WIMMERA residents with the last name Mibus, Traeger, Schultz or Schodde could be related to the inventor of the pedal wireless, Alfred Hermann Traeger.
It was the 90th anniversary of the Royal Flying Doctors in 2018 – an organisation Mr Traeger helped leap forward in communication from base and planes with his invention of the two-way pedal wireless.
Mr Traeger was born at Glenlee – between Nhill and Jeparit – to father Johann Hermann Traeger and mother Louisa, nee Zerna.
Julet Schultz, wife of Graham Schultz, who is related to Mr Traeger, said the pedal wireless revolutionised the way outlying stations could communicate with one another in emergencies.
Olga Schodde, of Murtoa, was Mr Traeger’s first wife and they had two children together.
Joyce Mibus, of Dimboola, was his second wife and they had three children together.
“Graham is related to Alfred, because Alf’s mother was a Schultz. So the Traeger, Schultz and Mibus families are related to him,” Mrs Schultz said.
“It’s nice to respect him because the Flying Doctors has grown so big and wide and has helped so many people. To have the two-way radio in it was really marvellous.”
Mr Traeger also invented a typewriter morse code keyboard in 1933 – an accessory to the pedal sets. It was used until the advent of radio telephony.
Two more inventions Mr Traeger designed were a turbine-driven car and a device that used solar power to convert salt water to fresh water.
The Traeger family homestead is still in the region – near Jeparit and Lake Hindmarsh – and Mrs Schultz said the last known family to live there was the Flavel family.
“Alfred’s family farmed in Glenlee before his family moved to Adelaide when the Great Depression arrived in Australia in 1930,” Mrs Schultz said.
“A tree has been planted on the property where he was born in commemoration of him and a stone with a plaque was unveiled on the road near his property.”
Mr Traeger was also known as a communications engineer and electrical engineer.
He taught radio operating and was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1944.