It is said that today – being the 7th day of the Lunar New Year – is ‘Yan Yat’ or ‘Renri’. According to Chinese customs, Renri was the day human beings were created. I’m sure there is a story or two behind this belief; we’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 On another note, here is […]

“..Besides their intended use, they could be used for cleaning equipment, polishing shoes, cleaning hands and face, signalling for attention, as a sweat band, neckerchief, as protection from dust inhalation, to repair footwear, cut out pieces to patch clothes, cut up as emergency firearms cleaning patches, Molotov cocktail wick (fire-bomb), hot cooking utensil holder, a […]

Students from NTPS Jalan Pasir Puteh are probably grinning at the screen now. As for the former students…has the school changed much over the years? Maybe some of you have old photos of the building back then…do share them with us. On that note, how many of you remember YOUR first day at school? Was it […]

We’ve had lots of similar advertisements over the years. But what I would like to draw your attention to is the fine line below the picture of the camera – “Prices: Singapore $ 24.75; Penang $ 25.50; Malaysia $ 30.45” Did we always pay a few dollars more than folks from Penang?

It’s not Universal Studios…rather Universal Cars Ltd. Yes, I’m sure some of you remember this building. Last I heard, it functioned as a nightclub for a while. Now, it seems to have been abandoned. Unless…there is something going on behind the scenes, which we don’t know about; in which case, we’d like to hear from […]

Some of you may already recognise this person. For those who don’t, here are some fun facts about him: he was an architect and developer he once worked for the Ipoh Town Board as a draughtsman he also owned Caxton Press (along Belfield Street) he and his family lived at Dulcieville Lane Yes, he is […]

No, we’re not being ‘bitter’ about it…but did anyone realise that this beautiful floral clock is no more? For those who’ve never had the chance to see it, here are two pictures for you; both are from Ann Kesselring Hamon. The lady in white (left image) is Ann’s mother Florence Kesselring. As for the right […]

Merafak Sembah Setinggi-tinggi Tahniah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah Sultan, Yang Di-Pertuan dan Raja Pemerintah Negeri Perak Darul Ridzuan Selamat Menyambut Ulang Tahun Keputeraan Tahun 2018 from all of us at 

Hypothetical scenario: Imagine you’ve just inherited a LOT of money…and you’ve decided to build a beautiful mansion. Well, let us ‘help’ you with some interior decoration ideas 😀 We have here some photographs of what the inside of the Kinta Kellas Estate bungalow once looked like. Yes, this wooden bungalow once belonged to none other […]

61 years ago, the Union Jack was lowered signalling the end of the British administration in what was then Malaya, 61 years ago, a new flag was raised and a new anthem was played signalling the dawn of a new age, 61 years ago, one word echoed throughout the Selangor Club Padang as the crowd […]

Heard of Hotel Bali? It was located at Jalan Ali Pitchay. This picture was taken from their business card. On the back of the card is the following description: “Stylishly furnished modern hotel; all rooms with telephones and bathrooms; ample parking space; air conditioned bar and restaurant with beautiful waitresses in attendance; excellent Chinese and European […]

The picture is not that clear, but I’m sure you can more or less see what our featured celebrity looks like. Born in 1884, he joined the Malayan Civil Service as a cadet in 1907. In 1932 he was appointed British Resident of Selangor and the following year as British Resident of Perak, a post he […]

No, we didn’t make this word up 😉 ‘Sinalco’ is said to be an abbreviation of the Latin sine alcohole, which means “without alcohol”. Sinalco is the oldest soft drink brand in Europe (it was first marketed in 1902!), and is produced by Sinalco International, Germany. Perhaps the advertisement might give you a clue as to how these […]

No, we’re not trying to scare you 😉 Although not strictly a Psychological Warfare tool, like the air-dropped leaflets, this brochure certainly formed an early part of the psychological fight against the communists.  For those of you who remember the Malayan Emergency, have you seen similar posters in and around your neighbourhood?

