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House of Museums: Old Trades Gallery

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This excellent small museum is the result of a private collection becoming unmanageable and the collector needing more space. What better way to store your treasures than share them in a museum?

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Exhibited over two floors of a restored shophouse, the Old Trades Gallery recreates vignettes of traditional trades operating in Melaka from the 1950s to 1970s. The mini-shopfronts display an extensive and obviously passionately collected array of memorabilia. A traditional sundry shop takes you to an era before 7-eleven with a terrific assemblage of old packaging, a time when cigarettes came in tins and were sold to kids.

Many brands are international, but some are uniquely Malaysian. There are cans of Ovaltine and Horlicks, Hacks cough drops and old magazines. A “buku 555” (555 brand notebook) is well known in Malaysia, used for writing debts at a time when you could wait until payday to pay the bill. We were fascinated by an old-style typewriter that typed Chinese ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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