Archive for the 'Collectible Stuffs' Category

Guess What Quiz No.2

I’ve not seen this for a very long time. Though it is still available now, but it was commonly used in the 60s or maybe still in the 70s. Do you know what is this for? What’s inside? I think Peter, Philip or Chun See may know the answer.


Yes, it’s a Shaving Kit. You can see the contents inside:

Here is the Razor Blade;

In fact such shaving kit is very good for travelling. It even has a small mirror inside. Like what the guys have said, the blade is really super sharp!

Additional Photos;

Photo 1:



Photo 2 :

Photo 3 :


Big Brother Big 大哥大

How many of us still have such a ‘Big Brother Big 大哥大’ at home? Sigh…I don’t have one at all…. I’m referring to the first generation of those mobile phone – big bulky type. Later toy makers made water bottles mobile phones lookalike for children to mimmic.

Talking about such ‘Big Brother Big’ mobile phone users, probably because of the size of the phone, they were usually held on the hands and ‘displayed’ on the tables when the users were seated down.

Above Photo : Relatives ‘displayed’ their Big Brother Big mobile phones on the dining table during my wedding dinner on 19  Dec 1992.

Above Photo : A lady reporter from the Chinese media holding a ‘Big Brother Big’ mobile phone in 1992.

Take a look at how this man used the ‘Big Brother Big’ mobile;

Don’t you find the long antenna troublesome?

Such bulky mobile phones were popular during the 80s and 90s; and mainly from Motorola.

Do you still remember what brand and model is your first mobile phone? I don’t remember the brand and model, but I do recalled that the phone advertisement on TV showing it floats on a leaf. Do you know that brand for this ad?

That was my first mobile phone in 1991 or 1992 when I was working for a US MNC as a Product Manager. The phone was fully paid by the company then and of course the monthly bill too. Too bad the phone was returned back to the company when I left them. In 1991 or 1992, I do remembered that my boss was using the popular Motorola Micro Tac phone;

In fact, in the early 90s most Big Brother Big mobile phones were slowing fading off from the scene. The smaller version of mobile phones like the Micro Tac was surfacing then.

If I were to keep all my handphones since day 1, I really don’t know how many will there be? But it was easier to trade-in used handphones in the past, so I didn’t keep most of them. Below are only some of those that I have left;

My Hero

No no, I’m not talking about that HEROES TV series on Monday! It’s my old HERO brand fountain pen. Sad to say many students nowadays don’t use fountain pen or may not even know/seen one too!

I started using HERO fountain pen since Secondary school, think around Sec.1 or 2. Sometimes I got my fountain pen leaking, so my shirt pocket may be stained. The worst case was the ink bottle cap was not tighten properly thus my whole school bag was filled with the blue ink!

The HERO 336 Fountain Pen;

This is probably the most common fountain pen found here. It was released in 1968. The fountain pen probably costs about S$1.20 (I think)? This HERO pen resembles that of PARKER 51 (American brand).

The iridium nib tip was very tough and we like to use it as a dart. I can use it as a flying dart on the class table or chair. It’s fun playing with it, anyway, what other things can we played with at that time…

For those that have used the Hero fountain pen before, their refill system is probably most memorable;

Above photos credit : Chinapenking

When comes to refilling the pen, sometimes there will be a spill and we need those white blotting paper. Oh my son my not even seen one yet haha. Of course the other item that comes to mind when refilling is the ink bottle;

As seen on the packaging, this HERO brand ink and fountain pen was manufactured in Shanghai, China.

See the Chinese Tradmark below;

The side view of the box;

And the unique cap with the HERO embossed on it;

I wonder if I can still find this old HERO fountain pen at Sungei Road…

Memories From My Old Ang Pao

Maybe most will just clear their contents (money) and throw away the packets (ang pao). But for me, new or used, I will keep them (same as my mother). We keep the ang pao in albums, and boxes.

Here are some old ang pao that will bring back some fond memories;

At one glance, they don’t seem that old right? OK but before that, let me show you one very very old ang pao type that I’ve received when I was a few years old in the 60s;

Well the above seems like those used in funeral. But it was this type of ang pao that I received in the 60s and the amount usually like 2 5cents or 2 10cents. Close relatives usually gave more than distant ones. Some said certain dialects group gave more, I’m not too sure about that.

Some establishments still exit but some don’t in the following;


This above was from Motorola. Many will remembered that Motorola is the brand that our 1st pager and handphone was. But now, there are so many brands to choose from for handphones.


The younger generation may not know about this Oriental Emporium Holdings Group. They probably had more outlets (25 I think) than NTUC Fairprice then in the 70s or 80s. But one by one, they started to close down. Most town centres will have at least one Oriental Emporium like the one at Bedok Town Centre, now occupied by NTUC Fairprice.


Maybe the ladies will know of this boutique shop Pisces. One of the outlets was located along Orchard Road just outside the Plaza Singapura (along the same side as McDonald House). Think these Pisces outlets are no longer around, am I right?


For those interest rate hunters, Tat Lee Bank was probably one will go for in the past. Too bad, it had merged with Keppel Bank to become Keppel Tat Lee.


It was an old ang pao envelope from NTUC Fairprice. Of course they are still around though the new logo already replaced the old logo above. The name NTUC was removed from the new logo (I think) and only Fairprice is used.


It was so popular back then that SAFE (SAF Enterprise) branched into Travel business for the SAF personnel. I remembered I had even booked a tour to Taiwan and the price was so low that one need to be balloted. I was lucky then haha.