Manufactured by Shibata Industrial Co. Ltd and distributed by Taiwo Trading (Penang) likely before Independence, this manual paddy treadle thresher definitely requires a bit of effort or footwork to say the least. Those who have used threshers like these will tell you it’s no easy task. Have you had to work for your meals (literally) […]

A book written by Lee Weng Onn and published in 2006 is the story of Nephew and the FMS Bar & Restaurant. To all those who used to frequent the FMS Bar & Restaurant I’m sure you’ll remember Nephew, the barman well. Do share with us, what’s your fondest memory of Nephew and the FMS […]

Toolbox? Not quite…it’s actually a set of instruments used by draughtsmen. Yes, before computers took over, building plans and such were drawn by hand! This Rotring set is boxed in a leatherette case with a velvet lining; incidentally Rotring is a German technical writing and drawing instruments company based in Hamburg.

The form above is that of a Hire and Purchase Agreement issued by the Eu Tong Sen Finance (Malaya) Ltd. for the purchase of an Austin 7 Super Saloon in the year 1962 at the cost price of $4338.25. How many of you have heard of the Eu Tong Sen Finance Ltd?  We’d like to hear from […]

I can’t help but wonder if the label was meant to say ‘lychee’ instead of ‘lichee’. But then again, I could be wrong…maybe ‘lichee’ was the type of leaf / herb added to the tea? I’m sure the Chinese tea lovers out there would know better 😉

At 18 years old, this gentleman started working in a tin mine under the guidance of his uncle. Years later, using his accumulated savings, he managed to buy the Chung Thye Phin Villa and helped convert it into a private hospital. Ever the philanthropist, this same gentleman also set up Shen Jai High School. I […]

…from tomorrow, anyway. Yes…tomorrow – 20th January – will mark 144 years since the Treaty of Pangkor was signed. Unfortunately we do not have a photo of the Treaty signing. This photograph was taken on Pangkor Island, 9 months after the treaty was signed, in September 1875 when Sir William Jervois visited Perak. At that time Perak […]

Yes, that’s what I’d like to ask our local coffee drinkers out there. How come this particular bag of coffee came in 11 kilos? I always thought such goods were packed in either even numbered weights or in multiples of 5 (or basic 1 kilo or 1/2 kilo). Could it be a misprint? Or, did this […]

For those who are still wondering, her name is Lin Dai. Here she is featured on a Shaw Brothers Calendar – for the month of January, 1963. What we’d like to know is: if YOU had a chance to produce a calendar with pictures of celebrities, who would you feature? You’re allowed to have more […]

Our donor Alan Steel shared the following story with us: “Xmas day, we entertained the children from the local Dr. Barnados home. Staff Battersby turned this jeep into a train to take them on a tour.” According to Alan, the one dressed as Santa (in picture) was Battersby himself!   

Our featured celebrity was educated at ACS, Ipoh. He studied medicine in Singapore and subsequently spent his entire working life in Ipoh. In recognition for his contributions to the medical profession, this gentleman was given the highest award of Honorary Membership (in 1984) by the Malayan Medical Association. Besides his dedication to his job, he […]

    A rechargeable battery, storage battery, secondary cell, or accumulator is a type of electrical battery which can be charged, discharged into a load, and recharged many times, as opposed to a disposable or primary battery, which is supplied fully charged and discarded after use. It is composed of one or more electrochemical cells. The term “accumulator” is used as it accumulates and stores energy through a […]

Heard of a place called Pekan Getah? It is said to be about 2km from Tapah town. I’m sure some of you out there have a story or two to tell us about Pekan Getah. This photo shown above was probably taken in 1958, during the time the New Village was set up.  

