Historical information

The Minimax conical fire extinguishers were manufactured until 1960 and then removed from the company’s product range. The earliest model had been produced with a simple handle made of folded pressed metal that is similar if not the same as that on the Point Hicks extinguisher. Later handles were moulded and had more substance to the way they were cut and then folded to form a solid grip. The Point Hicks Minimax extinguisher is an early model that probably dates from the years when these devices were demonstrated across parts of Australia. While numerous examples of the extinguishers survive in public and private collections in northern hemisphere countries, few appear to exist in Australian museum collections. However, the auction house records confirm that some do survive in private collections. The Point Hicks extinguisher was found by lighthouse keepers in 1974 buried in the sand in a flattened but surprisingly intact condition. It was beaten back into its original shape but the body still retains various dents. In 2010, AMSA located the extinguisher at the National Trust’s Polly Woodside historic ship museum and it is now at the Point Hicks Lightstation.


The Minimax conical extinguisher has first level contributory significance as a historic item of early fire-fighting equipment from the lightstation that dates from the early twentieth century.

Physical description

Conical shaped brass fire extinguisher painted red with small nozzle at one end and a pump section at the other end. There is a handle on one side with closely spaced rivets down one side. Brass plaque with instructions attached to the body. There ia a square hook to hang the object form a wall or similar.

Inscriptions & markings

" ...ANKS ... / QUENCH.../ FOR FIRE / DRIVE IN PLUNGER / AT BIG END / ...ON GROUND /..../..../..."