The first set of historical images of the Singapore River is the creative persons ‘ feelings from the nineteenth century. The images showed the Singapore River at the country now known as Boat Quay. By comparing the images in 1830 and in the 1840s, it is clear that the figure of sampans has increased in figure and the burden and unloading of goods is more seeable in the images in 1840s. This may reflect the addition in merchandising done in Singapore, and therefore, the figure of merchandising ships that have called in Singapore. This can be seen from the image where the large ships harbored outside the oral cavity of the Singapore River. The addition could be attributed to the strategic location of Singapore along the trade path between India and China and the free trade position of Singapore.
Judging from the figure of boats parked on the left side of the Singapore River, which is the south bank of Boat Quay, it may be concluded that the burden and unloading of goods is done chiefly on the south bank of Boat Quay. This is likely due to the being of an Orang Laut small town on the north bank of Boat Quay and this may besides be influenced by the Raffles ‘ Town Plan which allocates the country North of Singapore River for authorities usage and the south country for commercial usage.
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The north bank was ab initio allocated for the Europeans to construct their godowns and set downing sites, but this did non happen[ 1 ]. The embankment along the Singapore River is shown in the images from 1930 and it may hold been built after a study of a commission, set up by Stamford Raffles in the late 1920s, found that the south bank was suited for commercialism and edifice[ 2 ]. These events may hold besides led to the concentration of trading on the south bank.
In the images in the 1840s, the labourers and coolies featured are likely chiefly Chinese. This is because of the manner they are dressed: the straw chapeaus and their garb, and besides the manner they tied their hair pig-tailed. This is besides because the country on the south bank has been allocated for the Chinese commercial zone. The wooden edifices portrayed in the images in 1930 have given manner to brick masonry edifices. This could be partially to cut down the hazard of fire jeopardy and to protect the valuable goods stored in these edifices which serve as warehouses for the bargainers.
In the images, the Government Hill, the abode of Stamford Raffles and the governors, is seeable from the Singapore River. The location may hold been chosen as it is the highest point in the country where the governors have clear position of the activities in the Singapore River and the seaport where the large ships docked. These images and the tax write-offs derived may hold indicated that the purpose of the creative person is to demo the allotment of countries based on the Raffles ‘ Town Planning and the addition in trade in Singapore.
( B ) The 2nd set of images of the Singapore River is the post cards from the early twentieth century. The images focus on the country around the North Boat Quay, perchance between Coleman and Elgin Bridges. Loading and droping of goods is possible here after the filling of the swamps. By comparing the image of North Boat Quay in 1907 and 1930, it can be seen that the map of this stretch has been unchanged.
The North Boat Quay is the narrow portion of the Singapore River and therefore, it can be congested with boats droping and lading goods. Bullock carts are seen along the river, waiting to transport goods to the warehouses. This may bespeak that the warehouses are no longer restricted along the river. Some may be situated farther inland due to the addition in demand for warehouse infinite and therefore, this may bespeak an addition in trade in Singapore. These bullock carts may perchance be transporting these goods to the new Keppel installations, which opened in 1852.[ 3 ]
In the 3rd image, it is shown that the Boat Quay country with its wider country may hold been used for the bargemans to park their boats while waiting for the ships to come into the seaport or to lade goods to and from the North Boat Quay country. The big figure of boats seen here may besides mean the immense demand for such boats to lade and unload goods along the river and may be an indicant of the big figure of large ships coming to Singapore.
The edifices along the river seem to miss signage and expression undecorated. This may demo their deficiency of importance and likely, they were chiefly used as warehouses or residence halls for the coolies. These images and the tax write-offs may hold shown that the purpose of the lensman is to demo the addition in trade done in Singapore and the demand for more warehouse infinites to hive away valuable goods, more landing sites and boats for lading and droping of goods and the extension of the Singapore River farther into the North Boat Quay.
( degree Celsius ) The 3rd set of images of the Singapore River is the exposure from the 1970s and early 1980s. These images depict the life of a cooly adult male and his life conditions. From the images, some of the cooly work forces are of old age and they may hold been working in Singapore for a really long clip and they have since adapted to the working status here. The description of the cost of life could hold shown how low their wage is and how much they could afford to pass on their housing and nutrient.
From the images of the peddlers set up along the river and the conditions in the life quarters, they may hold shown the deficiency of hygiene criterion and the absence of proper waste direction as nutrient waste may be thrown into the river. The being of public lavatories may besides bespeak the absence of such installations in the life quarters and the authorities ‘s concerns for the demand for such proper installations. In one of the images, rubbish could be seen drifting on the river bespeaking the deficiency of cleanliness and perchance, trashs are non cleared from the river.
From the images in the 1980s, it can be seen that while the figure of boats still remains unchanged, the figure of coolies have decreased. This is perchance due to the gap of the Pasir Panjang piers and Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal, which have provided a better working status and higher wage for the labourers.
The usage of lorries with Cranes may hold shown a higher trust on machinery. This may besides explicate the decrease in the figure of coolies working at Singapore River. However, some coolies were still needed to unload and burden goods which may be delicate to be handled by the Cranes. The usage of lorries may besides bespeak the possibility that the warehouses are situated or relocated much further off from the river.