After the Second World War and the Japanese occupation, parts of Malaya were devastated and the need for a similar organisation spawned the introduction of the British Red Cross into Malaya. The earliest Branches were set up in Sabah (then North Borneo ) in 1948. The first Red Cross Branch in Peninsular Malaysia was established […]

We’d like to thank Vivien Lian for this photograph. She found it at an abandoned building along Tambun Road (a stone’s throw away from Sekolah Raja Perempuan Taayah). Do you recognise the people in it? Or, perhaps you recognise the building in the background? We’d like to hear your thoughts…

This is the Meikai EL, a camera introduced in 1963 by Togodo, a minor japanese camera manufacturer. This simple and cheap camera was targeted at a young audience and was often sold in toy and stationary stores back then. With that said, what was your memory of your first camera? Come and share them with […]

No, they are not part of the cast from the Whoopi Goldberg movie 🙂 The only thing we know about these nuns is that one of them is Rev. Mother St. Jeanne. The question is which one is she? This picture was taken in the 1950s at Batu Gajah Convent…we need your help, Convent Girls!

Not to be confused with the German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner, this souvenir is from Wagner Piano – a local company set up by A C Hoe and his wife. Now, the mystery: if you look at the picture closely, you’ll notice the words “established since 1920”. But according to the Wagner Piano story, this […]

  As the story goes…… “in 1889 two brothers, Édouard Michelin and André Michelin, ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France. One day, a cyclist whose pneumatic tire needed repair turned up at the factory. The tire was glued to the rim, and it took over three hours to remove and repair the tire, which then needed to be […]

…the Ipoh Trade School? It was founded in 1930, to what we know. The initial intake was 25 young men of which 23 were Malays with 1 Chinese and 1 Indian. The Chief Instructor was transferred from the Federated Malay States Railways Central Workshops and his assistant from the Kuala Lumpur Trade School. The students’ […]

Photograph courtesy of Irene John Have you ever heard of the Jubilee Transport Company or rode on their buses before? The company was running a bus service from Lumut to Ipoh from 1932 to 1935. Incidentally, an article from The Straits Times dated 24th of July 1937 read “Ipoh To Have New Bus Service. If […]

This lady needs no introduction….I think EVERYONE knows who she is 😉 Rose Chan was born Chan Wai Chang in Soochow, China, in 1925 to acrobat parents. She arrived in Kuala Lumpur at the tender age of six. Despite having no formal education, she demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit at an early age of 12 by […]

Before the invention of stainless steel, knives were very hard to keep clean and shiny. If they got too wet, they would get rusty and water could leak down into the handles, which were made of wood or bone. After simply wiping the knives after use, Victorian maids would use this special knife-cleaning machine to […]

Today’s celebrity was born in 1880 in Fuzhou (Fujian Province, China). Considered to be one of the elite Chinese in Ipoh, he became the Secretary and Attorney of Towkay Foo Choo Choon. He was also very influential in the Perak Chamber of Commerce. In 1924 he joined the Kinta Sanitary Board; 3 years later he […]

  Our featured Celebrity was born in Wuhua, Guandong, China. He began as an apprentice in the Menglembu Tin Mines. His hard work eventually paid off when he could afford to run his own tin mines. He was also quite a philanthropist. Among his many good deeds include: Treasurer of Yuk Choy High School, and […]

  Ais krim potong anybody? The weather in Ipoh has just been crazy for the past few weeks, scorching hot in the afternoon, heavy thunderstorms in the evening. We remember seeing a man on his motorbike selling ais krim potong near the roundabout of Persiaran Greenhill a couple of years back, we haven’t seen him […]

….with a tin mine in Tambun! According to our picture-source (Heritage Asia, Feb-Apr 2008), the above mine was opened by Leong Fee in 1902. Leong Fee of course was also the founder of Han Chin Villa (Han Chin Pet Soo). Pssst…despite Han Chin Pet Soo being a gentlemen’s club back then, you can actually visit […]

 Dear all, we are saddened by the passing of Lee Siew San better known as Mrs. Hew, one of Dato’ Lat’s iconic characters in his Kampung Boy series. A wake will be held tonight and tomorrow night at the Our Mother Of Perpetual Help Church’s (Ipoh Garden) Funeral Parlour and her funeral will take place […]

This picture was taken off Heritage Asia magazine, back in 2004. The description reads as: Perak, as in many parts of Malaysia, has a large number of pre-war and colonial shop-houses. Distinctive in their decorative sturdy look with sculpted openings and large columns guarding the shaded five-foot ways, they were the mainstay of retail business […]

Looks like a wooden bird, but it’s not quite a wooden bird. This is said to be a tool used in paddy planting. Does anyone here know HOW it’s used? UPDATE: We received this from our reader Ngai, who recently visited the Rice Production Museum in Kedah. Apparently this tool pictured above is known as […]

Have you heard of this company before – Sharikat Sim Lim (M)? It used to be along Brewster Road (as seen in the picture above). For those who are still staring at this picture in disbelief, yes…Brewster Road used to be a two-way street once…. We thank Chan Kok Keong for the above picture.

