Archive for October, 2009

Old Advertisements – The Well Known Examination Drink

You may be wondering why I didn’t post for quite sometime. It’s the examination period now (October and November) for primary or secondary school students. Though my eldest son (Sec.3) has just completed his examination last week, my daughter will have her 4 main subjects exam next week starting 2 Nov. She is in Primary 4 now, and her exam stretched over a period of 2 months. The Primary School exam now split into many parts like Oral, Listening Comprehension, Picture Discussion, Composition and Paper 2, etc. No doubt they have less to prepare for each paper, but it’s rather stressing over a long period. They don’t seem to have any pressure or stress, but now for me… I have to help them during this period by revising together with them, pressurising them and giving them more assessment books to do. Now they even avoided going to Popular Bookstore with me…

My kids are lucky that they have the well known ‘Examination Drink’ that was passed down through generations – The Brand’s Essence Of Chicken. I don’t even have a sip of it during my time and it was usually given to women who have just given birth. Now my kids just gulped it down their throat as they have the children’s version (smaller bottle).

This Brand’s Essence Of Chicken has changed over the years in terms of packaging and advertisments. I have this print ad from the Chinese Newspaper (Nayang Siang Pau) 1981, about 28 years ago;

                                                                                                                           Credit : Nayang Siang Pau, 1981

How I wish to have a set of that playing cards! See those prizes – VHS tape recorder, CRT TV, portable radio and cassettes player, they are so nostalgia. I love print ads more than any other media ads because it’s something that I can hold it physically.

Below is another Brand’s print ad between 1950s to 1969;

Credit : PICAS, National Archives of Singapore

This one is even older, between 1948 to 1968. I like this one as it said “Brand’s Essence of Chicken has been instrumental in saving many lives in Malaya”. Also look at the packaging at that time, in a can?;

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

By looking at the old ad, we can see that this Brand’s Essence of Chicken has its packaging changed over the years. This is how it looks like now;

Of course the packaging has been changed to glass bottle for a long time. Do you realise that the cap also have change? Take a look at the new cap now;

See the rubber gasket inside the cap seems to have disappeared. Now take a look at the older cap (just probably one ‘generation’ before this current one);

The above cap you still can see the rubber gasket but I remembered the older type has a dark maroon color type of gasket. Moreover it’s more difficult to open a bottle of Brand’s Essence of Chicken compared to the now new twist open cap;

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

See this old ad (I don’t remember seeing it frankly, just ‘Google it out’) on how difficult it was to open the cap;

I like this Brand’s Essence of Chicken ad sometime back, it’s about a guy with ‘super memory’;

and also another ad with the ‘flying dagger in the office’; this one is funny I think;

But the above ad seems to be marketing the product towards the adult and not much to the children or students. In other countries, I think I still can find the Brand’s ad targeted towards the students. Check out the below ads (probably in other countries);

This one below maybe have seen it before;

OK, so much for the ads. But I’m really surprised when I tried to find out more about this Brand’s Essence of Chicken – it really was a tonic soup even fit for a King! Here is a little facts on the tonic drink Brand’s Essence of Chicken which has about 189 years of history;

不说您不知 (Don’t say, you don’t know), the late King George IV of United Kingdom was known to be extravagant and obese. His heavy drinking and indulgent lifestyle had affected his helath by the late 1820s. Thus his royal chef Mr.H W Brand (this tonic drink was named after him) developed an essence of chicken beverage to boost His Majesty’s health.

The chef upon his retirement, made this tonic soup commercially.

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

In 1920s, the Brand’s Essence of Chicken was already marketed in Asia, and Singapore was among the first country it sold to. Pretty long time ago right? Now the Brand’s Essence of Chicken comes in different flavour too like those with codyceps, etc. But I still preferred the original one!

So once the product is well established, competition came in and other type of essence also appeared in the market too. This one also appeared in the 80s ad;

Frankly I still preferred chicken essence flavour than other types.

Of course there are other direct competition too like this brand;

Do you still remember this ad;

So which do you prefer? As for me, definitely the original one and original taste…

What My Father Wrote ;


Guess What Quiz No.3

The picture shows part of something. Guess what is that ‘something’? You have to tell me what is this ‘something’ call and what is it use for?


The correct answer is Tong Sheng 通勝, Chinese Almanac. I don’t know since when it was called Tong Sheng instead of Tong Shu. I remember it was known as Tong Shu 通書 especially by the Cantonese but maybe the word “Shu” sounds like “losing” so this word was changed to “Sheng” which means “win”.

My first encounter with this very thick book was when my godmother used it to check some auspicious dates. I was only about 9 or 10 years old then, and I was attracted by the pictures and drawing in it;

Frankly until now, I still do not understand all the drawings in it.

This ‘book’ has been around for many many years and the meaning of Tong Shu means “a book that knows all”. Some people may check with this book on what one should or should not do on each day. But usually the Chinese will use it to check for auspicious dates for wedding, opening ceremony for their businesses, etc.

Take a look at the thread binding used for this thick book;

And this thread is enough to hold this thick book together! I’m impressed. The first page of the book usually is the boy and a cow working on a farm;

We may use it to check our age or year of birth and also our Chinese horoscope. Example my year of birth is 1962, I was 24 years old (1985) and born in the year of tiger;

Oh this book even has diagrams of foetus in the womb;

It shows the foetus from 1st month to 9th month and how is the position like when delivering. On the left is the talisman for pregnant woman who have offended the ‘Foetus God’, I think.

The most interesting part of this book is the portion where one can learn English;

It has a few pages where people can learn how the English alphabets and also some English words like those shown above. As the book is written in Cantonese, so it is more accurate to read it in Cantonese instead of Chinese. Take a look at the word “Saturday” and the pronunication in Cantonese. If we will to read the English word using the Cantonese pronunication, it sounds really weird. The whole book content seems to be printed in just Black and Red ink;

If you think that this Chinese Almanac is meant for those people who are superstitious, you are wrong. It does contain some Scientific content too. One can learn about Eclipse of the Sun or Moon from it;

The Chinese Almanac has more than 2000 years of history and it’s good to at least browse through it and take a look at its contents. If you wish to know more, you can take a look here.


What My Father Wrote ;


Blog Directory & Search engine singapore blog directory Personal Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory
I am a Supporter of

Blog Stats

  • 1,239,148 hits
October 2009