“Road to Ipoh” That’s what it says on the back of this postcard. So, ‘detectives’…can you guess which road, or where this place is? I’ll admit I’m stumped 🙁 Related posts: Tilapia Fishes at D R Park? Let’s Take A Walk….. A ‘Walk in the Park’? A New Attraction – Old House Museum, Taiping By felicia|2016-12-09T16:14:24+08:00December 9th, 2016|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, nature, tourism|32 Comments Share This Story, Choose Your Platform! FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditWhatsappGoogle+TumblrPinterestVkEmail Related Posts Teen Idols? Gallery Teen Idols? Singing with emotion Gallery Singing with emotion Then & Now – Movie Posters Gallery Then & Now – Movie Posters ‘Reel’ life Gallery ‘Reel’ life Sports Idol Gallery Sports Idol 32 Comments Stephen Yaw December 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply With just a curve and a turn; neither buildings nor hills, it could be the South coming from Gopeng Road; from the North could be from Sungai Siput down Kuala Kangsar Road….Ipoh here I come! NCK December 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm - Reply The image quality doesn’t even let me be sure if the road was a tar road. I can only say that, without any hill or mountain in the background, this was a view to the south. But the photographer was not necessarily traveling to Ipoh from the north. They could probably be facing south only at this point of their journey. What wasn’t in Ipoh then could have become part of Ipoh now. Ngai C O December 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply Hi, With no other distinctive landmarks, your guess is as good as mine to its location to Ipoh. In fact, it could be anywhere along the road to Ipoh The road is most likely tarred with a layer of pebbles on top as was common in the old days. Without tarring, it would be uneven and would have many pot holes. Left of the road was the 380 or 440 volt power line supplying buildings nearby as far as a few miles away beyond which there will be considerable voltage drop. The power lines, being on the outer curve, were painted white so that vehicles would not crash into them at night. Now we have white lines and/or cat’s eyes. Right of the road was the telephone lines. One rung would supply two telephones; so a total of 16 telephones. I am not sure how far the telephone lines stretched. It was obviously a cloudy day. Hopefully, the doner might be able to shed more light about its location. NCK December 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply The road was too inferior to be one of the main trunk roads, even in the olden days. It could be a branch road leading to a suburb or village which is now part of Ipoh. Mano December 10, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply The road is reminiscent of the type built by the mining companies. I would guess this is somewhere near Kampar or Tanjung Tualang. felicia December 13, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply Thank you for the hint, Mano. At least we can more or less guess the location now. Ngai C O December 11, 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply Hi, The road location yet to be identified, I suppose I can entertain myself with other features on the photo. With no internet of things, the mobile phone, the Play Station, the theme parks and the ease of travelling, many in my generation growing up in a small town took more notice of what was going on around us. Take the mobile phone for example. Many people seem to be glued to it from the bed to the bathroom to the journey to work, whilst at work and repeat the cycle on the way home. Obviously, oblivious to what was happening around us. Aha, even road building fascinated me as a kid. I would watch the Indian labourers, brought by the British from southern India, began by digging a shallow trench. Most of the work was manual and the workforce could number a hundred or so. They would assemble the limestone rocks, layer by layer, progressively smaller as the sub base reached the top of the new road. A roller would run over the surface to compact and even out the surface. A layer of hot bitumen would be poured or sprayed over the nearly finished surface to be followed by spreading a layer of small pebbles that would stick into the bitumen. The roller would go over it once more. A new stretch of road was thus built. The road was known as the the Macadam road or the Macadam method of road construction, used in building most of Ipoh’s roads. I am not sure if this method is still used on the smaller roads. Please see link below for more information about Macadam. The next thing I would notice was the overhead electrical wires. After a severe thunderstorm with strong gusts of winds, many could be brought down by falling branches or constant fatigue to the brittle solid single core copper wires. Gangs of Central Electricity Board (CEB) workers would be busy reinstalling the power supply. See the pruning of the trees getting in the way of the wires. They have all been replaced by aluminium wires, probably with a steel core in the centre for durability. As for the telephone cables, they were bare solid copper and suffered the same fate as the single solid copper electrical cables. Another problem would be the wires touched each other causing a short circuit. Again one would see the telecom people out and about at the same time as the overhead electrical workers. Long distance (or outstation) calls would be connected via the Ipoh Telecom Centre switchboard telephone operators. They would manually connect those calls on the instructions of the callers. There were hundreds of such workers at one time. For much longer distance communication like overseas calls, there was the telegram service. A despatch rider would deliver the message. Please see link below of telephone exchange in operation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVDGuCjog_0 Ngai C O December 11, 2016 at 3:19 am - Reply Hi, Below are two more links to how land line telephone exchanges worked in the past, using the copper wire as the link. It is still very much in use and gradually