…a collector of those Nestle labels? The one we have below had a simple recipe printed on the back. My aunt and I used to collect some of these back then. Then I decided to paste them in an old diary. Do they still print such things today? On a lighter note…were you also a recipe-hoarder? […]

I’ve never heard of such a thing, but apparently it did exist once. I’m talking about paraffin gauze. Any First-Aid experts out there? Perhaps you could share more details about this product. From what I found out, the paraffin prevents the gauze from sticking to the open wound…

 Ever wondered how people back then managed to fill up tin bags without spilling the contents? Believe it or not, this simple looking funnel played a key role in keeping the tin ore in the bags. These work similar to how an oil funnel would work. Here’s how things work: First you insert the funnel into the bag, […]

We took this off the 1977 edition of the AMCIAN – the Ave Maria Convent school magazine. This is an aerial view of the school building and the surroundings. We’ve had a lot of feedback from SMI, ACS, NTPS, and even HIJ Convent Alumni over the years…but not much from the Ave Maria Convent girls. […]

The photograph above is part of a set of Leong Fu’s, ‘The Chinese Kung-Fu Karato (Atado)’ which was generously donated to us by Dato’ Lim Si Boon. The entire set consists of a promotional booklet (small booklet in the centre) and a 21 part series of illustrated loose sheet instructions. According to, no copies have been recorded by the Online […]

  Stuffy noses ‘fear’ this very potent rub….I wonder if their original formula has changed over the years. I recall a recent purchase of a small bottle of Vicks which was made in India. I don’t know what was added to the original formula, as I found the scent was different from the usual bottles […]

The photographs in this blog post  are from the collection of photographs that were generously donated to us by Tom Eadie, who served throughout 1955 to 1956 in Malaya. The “A Troop Experience” is an 8 part series which we have recently put up on our database, the entries are of Tom Eadie, a retired Bombadier (Bdr) […]

Have you used these to write? Perhaps not…maybe your parents or grandparents did? Anyhow, these were what I would call the ‘early pencils’. And of course, you used them on slate boards (not paper, as they were rather costly back then). Incidentally, I looked up ‘slate pencils’ on YouTube…and to my surprise, there were many videos of […]

  Yes! Tripadvisor travellers worldwide have voted Ipoh World at Han Chin Pet Soo into the Top 1% of Attractions Worldwide. Ipoh’s Number 1 attraction since April 2015 continues to go from strength to strength and is also voted the 4th Best Museum in Malaysia! With a Certificate of Excellence and voted the Traveller’s Choice, isn’t it time […]

No, we’re not selling these! But do any of you remember the time when such souvenirs were popular? I once saw a souvenir plate / saucer (somewhere in my grandfather’s cupboard) with a picture of Prince Charles, Princess Diana and little Prince William (issued at the time of Prince William’s birth). I do wonder if […]

Picture courtesy of Tom Eadie Here’s something to start your Monday engines, this is a picture of a sort of busy street taken in 1955. Take a wild guess where this could be, not the street but the place. I’ll give you a clue, it was named the capitol of Perak after the assassination of […]

No, it’s not another racket (or racquet, if you prefer). What do you think it is?     STOP PRESS: We thank Ignatius Chiew for sending us these pictures – of a back beater!   This object has a rattan handle and round, vinyl ‘ball’ which is stuffed with cotton. The second picture is a […]

picture from: Rosemary Palmer Remember the Home Guards? Here we have troop-in-training. The gentleman in white shorts is our donor’s father – M L Bernacchi. I’m sure some of you remember seeing the Home Guards on patrol, especially if you were one of those who lived in the New Villages during the Malayan Emergency.

