Story: Industrial design

Colin Murdoch's syringes

Colin Murdoch's syringes

These syringe prototypes were designed and made by Timaru veterinarian and inventor Colin Murdoch. He had invented the plastic disposable syringe as a way to stop cross-infection which increased after the introduction of antibiotics. Unfortunately the New Zealand Health Department thought the concept was ‘too futuristic’ and patients would refuse to be injected with anything contained in plastic. Multinational drug companies picked up on the idea soon after Murdoch’s patents appeared in international gazettes, and he did not have the resources to challenge them.

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Photograph by Colin Murdoch

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How to cite this page:

Michael Smythe, 'Industrial design - Innovation under protectionism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Michael Smythe, published 22 Oct 2014