superseded by other means. Today, fibre optics is replacing the old copper and there are more and more such cables criss-crossing the oceans. They are supplanted by microwave line of sight transcievers and satellite stations that connect the ground via microwave. At the same time, more data can be packed into narrower bandwidths and at higher frequencies into gigahertz, hence at very fast rates. https://youtu.be/GbukoDhZ-F0 https://youtu.be/GbukoDhZ-F0 Ngai C O December 11, 2016 at 3:24 am - Reply Hi, My apologies. The two previous links were the same. This should be the second one. https://youtu.be/owAjCeHRgMA Ngai C O December 11, 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply Hi, I hope I am not getting a bit OTT here. Here are two more links about the good old telephone. https://youtu.be/0A3D6yEZlQw https://youtu.be/xMYe1xsB7Qc sk December 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply Fellow Detectives – If you blow up the picture, you will see a Passenger aircraft flying among the clouds – 2nd Electricity Pole on the left just after the 2 horizontal bars. It could be flying southwards to Kuala Lumpur. That big aircraft could not have landed in Ipoh airport due to the short runway. This shot could be in South of Ipoh – Gopeng ? .Further upwards, it looked like a rubber godown with the White roof and there was a woman with a scarf walking on the right side of the road. There were also 2 vehicles parked behind the big tree on the left. Mano, you are an expert to identify the vehicles. The vehicles have been well camouflaged NCK December 11, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply Now I can see some UFOs flying around in the sky. The standing human figure could be an alien. Welcome to Ipoh. Ngai C O December 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm - Reply Hi, felicia is probably laughing her head off. Hope she does not fall off the chair. ‘Special Agent’ felicia would reject all our applications as her detectives after reading our CV’s. Having no chance myself, I would probably engage our ‘famous MH370 bomoh’ with his coconuts to look back in time!!!!! IpohWorld fame might go up another notch whether he got it right/otherwise. HaHaHaHaHa I have to stick my neck out again that we have a better chance to win the 3 digit lottery. I hope I don’t have to eat my eat my words. NCK December 13, 2016 at 1:56 am - Reply How an old coot was allowed to do that stunt in the airport is as mysterious as the whereabouts of the plane. Ngai C O December 13, 2016 at 3:03 am - Reply Hi NCK, Well, the bomoh had his 5 minute world wide fame and probably earned him some money. It was free advertising. His business might have picked up. As for the plane, and tragically for the passengers and their kin, the mystery may never be solved despite the discovery of plane debris. I am sure it has been and is still very painful for all the relatives. Bereavement of close ones, especially when they are young, are more difficult to come to terms with than one who has reached their moment in life. All we can hope is closure as and when it the plane is found. felicia December 13, 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply Hello NCK. I do wonder what has become of this bomoh…. Mano December 12, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply Sk, incredible work! If I could identify those two cars you’ve pointed out, I’d have Chritie’s and Sotheby’s fighting over me! However, that plane had to be either landing or taking off from Ipoh. Otherwise it would be flying too high to be even in the picture. Once again, well done, my friend! felicia December 13, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply Yes, Ngai…I am laughing…but I haven’t fallen off the chair yet 🙂 SK….I can’t see any planes in the sky. But I do wonder if planes were flying in Ipoh’s skies back then…since this is part of a series of postcards dating back to the early 1900s. I apologise for not mentioning this in the beginning… 🙁 Mano December 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply Felicia, the photo cannot be from from the early 1900s if this was taken somewhere around Ipoh and if that dark spot in the sky is indeed an airplane. Firstly, Ipoh aerodrome was built in 1938. Secondly, the two cars hidden in the foliage (discovered by sk) are of post WW II design. If push came to shove, I would even daresay that the one on the left is an Austin Healey with it’s two tone finish. But then again, this is a tin mine landscape. So it has to be somewhere around the vicinity of Ipoh. Notice the stretches of beach white sand in the background. The same sand mixed with the crushed run for the road. Hence the white colour of the road in the photo. Those few trees were left standing as they happen to be along the planned road and to provide shelter, the only shelter for some distance, again, as a result of the mining. Perhaps this is why those two cars are parked where they are, in the shade! This time I’ll throw in Batu Gajah and Tronoh as well into the equation. felicia December 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply The reason I mentioned early 1900s is because it was part of a set of similar Ipoh-scenes postcards, which were taken in the early 1900s. sk December 13, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply Let’s follow Michael J Fox back to the future then. . . . . John December 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply From Kampar through Tanjong Tualang, passed Lawan Kuda, Gopeng to Ipoh old Federal road. Ngai C O December 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply Hi, John might well be right – anywhere along the stretch of road he mentioned. I have been straining my eyes all this while, even with magnifying glasses, countless times to make out the aeroplane and the cars. I could only make out the outline of one car. They are just too fuzzy for any identification. The clearest object was the person standing on the road. I don’t think one could tell anything more beyond a human being. Unless other readers have a sharper vision than me. As to the location, someone out there may hold