We received this photograph from Harchand (one of our Readers) some time ago. However, we do not know the names of these gentlemen. Do you recognise them? We were told that this photograph was taken somewhere in Perak (where in Perak, we haven’t the faintest idea 🙁 ). Come on, History-buffs….put those thinking caps on! […]

Sometimes, families make day trips / weekend trips during school holidays and such. I wonder if this how these children found themselves posing next to the canon (picture below). Do you recognise the building in the background? I’m making a wild guess and saying it’s probably part of a museum. But I could be wrong […]

Have you heard about the ‘King of Trishaws’? We’re talking about Boon Eng Keat, who was born in Sumatra in 1928 and came to Malaya in 1933 with his family. His early years were spent working at ‘Sin Meng Hong’, a bicycle shop at No. 8 Anderson Road, Ipoh. In the years following the Second […]

  Some go for sweets, some go for salty snacks. Yet there are others who crave something like this (picture above) – Dry Curry Noodles! Our photographer had this (at RM 5.30 per serving) from the Ma Jie curry mee stall in Restoran Yee Lock, opposite Bridal Collection along Anderson Road. So, dear Readers……what’s YOUR […]

Picture taken from Tin Phil Sinnappan’s Facebook Post Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery passed away peacefully today at 12:18pm. Wake services tonight, 22nd of March and tomorrow night, 23rd March is at 8pm. His funeral will be at 10:30am on Thursday, 24th of March at St. Michael’s Church. Dato’ Brother Vincent has been associated with St. […]

Above is a type of Vehicle lubricant manufactured by Shell but we are not too sure which category it falls under. From the design of the logo, we believe that this particular lubricant was manufactured between 1955 to 1961. The unique design of the canister is reflected through the spout at the top as well […]

A simple altar with offerings to the Jade Emperor Hokkien New Year is celebrated every year on the Ninth Day of Chinese New Year. Some may wonder, why the ninth day, why not the first day? Legend has it that during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Hokkiens were attacked by bandits and to save themselves, they […]

Not much longer now til the sound of fire crackers fill the skies marking a New Year in the Chinese Calender. Reunion dinners are where most families are at on this New Year’s Eve and the dish above is a traditional yet unmissable one on this auspicious occasion. The “Bangkuang Char” sometimes also called the […]

It’s beginning to look like Chinese New Year, everywhere you go. You hear songs of prosperity, at every mall that you go, its the cheerful kind that sets your hearts aglow. With Chinese New Year being less than two weeks away, preparations for the auspicious celebration would have started for most. Traditional cookies like “Kuih […]

 Picture courtesy of Janet Ferguson & Nellie Cumming Field trips are usually educational and fun. Visiting an open cast tin mine? Couldn’t have been more educational and fun could it? A picture of Nellie and her classmates on a field trip to one of the open cast tin mines (unnamed). Where have you been for your field […]

It was definitely a pleasant surprise to have the boy and gals from the Ipoh Classic Car Club in Old Town this morning. They parked their beauties at the corner of the Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea museum which is of course right next to our very own Han Chin Pet Soo. Guess I’ll just […]

About a month ago, a mysterious fire broke out at the shop lot behind the former Rex Cinema and razed the two vacant lots (top picture). The lot across the street was also razed by another fire, 3 years prior. This lot has since faced major re-development and the first picture at the bottom left shows […]

The car-lovers out there are probably drooling over this beauty! Yes, it’s the two-seater Ford V8. We thank Sally Everist (our donor) who sent us this quite some time ago. This picture is part of the collection of the late J M Allison – who was killed by Communists, sparking the start of the Malayan Emergency. […]

Rally control in 1957 Mobilgas Economy Run. Collin Dowset extreme right. Loris Goring (donor of photograph) co driver with folder checking in at one of the control Any motor sports fans out there recall the good ‘ol days of rallies and racing? Our donor Loris Goring shared the following with us (via email): I was  […]

The statue of Saint John Baptist De La Salle on the gable of St. Michael’s Institution A reporter from The Star newspaper, Christina Koh wrote about the story of how the brothers at St. Michael’s Institution rushed to save a large bronze statue of Saint John Baptist De La Salle by removing it, loading it […]

picture from: Star Newspaper Recently, there was a report about the public pool (near the Perak Stadium) being closed for renovations. From what I’ve observed before it closed, this pool is rather popular among Ipoh-ites – especially the little ones. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know WHEN the pool was built?

