Don’t get us wrong. We are not blogging about the Wizard of Oz where you will have Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow and the Tinman to name a few. We are going to blog about yet another classic trade that is popular throughout the world when there were no plastics yet. And the best thing is that this trade is still available in Taiping, at least.
Well, let us introduce to you to Mr. Phoon Oi Kong. He is the tinman that we are referring to. He is in the business of making tin products or can also be called a tinsmith (not sure whether there’s such a word). Back in the old days, this business is lucrative since the raw material, tin is widely available throughout Taiping and the demand for it was high.
According to Mr. Phoon his father started the business in 1965. During that time the demand for items made from tin was high because there were no plastics around. He then took over the business when his father passed away and operate it until today.
With the skills he has, items that are normally being made are pails, baking trays, funnels, containers and wooden or charcoal stoves. The demands for these items are coming from local hawkers and also construction workers that still prefer to use tin materials.
Sadly however, Mr. Phoon end his chat by saying that after him, nobody else will be taking over his business.
So if you are interested quickly pay a visit to his shop at Market Road to appreciate the skills of the Taiping's Tinman.