the answer. One thing is pretty clear though. The width of the road and the number of telephone lines point towards the direction of a small town at the least not far away and/or act as part of the trunk line with repeaters along the way. The other significant indicator is the low voltage lines feeding buildings nearby. I cannot see any street lamps. There are a number of possibilities here. The outskirts of a town or it was not the norm in the early 1900’s. NCK December 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply I’d guess this was a road to a plantation estate, and the white strip behind the electrical poles was the roof of a building. The standing human form seemed to be an Indian in his sarong. The thin, light-coloured line that stretches to the left of the photo was probably the further part of the road. Besides the dot perceived as a plane, there are other dots seen in the light-coloured sky. All these dots are probably some dirts or other impurities typically found on the surface of an old photo. On the right, see that there was a light-coloured building in the distance. Mano December 15, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply Sorry, NCK, but secondry roads or paths in or around rubber estates are of laterite or peaty soil. Thus, it would have appeared darker in the photo. This road is sandy white. Moreover, the landscape is almost barren of trees. The sandy strips of land in the background is evidence of mining activity. That person in the picture is a female of Chinese descent. The attire she is wearing is typical of a worker or a dulang washer in the mines. For protection from the sun, the scarf is worn with an elongated end to cover the nape. The top is long sleeved and the pants loose fitting. She must have left her wide brimmed hat at the ‘kongsi’. Trust me, I used to wonder around places like this as a kid when we lived in Kampar. Felicia, this photo/postcard could have been inadvertently bundled together as early 1900s. Please do keep putting them up for scrutiny, gives us old codgers the chance to keep the cogs in our coconuts turning! Chuah TC December 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply Perhaps you might want to have a look at the high resolution scan of this picture, which I am quite sure IpohWorld has them. Trust me, it makes a lot of difference compared to the low resolution picture above. I think all you need to do is to make a request to IpohWorld. Using a magnifying glass (or with an image editing software like Gimp) with a scaled down picture wouldn’t work Ngai. Information gets loss when resize smaller because data gets thrown away. Ngai C O December 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply Hi Chuah, Thanks for the advice and suggestion. I am aware of the limitations of software and magnifying glass in different situations from past experience. Obviously higher resolution pictures with their correspondingly increased number of pixels will show out better when blown up. Following your advice, I had a look at the IpohWorld Database for this picture. It was definitely clearer but I doubt it would throw up any more clues if it was the location we were after. All we could do to date was to make educated guesses. However, at the back of the post card was written, The Road to Ipoh followed by FMS. ‘The Road to Ipoh’ comment might lead readers to cast the net wider in trying to narrow down its location. FMS was formed in 1895 and disbanded in 1946. The database estimated the year as 1920 based on its available information. Lastly, post cards normally do have some sort of caption and/or date, the photographer’s name, the printer’s name/address etc. I am sure there would definitely be many more out there. So all is not lost in the search for the answer. Chuah TC December 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply I just had a look. The one in the database is not a high resolution scan. In fact, I think it has been sized down even more judging by the file size. I am not too sure about postcards, but when it comes to photos IpohWorld.org will usually request for a picture scanned at 600 dpi. File size will come up to about 1.0 MB – 2.0 MB in size. Ngai C O December 16, 2016 at 7:34 pm - Reply Hi Chuah, I think the image resolution on the post card was good enough for its time in camera technology. I am basing my take on the picture clarity from a visual point of view with little fuzziness. As we all know even from a layman’s experience like myself, image quality is affected by many factors. Take for example of the same picture taken by my phone camera, my lens camera and my full frame camera. They are 18 megapixels, 18 megapixels and 21 megapixels but the cmos sensors are of different sizes. The picture from the full frame will come out much clearer when all are blown up to say, A4. It would be great for you to share your knowledge and experience of photography. I am sure someone will learn something else from somebody. felicia December 16, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply Hello fans, Enjoyed reading all your comments so far. Yes, this has been a very interesting discussion – and I do enjoy all the insights from our ‘detectives’ 🙂 We do have more postcards from this era on our database, so do check them out. Ipoh Remembered November 12, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply Dear sk … If you blow up the picture, you will see a Passenger aircraft flying among the clouds – 2nd Electricity Pole on the left just after the 2 horizontal bars. […] There were also 2 vehicles parked behind the big tree on the left. To add to the comedy: I do not see your passenger aircraft, but I do “see” a third car. In any case, don’t all roads lead to Ipoh? Ipoh Remembered November 12, 2017 at 1:13 am - Reply I’m almost reluctant to mention this but … The person who wrote this postcard also wrote another one (database entry 8369) in which he or she again used the phrase “the road to Ipoh,” in this case apparently referring to Anderson Road … Leave A Comment Cancel reply Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Prove that you are a human!