In the photo are Marea Smith (our donor) and C.A. Thurling. This was taken at the Ipoh Airport back in 1953. We’d like to draw your attention to the wooden bracket around the racket in Marea’s hand. If I’m not mistaken, the racket was placed between the wooden brackets and the four screws at the […]

After featuring mostly Chinese dishes in our previous blog posts, we thought of doing something different this time by featuring the ‘Garlic Naan Set’ which usually comes with a huge piece of tandoori chicken from “Restoran Kapitan Briyani Claypot”, located between Jalan Kledang Utara and Jalan Lahat. Over the years quite a number of Northern Indian […]

Since we missed our food blog yesterday, we decided to feature a rather popular dish – the famed Chicken Rice! Apparently, this simple yet delicious dish comes in many varieties. The common type being rice served with the signature roasted chicken or steamed chicken; some stalls offer other side dishes together with the chicken rice. […]

For those of you who remember, we featured this photo in our Falim Exhibition two years ago. What’s fascinating about this hawker on wheels, in that he’s determined to peddle his wares – in spite of the traffic along the road 🙂 I wonder what he was selling. On another note, does anyone recognise the […]

Source: Jamal Hashim Some of you may recognise this object. The others are probably wondering what this is 😉 Well, for those of you who are clueless…..why don’t you make a guess? We received this (picture below) from LY Tai. Note that this product cost 36 cents!

“Lady Justice is most often depicted with a set of scales typically suspended from her left hand, upon which she measures the strengths of a case’s support and opposition.She is also often seen carrying a double-edged sword in her right hand, symbolizing the power of Reason and Justice, which may be wielded either for or […]

donated by Lim Soo Ken Did you know that the character in the picture above does not exist in the Chinese dictionary? The character ‘Ngai’ which means ‘Me’ in Hakka. The image above was on the wall of the Hakka museum of China (Meizhou). Any other Hakka characters you know of that doesn’t exist in the Chinese […]

artifact donor: Jamal Hashim The William Mitchell heritage in making pen nibs began whilst working with his brother John Mitchell in the early 1820s. William Mitchell established his own business in 1825 to become one of the leading nib manufacturers and famous for lettering pens. Almost 100 years later William Mitchell merged with Hinks, Wells […]

photo from: Michael Ho   By looking at the background, you’ll probably guess that this was taken in St. Michael’s Institution and the man in white is none other than Brother Ultan Paul.From the short description at the back of the photo we only know that this is the “Champion House for Swimming” in 1970, any idea which ‘House’ this was […]

Click to enlarge We thank Charlie Choong for this photograph. As written on the photo itself, the year is 1970. What we’d like to know is where this photo was taken. If anyone could help us translate the Mandarin, we’d be grateful. Perhaps, some of you out there may even recognise the people in the […]

Have you heard of the Hopoh Association? The Hopoh Association is formed by members from the Hopoh area of Guangdong, China. They speak the Hakka dialect but with the Hopoh intonation which is quite different. The picture below shows the Perak Hopoh Association, celebrating their 9th anniversary. The building in the background is along Jalan […]

This is not part of our food-column….rather, we’re just curious to know more about Hoong Tho Restaurant (see picture below). picture courtesy of: Yuen Chie Onn This picture was taken on 8th September 1957 –  when the restaurant was decorated to celebrate the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn Festival. From what we were told, this business (whose […]

picture from Larry Sawyer Here’s another one from the same donor who sent us those Malim Nawar photos. Looks like these men (and women too!) are in the midst of an interesting conversation. Note also the table layout – I see some teacups and some fancy glasses. Not forgetting the rather unique floral arrangement too […]