The shophouses are still been used as life quarters for the labourers, judging signifier the apparels hanged from the Windowss of the shophouses. This may besides bespeak that the river is still relevant in the trading of goods in Singapore, chiefly nature produce brought from the part, particularly from Indonesia.[ 4 ]
These images and the tax write-offs may hold shown that the purpose of the lensman is to portray the life of a cooly adult male and the deficiency of hygiene of the Singapore River. They besides show that the Singapore River is still used as burden and droping sites for the goods despite modern installations been provided at the new Keppel Harbor.
( vitamin D ) The last set of images of the Singapore River is the water-color pictures from the 1970s-80s. All the images portrayed pictures of the different type of boats used along the Singapore River. Some of the boats used are the Indian tongkangs and the Chinese twakows. Both of these boats have been used as they have deep and broad insides, which provide room to transport big figure of lading from the large ships that seaport outside the Singapore River to the landing sites along the river. Both types of boats was motorized in the mid of twentieth century. Previously, oars and poles were used to row the boats along the river.
The Chinese twakows are merely used since 1860s. Before that, the Indian tongkangs, driven by the Indian bargemans, dominated the Singapore River. After the reaching of the first Chinese immigrants, chiefly Hokkien from Fujian, the figure of Chinese bargemans and labourers increased. The forepart of the twakows is painted with eyes to enable the boats to ‘see ‘ danger in front. It is besides said to stand for the eyes of the Mazu, the goddess of the sea, who is said to protect fishermen and crewmans.
Other than the Hokkiens, the Teochews besides came to Singapore to work as labourers and bargemans. Because of their differences, the competition between the idioms was common over the ownership of the river breakwaters. It was more outstanding after the terminal of the Word War 2. The competition can be seen from the manner the boats are parked and tied together at the different breakwaters. It can besides be seen from the colour of the eyes in forepart of the boats. A boat belongs to a Hokkien if it is painted green and Teochew if it is painted ruddy. The images in this set have showed that the purpose of the creative persons is to demo the of import function played by these boats in the Singapore River as a trading Centre.
( vitamin E ) The function of the Singapore River since the reaching of Stamford Raffles in 1819 has changed over clip. Prior to being a trading port, it was the location of the Orang Laut small town. The Orang Laut small town was finally forced to travel as it was a hinderance to the increasing river traffic. Embankments were besides built to do the country more suited for commercial and edifice. The figure of people settling along the Singapore River besides increased as more immigrants come to Singapore to work as labourers and to merchandise their goods.
As the figure of ships comes to Singapore increased, the figure of goods traded besides increased and this demanded the demand for more boats to ferry the goods and for warehouse infinites to hive away these goods. Therefore, the trading activities had to be done further in the Singapore River at the North Boat Quay and warehouses were no longer restricted along the river.
These trading activities continued throughout until the twentieth century and yet, the function of the boats remains unchanged. They were still used to ferry goods from the ships to the warehouses and labourers were still hired to lade and unload goods from the boats. However, with the addition in trading activities, hygiene jobs such as river pollution and the deficiency of proper sanitation began to come up. The installations and the edifices along the Singapore River began to demo marks of age and have been overused. With technological developments, the nature and volume of trade have besides changed drastically. The demand for better and bigger port installations need to be addressed.
In 1977, the authorities of Singapore initiated the Clean River Project to clean up the Singapore River and to alter the river ‘s societal, cultural and economic landscape. In 1983, the Singapore River ‘s function of trade ended when all the igniters were removed from the river and moved to Pasir Panjang.[ 5 ]All trading activities and burden and unloading of goods are now done at the bigger container ship terminal situated largely in the South and West of Singapore.
The resettlement of the igniters and the trading activities has accentuated new silence and hush doing Singapore River characterless and unfertile. Therefore, in 1993, sub-planning of zones along the river was made with commercial entities replacing shophouses and godowns and some countries reserved for farther Restoration and renovations. Now, the country along the river is chiefly commerce and tourer trade with many eating houses and saloons.
Today, as one walks along the Singapore River, one could no longer see the many boats parked along the river and the labourers who would be lading and droping goods from these boats. One could no longer see apparels hanging outside the shophouses along the river, or lorries or bullock carts waiting along the river to transport the goods off. Now, the river is voided of all the boats except for the few which ferry tourists up and down the river, who take legion exposure of the shophouses along the river. Even the type of boats used has been replaced with modernised electrical vass.
The economic activities along the river have besides changed from trading to touristry. The shophouses are no longer seeable from the river as they are partly blocked by canopies for out-of-door dining country. Laborers and bargainers who used to wait along the river are replaced by tourers walking about or sitting at the dining country. The shophouses are now brilliantly lit at dark with colourful visible radiations to pull tourers to their premises. With eating houses and saloons busying these shophouses and the absence of a direct historical nexus between the new residents and the original residents: the merchandisers, it is difficult to conceive of the life of the river as a trading port.
It is clear that the focal point along the Singapore River has changed. In the yesteryear, the river used to be the focal point and it has created life along the river. Now, it seems like the shophouses and activities along the river are making life for the river. In the past, people used to be on the boats looking towards the shophouses. Now, the position has been reversed.
Visitors to the present Singapore River would non be able to see the Singapore River that the labourers and bargainers of the past encountered. While the physical memories of the past such as the shophouses and the boats still exist, it is difficult to conceive of the map of these entities and how busy and feverish the river were back so. Therefore, it is difficult for visitants and the present coevals of Singaporeans to appreciate the importance of Singapore River in its function in developing Singapore as a trading hub of the universe.