2001/85/3 Clip for cow tails, Kyogle clip, metal, A.W. Standfield and Co., Mascot, NSW, Australia, 1925-2000
The Kyogle cow-tail clip is an example of an early product that was developed by A.W. Standfield. Its simplicity and functionality indicate his desire to make useful artifacts 'out-of-necessity', where materials were scarce and labour could be minimised.
The cow-tail clip is, when compared with the mouse-trap machine, a less complex device. The clip was the first Standfield product to be patented (29 January, 1925), but it did not receive the desired public recognition and eventually it was 'closed' when Standfield, beginning in 1942-43, placed the resources of his small firm entirely into the development of the mouse-trap machine.
Interestingly, Standfield did not apply for a patent on the successful mouse-trap machine, leaving 'market forces' rather than 'intellectual' property and skill, to determine the 'worth' of his invention.
The significance of the cow-tail clip is not restricted to use. Its early closure, and the twenty year period separating it and the origins of the mouse-trap machine, signify that Standfield could not maintain a 'competive edge' over other similar products, then on the Australian market. On the other hand, the mouse-trap machine was a unique machine for the production of wood-based mouse traps, with its products selling throughout Australia and overseas.