Thursday, March 31, 2011

MAS 25th Anniversary - 25 Dollars

A couple of doubles for sale. Email me for details!

Singapore Orchid Series 100 Dollar Banknote by HSS Without Seal

The second variety after Dr. Goh's in terms of collectors value.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Singapore Ship Series 50 Dollars

This post will feature Singapore's Ship Series 50 Dollars. As these notes are still fairly common and not very much sought after (currently), not many people would know that there are actually three varieties of this beautiful note.

The third series. Dark blue in colour with silver security thread.

The second series. Light blue colour with silver security thread.

The first series. Light blue colour with normal black security thread (visible when put through light).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vintage Working Singapore Telecom Biege Rotary Phone

These are 2 vintage phones which I have on display in my room. The left red push button one maybe familiar to most of the Singaporeans above 25 - 30 years old. This red phone was an iconic phone issued by the Singapore Telecom back in the 1980s. This phone is dated 1981.

The beige rotary dial phone on the right was also issued by the Singapore Telecom. This phone is used back in the 1950s - 60s, when rotary dial phones were widely used before being replaced by the push button phones. The rotary phone can still be used, but for those people who have converted their home lines to Starhub Digital Phone, the phone cannot be used to call out anymore as they do not support pulse dialing. However, we still can receive calls using the rotary dial phone.

Rotary Dial History

The rotary dial is a device mounted on or in a telephone or switchboard that is designed to send electrical pulses, known as pulse dialing, corresponding to the number dialed. The early form of the rotary dial used lugs on a finger plate instead of holes. A patent was filed on August 20, 1896 by employees of Almon Strowger, namely, A. E. Keith and the brothers John and Charles Erickson. The Patent No. 597,062 was granted on January 11, 1898.

The modern version of the rotary dial with holes was first introduced in 1904 but only entered service in the Bell System in 1919. The rotary dial was gradually supplanted by Touch Tone dialing, introduced at the 1962 World's Fair, which uses a keypad instead of a dial.

Some telephone systems in the US no longer recognize rotary dialing by default, but will only support push-button phones instead, in which case the rotary dialing system would have to be ordered from the telephone company as a special feature, to support older customer equipment. However most actually do accept dial phoning without fail.

Vintage Singer Radio

This is a wooden box vintage radio that I have. I like its design with its selectors being mounted on a transparent panel. Singer is actually a brand famous for manufacturing sewing machines, thus a Singer radio is quite an interesting find.

For those who are interested in the history of radios, you can read more here.

Peranakan Style Chinese Wedding Basket

I have a very gorgeous Peranakan Style Chinese Wedding Basket in my vintage item collection as well. It is handcrafted by bamboo with elaborate designs and decorations around the sides of the basket.

Some Background

Betrothal 过大礼/纳彩 Up to a month and at least three days before the wedding day, the groom and a friend or a matchmaker will deliver the betrothal gifts on the auspicious date chosen.

Western and Chinese wedding cakes and peanut candies, together with two bottles of brandy, at least six tins of canned ham and even number of oranges are included in the wedding gift baskets. Two pairs of dragon and phoenix candles 龙凤烛are also included. Also included is gold jewellery from the groom's parents to the bride, such as the Cantonese Dragon and phoenix bangle 龙凤琢 or the teochew's four items of gold四点金.

Some include the bride's price with the betrothal gifts, whereas some will only present it when the groom fetches the bride.

Vintage Smith's Electric Clocks

These are my collection of Smith's electric clocks. The first one is a bakelite (an early polymer) model which I estimate to be manufactured in the early 1950s. The second one is a more recent model made of white plastic which I estimate to be about 30-40 years old. They are still functioning very well!

A Brief History

In 1931 Smiths, then called S Smith and Sons (motor accessories) Ltd., entered the domestic clock market and formed a new company, Smiths English Clocks Ltd., as the Clock and Watch division of S Smith & Sons (Motor Accessories) Ltd. Smiths were one of the first companies to produce synchronous electric clocks. These were put on the market towards the end of 1931.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Singapore Millennium Series 2 Dollars

Many Singaporeans may not know that besides having the paper & plastic versions of the portrait 2 dollars, there is actually another variety, which is the millennium issue. In year 2000, the portrait 2 dollars was issued with 2 red Singapore millennium logo and a single number as the prefix. Sets of these commemorative notes were packaged and released to consumers, while others were put into circulation for a year.

In this post, I will feature a set of the portrait millennium 2 dollars notes with the same serial. The logo with the numbers 0,1,2 are actually the prefixes (current notes have 6 digit serial numbers). I do have a few sets of these notes for sale, 1 set with 3 notes of the same serial is going for 15 dollars. Please email me at if you are interested!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1935 Straits Settlements 1 Dollar

Singapore in the Straits Settlements refers to a period in the history of Singapore from 1826 to 1942, during which Singapore was part of the Straits Settlements together with Penang and Malacca. From 1830 to 1867 the Straits Settlements was a residency, or subdivision, of the Presidency of Bengal, in British India. In 1867, the Straits Settlements became a separate Crown colony, directly overseen by the Colonial Office in London. The period saw Singapore establish itself as an important trading port and developed into a major city with rapid increase in population.

British rule was suspended in February 1942, when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Singapore during World War II.