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87/311-1 Swimwear (1 of 3), mens, designed for the XVIII Olympiad, Bri-nylon, Speedo, Australia, 1964. Click to enlarge.

Mens Speedo swimsuit

    The Museum has an extensive collection of Speedo swimwear and accessories dating from the 1930s to the present including designs produced for the Australian Olympic Games team from 1964 to 2004, the Australian Commonwealth Games team from 1970-2002 and numerous international Olympic teams. This collection is complemented by the Speedo archive which includes scrapbooks, catalogues, posters, newsletters, stickers, photographs, video footage and badges.

    Speedo's origins lie in MacRae Knitting Mills, manufacturer of cotton and wool knitwear. They produced their first swimming costumes in Sydney, Australia in the late 1920s and in 1928 held a competition to find a name for their new swimwear line. So successful was a staff member's catchy slogan 'Speed on in your Speedo', they changed the company name to Speedo.

    From the beginning Speedo focussed their attention on producing competitive swimwear complemented by a range of leisure swimwear and knitted apparel and the Museum's Speedo collection and archive illustrates the evolution of swimwear styles and fabrics designed to reduce water resistance and enhance speed. By the 1980s most of the world's top competitive swimmers were competing in Speedo's.

    Glynis Jones
    Curator, Design & Society

    This object is part of


    Object No.


    Object Statement

    Swimwear (1 of 3), mens, designed for the XVIII Olympiad, Bri-nylon, Speedo, Australia, 1964

    Physical Description

    Swimsuit, men's, bri-nylon, Speedo, Australia, 1964.

    Mens nylon full brief racing swimsuit with a drawstring waist. The suit is yellow with a black and red Speedo logo sewn onto right hip. An applied embroidered green and yellow cloth badge sewn onto left hip features an image of a kangaroo and the Olympic Games linked rings with the text 'Australia Tokyo 1964'.


    Fabric label sewn onto inside side seam 'SPEEDO / 34 AUSTRALIA / BRI-NYLON'. Speedo logo sewn onto right hip.
    'AUSTRALIA / TOKYO 1964' on badge sewn onto left hip.

    Cite this Object


    Mens Speedo swimsuit 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2020, <>


    {{cite web |url= |title=Mens Speedo swimsuit |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}