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91/1167 Splayd eating utensils (6), in box, stainless steel, William McArthur/ Stokes (Australasia) Limited, Japan, 1962. Click to enlarge.

Splayd eating utensils

Designed
Released in 1962, when buffet lunches and barbecues were becoming popular in Australia, Splayds caught on quickly and were a favourite wedding gift in the 1970s. They were easy to use, informal and more socially acceptable than eating with the hands. They also saved on washing up.

Splayds are often considered as an icon of Australian product design. The initial design by William McArthur in the late 1940s was sold to Stokes Pty Ltd in 1960. The company then redesigned the product for mass …

Summary

Object No.

91/1167

Object Statement

Splayd eating utensils (6), in box, stainless steel, William McArthur/ Stokes (Australasia) Limited, Japan, 1962

Physical Description

Splayd eating utensils (6), in box, stainless steel, William McArthur/ Stokes (Australasia) Limited, Japan, 1962

Production

Notes

A magazine photo that showed women at a party awkwardly balancing cutlery and plates of food on their laps inspired William McArthur to invent the Splayd, a single-handed fork, spoon and cutting blade. From 1943 to 1967 his wife Suzanne used and sold them in her Martha Washington Café in Sydney.

In 1960 she sold the design to Australian tableware manufacturer Stokes Pty Ltd. Stokes put the Splayd through a complete cycle of redesign for mass-production.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Stokes (Australasia) Limited, 1991

Acquisition Date

30 September 1991

Cite this Object

Harvard

Splayd eating utensils 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 June 2021, <https://ma.as/111703>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/111703 |title=Splayd eating utensils |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 June 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Technology & Innovation at the Museums Discovery Centre.