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Household and clothing
Splayds cutlery
knife, fork and spoon in one

A magazine photo that showed women at a party awkwardly balancing cutlery and plates of food on their laps inspired William McArthur to invent the Splayd, a single-handed fork, spoon and cutting blade. From 1943 to 1967 his wife Suzanne used and sold them in her Martha Washington Café in Sydney.

In 1960 she sold the design to Australian tableware manufacturer Stokes Pty Ltd. Stokes put the Splayd through a complete cycle of redesign for mass-production.

Released in 1962, when buffet lunches and barbecues were becoming popular in Australia, Splayds caught on quickly and were a favourite wedding gift in the 1970s.

By 1991 Stokes had sold 4.75 million Splayds in 52 countries - that's one for every 800 people on Earth!

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
Stokes Pty Ltd : design, manufacture
Key People
William McArthur : inventor
Suzanne McArthur : marketer

Further Reading
'Let's call a Splayd a Splayd' Ross Muller
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Living Guide, 18 June 1991.

History of eating utensils in the west: a brief timeline
The History of Eating Utensils

Each Splayd is a multipurpose eating tool. Powerhouse Museum. Photo by Penelope Clay.
Versatile Splayds are just as good for main course or dessert. Powerhouse Museum. Photo by Sue Stafford.
The Splayd's shape was modelled in plastic, wood and metal. Powerhouse Museum. Photo by Sue Stafford.
ATSE Powerhouse Museum