’s greatest ever inventor and,

indeed, one of the greatest inventors the world has ever seen. The range of his inventions is extraordinary, including in lighting, batteries, telephony and wireless telegraphy, photography, flight, microscopy, and car engines. Yet he remains shamefully unheralded. Admired and befriended by some of the great scientists and engineers of his time, such as Nikola Tesla and Alexander Graham Bell, his achievements are largely unrecognized.


   This Australian inventor, working in isolation in Ballarat in the decades around the turn of the 20 th century, deserves a place in the pantheon of contributors to the modern technological age. Sutton’s great granddaughter, Lorayne Branch, has set out to tell his story and she tells it very well. The depth of her research is impressive. She ably describes Sutton’s technical contributions alongside the personal triumphs and tragedies of this unassuming and modest man.


   This history of a great Australian is and of itself a valuable contribution that should be

widely available, but there are also important contemporary issues it raises which continue to need to be addressed. Australian culture still does not encourage and celebrate inventors and entrepreneurs. Government policies designed to support innovation remain piecemeal, uncoordinated and capable of producing the sorts of bureaucratic hurdles Sutton faced. Australian businesses still aren’t making the investments in research and technology that our international competitors think are so obviously necessary.


  We in Australia venerate our great achievers: our sportsmen and women, politicians, soldiers and public figures, and even the occasional scientist. We have a strong urge to demonstrate our abilities and relevance on the world stage. It is high time our inventors and innovators were also suitably celebrated. Branch’s book on Henry Sutton makes a great contribution to tackling this pressing need.


                                               Professor Mark Dodgson FASSA, FRSA.

                                  Professor of Innovation Studies at UQ Business School

                                  and Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London.

Roma Guerin

“Henry Sutton: The Innovative Man, Australian Inventor, Scientist and Engineer” 

A most remarkable man, and in hindsight, a victim of the ubiquitous Australian Tall Poppy Syndrome…

It is a tragedy that this brilliant, modest, generous man died at a relatively young age, and I have no doubt this was brought about by the unforgiveable stress placed upon him in his last years.  (Full Review)

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