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91/1865 Stool, bathroom, 'Utility', polypropylene, designed by Charles Rothauser and Bruce Thompson, 1967, made by Caroma Sales Pty Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia, 1990. Click to enlarge.

Caroma ‘Utility’ bathroom stool

Caroma is a company which has gained a reputation for the innovative use of plastics for bathroom fittings. This stool, an Australian innovation, became synonymous with the Australian bathroom since its introduction in 1967. The design, which was probably the largest piece of injection moulded plastic in Australia when it was introduced, has not changed in any detail throughout its entire production run. Although primarily intended for use in bathrooms, it has also been extensively used in hospitals, nurseries, restaurants and other public areas. It is manufactured in twelve colours, sold at all leading hardware and retail stores and is exported to countries throughout the Pacific and Carribean. This product was selected for the Australian Design Index and the 'Good Design' label in 1967.


Object No.


Object Statement

Stool, bathroom, 'Utility', polypropylene, designed by Charles Rothauser and Bruce Thompson, 1967, made by Caroma Sales Pty Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia, 1990

Physical Description

This stool is moulded in two sections which lock at the centre, each section has a protruding semi circular tongue which slots into a similar shaped cavity at the centre. The circular top is flat with a wide inward sloping flange meeting a drum section, the sides slighty graded and form the central colum. The base section is identical except that the underside is open and can therefore slip over the top section for storage.



305 mm



Designed by Charles Rothauser and Bruce Thompson in Adelaide in 1967. The stool was accepted into the Australian Design Index and received the 'Good design' label in 1967. The design represents a simple and compact solution. When first developed it was an innovative use of injection moulding. The stool uses a lightweight plastic and because of its ingenious design can support a relatively heavy load. The design was one of the first uses of large scale injection moulding in Australia. Although designed primarily for the Australian domestic market, this product has enjoyed enormous export success in overseas markets, principally in Asia and the Carribean.



This stool was supplied to the Museum new from the manufacturer.


Credit Line

Gift of Caroma Sales Pty Ltd, 1991

Acquisition Date

25 November 1991

Cite this Object


Caroma 'Utility' bathroom stool 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Caroma 'Utility' bathroom stool |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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