A Singaporean man has found that a gift given to him in 1970 has sparked a new passion for restoring antique technology.
Harry Ang was given an antique telephone in 1970 and his curiosity for determining how it worked started his new interest, collecting and restoring antique technology. He began to purchase antique phones from Europe and then started collecting old photographs.
He now has 2,000 antique telephones and 200 gramophones, all stored in his small home in western Singapore, which houses spare parts to mend more mechanical antiques.
Many items in Ang’s collection were brought to Singapore by Europeans coming to live in South Asia in the 19th century. When they eventually returned back to Europe, they tended to leave most items behind. These pieces are in high demand by collectors, but this also fuelled a trade in fake antiques and cheap replicas.
Ang believes that only items that are 100 years old or more should be called antiques. He recently sold many of his items, mainly to South Asian collectors. He said:
“I really love my collection and want these objects to find a home where they will really be looked after. Things will keep on improving but we cannot forget the past. Future achievements will depend mainly on the past.”
Mechanical objects such as phones and gramophones may be found at Lancashire antique dealers. You will also find antique desks and tables that can be used to display them on.
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