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Feb 15, 2012

Ways Done in the Past - Get connected

Does these two pictures look familiar?

Above is from "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg.

Below is the Nokia logo and the slogan "Connecting People". The Nokia Revolution: The Story of an Extraordinary Company That Transformed an Industry.


A long time ago, wireless telecommunication in Singapore was unheard of.

There was no such thing as wireless handphone, online handheld devices to connect on the internet wirelessly such as iPhone, iPad and what have you decades ago.

As entrepot trade in Singapore grew with import and export business, business telecommunication increases.

The businessman's buzzword in the 1950s was "speed of economic development" after the war and commerce accelerate the trade of goods and services with greater demand.

The businessman's byline was "Time is money. No money no talk. No talk no business. No business no profit".

In vernacular, "boh kin tang boh chia" (in Hokkien means "not fast cannot earn a living").

In the olden days of "snail-mail" could take weeks or even months for written letters to reach their destination.

Nokia's handphone advertising slogan "Connecting People".

Nowadays, "Get connected...with people, with the community, with business...with the extra-terresterial world ("Close Encounter of the Third Kind").

So many ways done in the past  for means of communication have changed and evolved over the years...visible, invisible, seen, unseen, concealed before the invention of many creative and innovative products are available now.

How do a little street, big streets, small villages, big towns in Singapore with rooftops of tall buildings, street lamps and five-foot way ceilings and corners which were dangling and clustered with all sorts of electrical, telecommunication cables, phone lines and wire for decades suddenly disappeared and became a neat and wireless but better connected as effectively, efficiently, faster and maybe cheaper?

View of trolley buses at Empress Place with the Anderson Bridge and Fullerton Building in the background. Introduced by the Singapore Traction Company (STC) in 1925, trolley buses had completely taken over from electric trams by 1927. Photo Credit: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

A wired, connected city in the 1950s








Public Telephone Booth


Telephone Operator Exchange

The nerve center of the "Eastern Extension Company", the predecessor of Singapore Telephone Board at Robinson Road in the 1950s.

Singapore Telecommunications Building, c 1977

Anyone remember the 1970 Hong Kong drama TV serial in Cantonese? Actress Loh Lan byline: "Chat leng yat siew jia, yeow meh yeh si fai ti kong?" ("Miss 701, if you have anything say quickly").

Please note that photos with "For online reference - viewing only" watermark are posted with courtesy photo credit of National Archives of Singapore.

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2 Comments:

Blogger lim said...

Just imagine the time when my kampong had only a public phone booth at the main road. Now, kids go to school with smartphones that even their parents don't quite know how to use.

February 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Very few residential telephones are found in the homes in the kampong in the 1960s.

Most telephone subscribers are for business purposes.

Here's an anecdote of a customer to a neighborhood shopkeeper to request for the use of his shop telephone.

Customer: "Towkay, please lend me your 'telephone' (in English) Note: The conversation in Hokkien except for the word 'telephone' which sounds like 'teh lee poon' (second book).

Towkay was reading a book of martial art stories.

Towkay: "I am just reading "tau jit poon" (first book), how can I lend you my "teh lee poon" (second book)???

March 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM  

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