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A Selection From Sophie Gan - Put A Tiger In Your Tank
"Put a Tiger in Your Tank" was a long-serving slogan of Esso petrol and over the years they have provided a selection of advertising gimmicks to publicise their product. The photograph taken in Pasir Puteh, Ipoh shows one of the most popular "Tiger" items - the blowup tiger that would always stand up no matter how hard you punched it, the secret being that the base was filled with water.
Our donor Sophie tells us that :
"The boys in the photograph (left to right) are my brother, cousin and neighbour. They are standing facing my house in Jalan Pasir Puteh - the building behind them used to belong to the late Dato Cheah Fah”.
From the historical point of view there are several interesting points in the picture that provide detail of life in Ipoh in 1969. First look at the untarred road with grass and weeds sprouting in profusion on both sides and the leaning and patched wooden fence.
Then, notice the footwear. Except for school or work, when shoes were worn, it was the ubiquitous ’slippers’ (flip-flops!) for the young and old and for school the shoes were canvas. The other common footwear at the time was the wooden clogs. These were more common around the wet markets as the height of the clog kept the wearer’s feet well above the dirt and mud! Particularly as the slippers had a tendency to splash water and dirt back on to your legs when walking on wet ground!
From our readers comments it is clear that most young people used the tiger as a punch bag for practising their boxing technique. One family even took it swimming where it actually stood on the water. Our blogger Sofia put it very clear when she wrote :
"My most memorable childhood toy! I must have punched it 1000 times!"