Well-known abroad, little known here

Well-known abroad, little known here
50 Made-in-Singapore products by the NHB
These home-grown brands are among those which will feature in an exhibition called 50 Made-in-Singapore products by the NHB, slated to open at the National Museum of Singapore in September 2015 as part of the nation’s golden jubilee celebrations.

SINGAPORE - A six-decade-old crocodile tannery which is a supplier to European fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton; a 77-year-old company which last year saw worldwide sales of 250 million bottles and cans of its cooling water from a 1937 recipe meant for coolies.

These home-grown brands - Heng Long tannery and Wen Ken Group's Three Legs Cooling Water - may have made their mark overseas but not many Singaporeans know of them.

"Few Singaporeans realise that if they own a crocodile-skin bag it was most likely dyed in their very own backyard," said Heng Long's executive director Koh Choon Heong.

An exhibition called 50 Made-in-Singapore products by the National Heritage Board (NHB) hopes to change this.

Slated to open at the National Museum of Singapore in September next year as part of the nation's golden jubilee celebrations, the exhibition will feature these brands alongside Axe Brand Universal Oil, Boncafe Coffee and Tiger Brand soya sauce and chilli sauce.

Mr Alvin Tan, group director of policy at NHB, hopes the exhibition will raise public awareness and appreciation of Singapore's home-grown products.

"Many of these products are excellent examples of Singapore's early pioneering spirit and showcase how perseverance and inventiveness can ensure product longevity," he said.

Mr Tan's team started their research project in 2012 by scouring old advertisements, newspaper articles and company annual reports for locally made products that could tell the story of the growth of the Republic's manufacturing industry.

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