Thanks to Marc Tierolf who attended us on the electricity pole at the bridge over the Ciliwung River near the Hotel Aryaduta in Prapatan. Despite a few new enforcements, new convectors and different warning signs, the basis structure of this electricity pole is still the same as on the historic picture from 1941. The photographer stood at the edge of the bridge and was looking westwards towards Jalan Menteng Raya (formerly Menteng or Oud Menteng) and Jalan Ridwan Rais (formerly Prapatan Gambir) which started at the end of the road we see on both pictures.
Jalan Arief Rachman Hakim
The street sign near the electricity pole says “Prapattan” which was the name of this stretch of road in 1941. It now has the less romantic name Jalan Arief Rachman Hakim. To the left outside both pictures, the road splits in a southwesterly direction towards Jalan Menteng Raya with the Tugu Tani monument in the park in between. In 1941 there were still houses and other buildings located in this triangular shaped area in between both roads.
Cars making a U-turn at the Harmoni intersection in front of the Bank Tabungan Negara 40 years ago. At that time the building was still in exactly its original state, before the newly built high rise headquarters were built behind this building in the 1990s and two parts of the front facade on the ground floor were removed to allow cars to enter and exit the grounds through the old building. These days there are basically two big gaps in front of the historic bulding.
It was since 1927 owned by the Postspaarbank (Postal Savings Bank) who modernised it in 1930. During World War II (1942-1945) the bank was named Tjokin Kjokoe. Between 1945 and 1947 it had two entrances: to the left “Bank Tabungan Pos” for Indonesian languaged bank account holders, to the right “Postspaarbank” for bank account holders with a Dutch background. In 1950 it was officially renamed as Bank Tabungan Pos, until it obtained its current name in 1963. Since 2017 the name “Postspaarbank” has returned on top of the red roof of the building again.
Henk van Rinsum
The photographer in 1980 was Henk van Rinsum. He stood in front of the former Hotel des Galeries on the corner of Jalan Hayam Wuruk and Jalan Juanda. Outside this photo to the left, one would be able to admire former society De Harmonie, which entered its last 5 years of its existence; the building was sadly demolished in 1985.
The very oldest pictures of Batavia/Jakarta in full colour date from 1937. James Anthony FitzPatrick’s series “The Voice of the Globe”, of which yesterday we posted footage from 1939, already pictured Java with a Technicolor camera in 1937. Well, it was broadcasted in American cinemas in March 1937 so it could well be that we are looking here at colour images from 1936. It is part of a combined episode “Glimpses of Java and Ceylon” however we will only show Java here.
We see footage of Kali Besar, the Chinese quarter, Molenvliet and the famous ‘rijsttafel’ (rice table) at Hotel des Indes. Including attractive glasses of cold beer in colour served in the garden of this famous Batavia/Jakarta landmark of the past. Enjoy these unique pictures… the oldest footage in colour we have of our beloved city.
Coloured footage of Batavia/Jakarta from before World War II is rare, very rare. American moviegoers could experience the world in colour in the late 1930s, thanks to James Anthony FitzPatrick (1894-1980) who travelled the world for his series “The Voice of the Globe”. Using his Technicolor camera he captured picturesque sites and the few-minute long narratives were shown in the cinema just before the main movie.
His simple, straightforward looks at what was best and most interesting in a location allowed a generation of moviegoers to experience the world from their hometown moviehouses. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributed the series under the umbrella title “FitzPatrick Traveltalks.” The first colour film was shot in 1934 and called “Holland in Tulip Time”. FitzPatrick visited Java with his Technicolor camera twice: in 1937 and 1939. The 1939 footage shows Batavia/Jakarta with the Sunda Kelapa harbour, Pasar Ikan, the Amsterdam Gate and Molenvliet. There is also a short section at the end where he visits Buitenzorg/Bogor.
An interesting documentary about the history of insurance companies in Indonesia on Kompas TV this week. Featuring Sven Verbeek Wolthuys of Lost Jakarta whose great-grandfather Wim van Garderen (1881-1943) was Director of NILLMIJ in Indonesia from 1919-1934. NILLMIJ was the colonial predecessor of today’s Jiwasraya. More on this in the book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.