We Aussies have always liked a good practical joke, and no one knows this better than Dick Smith. According to wikipedia, Smithy is an entrepreneur, a businessman and an aviator. But there’s much more to our Dick than that.
photo by Trevor Dallen found here
“Remember the day in 1978 when he hoodwinked Australia with a sheet of white plastic and a mountain of foam?
In a clever piece of self-promotion, the then budding 34-year-old electronics entrepreneur pulled off an imaginative April Fools prank: the great Sydney Harbour iceberg hoax.
What’s more, it cost him only $1200, for the hire of a barge, and the purchase of a big sheet of white plastic and lashings of fire-fighting foam.
Several dozen cans of shaving cream – used to complete the Dickenberg One, as it was dubbed – had been provided free by a manufacturer.
Cindy Crawford covered in shaving cream found here
At 3am a fellow inventor and collaborator, Hans Tholstrup, towed the barge out through the Heads, and, secretly under cover of darkness, the iceberg was built.
Two hours later, as Mr Smith boarded the iceberg, 300 of his employees started ringing local radio stations and newspapers.
“‘What’s that thing coming through the heads?’ they asked. ‘It looks like an iceberg.”‘
Mr Smith was approached by several boats demanding chunks of ice, or “Dicksicles” as they were called.
tentacle image found here
Dick Smith also introduced the microdot Pric (a PRinted Integrated Circuit) that when attached to speakers and doused with lemon juice became a radio. In the early 1980s he served as the conductor aboard a London double decker bus which jumped 15 motorcycles. The bus, driven by Hans Tholstrup, was a humorous poke at Evel Knievel who had visited Australia in 1979 and jumped his motorcycle over buses.
image found here