You may read about SAFE Trave here:

SAFE Travel


Now known as M Hotel. But before that, it was also known as Copthorne Harbour View Hotel in 1995. And even well before that – Harbour View Dai-Ichi Hotel. Why all these re-naming of this hotel at Anson Road?

After doing a check on the internet, the hotel’s owner, Hong Leong Group, was legally barred from using the Millennium brand in Singapore as it could be confused with The Ritz-Carlton Millenia. So M-Hotel is ok as only the initial is used. So now, you can’t get the same ang pao with the old hotel name haha.

Before I end this post, I would like to wish all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

My Godmother’s Pillow And Fan

Credit : Chinatown Heritage Centre

The porcelain type of pillow on the right, hollow with 2 oval holes on both sides, was the type of pillow my Godmother used when we were staying at Beatty Road. It’s rather small in size compared to those new pillows we used nowadays.

I’ve tried sleeping on it but it’s hard to sleep on it and it’s cold too. When I tried to turn to my side, my head fell off the pillow. I don’t understand how my godmother managed to sleep on it so many years.

The one on the left is also a pillow but of better quality. Maybe it’s more expensive than the porcelain one, so not many could afford it. But even now, pillow price can range from a few dollars to hundred over dollars…and you won’t know how it suit you until you buy it and used it.

In the foreground of the above photo, you can also see the type of fan my godmother used. That is the normal types of fans made of probably bamboo leaves (correct me if I’m wrong) that most household will have. But now, how many of us still have it??


While our Sportsmen and Sportswomen are still participating in the current 24th SEA Games in Thailand, let’s talk about the past SEA Games. Singapore held its first and only SEAP Games in 1973. I was 11 years old then and I remember that the SEAP Games Village was in Toa Payoh. That was the 7th SEAP Games.

The First Day Cover issued in 1973 to commemorate the hosting of the 7th SEAP Games in Singapore;

Credit : National Philatelic Museum of Singapore.

Do you know why the National Stadium was also shown in the stamps? This is because the National Stadium was opened in 1973 too! Too bad, our National Stadium is also closed in 2007 when it’s our turn to host the game.

Below shows the SEAP Games Village in Toa Payoh, so do you know where is it;

Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

Are you aware that 4 point blocks in the Toa Payoh Town Centre was used as the games village to accomodate the sports participants.

SEAP or South East Asian Peninsular Games, started off with only 6 participating countries in 1959 – Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The next SEA Games Singapore held was in 1983 and 1993 but it was already renamed as SEA or Southeast Asian Games since 1977. That is the reason why I said Singapore held its First and Last SEAP Games in 1973.

It now has 11 participating countries if I’m not wrong. Each country will take turns to host the SEA Games by means of nation name alphabetically which removes the politics of bidding for the games, and allows the host countries ample time to plan for their turn at the games. Singapore supposed to host this year 2007 SEA Games but as the National Stadium and other facilities are not ready, so we didn’t host it this year.

The 1983 SEA Games FDC when Singapore hosted the game again the second time;

Credit : National Philatelic Museum of Singapore.

Note the logo still having 6 rings representing the initial 6 participating countries. How many rings are there now?

The 1993 SEA Games FDC when we hosted the 1993 games;

Personally, I feel the 1993 SEA Games stamps the least attractive and I love the 1973 SEAP games stamps the most.

Now let’s take a look at the 1st SEAP Games stamps issued in 1959 by Thailand when Thailand hosted the 1st SEAP Games;

Some of the homegrown sportsmen and sportswomen that won for Singapore in the Games held in Singapore were;

1973 SEAP Games : Chee Swee Lee – won 2 Silver for 400m and 800m. She was a popular sportswomen in the 70s.

Photo Credit : Team Singapore

1983 SEA Games : Junie Sng – the famous Singapore Swimmer won 10 Gold in her last swimming competition in 1983 SEA Games before retiring.

Photo Credit : Singapore Sports Council

1983 SEA Games : Ang Peng Siong – he is the other famous male swimmer and won the gold medal in the 1983 SEA Games.

Photo Credit : Singapore Sports Council

I felt proud then when these are the Singapore own homegrown winners! Too bad, nowadays most winners are ‘imported’ from other countries…though I still feel happy but no longer the same pride I had then…

STB To SingTel

Credit : National Archives of Singapore

This was the first type of phone my Godparents had in the 60s/70s. No choice of color for the phones back then, I think. Not many households are able to afford a telephone; my parents do not have one too.

I remember my Godparents got engaged those telephone cleaning lady to clean the phone every now and then. The cleaning lady would carried a hard bag like those cosmetic makeup bag, containing all her cleaning kids. She would changed the white color mouth piece ‘filter’ and then sprayed some ‘fragrance’ onto it. And they wore those gloves when doing the cleaning of telephone.

So what does STB stands for? It stands for Singapore Telephone Board. And its logo back then has a swallow bird – don’t know why?

Even the telephone carried the logo, as shown on the telephone above.

Back then the bills envelopes are like this;

See the above envelope. So in 1971, it was still STB and the postage back then was 6 cents!

OK, Singapore had its first telephone service in 1879, almost 128 years! The British were providing the telephone services until 1955. In 1955, STB was formed.

TAS (Telecommunications Authority of Singapore) provided overseas services while STB on local services. In 1974, both merged to form Singapore Telecom.

So when did we first have our push button phone? That should be August 1970. By early 1980s, all rotary phones were replaced by push button phone. Regret didn’t keep one of those rotary phone or the first generation of the push button phone with the Telecom logo at the bottom.

Here is the First Day Cover for the 100 years of Telephone Service in 1974;

So what will be the next change be?


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April 2020