Double-decker Bus History

Does people of your country still ride double-decker buses? In my country, Indonesia, I never witness this transportation anymore. It went extinct as financial crisis hit our country years ago, and as its popularity decreased. I used to ride it in abroad when I was still a child. I think most children will love to sit on the second floor of these buses… so did I. It’s such a wonderful feeling to watch the street from a higher place, to watch far-away views.

I miss them all so I tried to look more information about the history, kind of hoping that I would find news that the bus is still operating somewhere in Indonesia =p

1. The Definition

A double-decker  is a bus with two decks. The traditional bus was colored in bright red, though nowadays, they are varied in colors and styles.

It was discovered in London and has been struggling to survive for centuries in a competition against other faster and more effective transportation such as ordinary buses, trains, and taxis. Now, double-decker buses are still found in certain areas in London, U.S. as well as former British colonies and protectorates such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

A modern double decker

A modern double decker

2. Strengths and Weaknesses

As well as things in general, a double-decker bus has also its own strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses they have are one of the reasons why it is difficult for them to survive in modern era.

Strengths:

  1. Efficient use of road space
  2. It can carry a lot more passengers
  3. Many tourists like to ride it in order to tour around a city or town, seeing more views from a higher area on its second level

Weaknesses:

  1. It’s unstable. Due to its excessive height, double deckers are not able to fit under overpasses and through narrow areas that other vehicles can.
  2. It can travel only on flat streets.
  3. Disabled people, especially the ones using wheel chairs, are not able to climb the stair to the second level.
  4. It walks slower than motorized transportations in general because of its height and weight.
Stair in a double decker, which is difficult to get passed by disabled people.

Stair in a double decker, which is difficult to get passed by disabled people.

A double decker under an overpass. Some accidents involved double decker buses noted that the buses failed to pass the overpasses as they hit the roof of the overpasses

A double decker under an overpass. Some accidents involved double decker buses noted that the buses failed to pass the overpasses as they hit the roof of the overpasses

The upper deck of a modern double decker bus is used by tourists to enjoy views of cities or towns they visit.

The upper deck of a modern double decker bus is used by tourists to enjoy views of cities or towns they visit.

3. The History

The first attempt to create a bus was conducted in France back in 1662, but it was fail. In 1829, the first commercial bus, called omnibus, was finally introduced in London. It was still horse-drawn since modern motors haven’t been found at the time. The first omnibuses were freed of charges, but soon enough, the passengers were charged to cover the maintenance costs, especially to feed the horses.

Some companies was soon interested to have a business on the public transportation. The London General Omnibus Co. (LGOC) was one of them and was the largest one. The LGOC then became the king of omnibuses business in London. It was the first omnibuses company to operate on timetables for commuters.

The first double-decker omnibus was introduced in 1847 in the U.K. by Adams & Co of Fairfield. It was also still drawn by horses (usually three horses). At first, the second level of the bus didn’t have a roof.  The sits on the top deck were designed lengthwise. The lower deck was covered with clerestory type of roof. The passengers sat at the lower deck was charged with more expenses, twice higher than the ones at the upper deck. The upper deck didn’t get popular in an instant. It was continuously advertised  on the sides of the bus. Ten years later the upper deck finally got more fans.

The first double decker omnibus by LGOC

The first double decker omnibus by LGOC

In 1852, a bigger double decker which can load up to 42 passengers was operated. It still used 3 horses to draw. The passengers can reach the second floor using stairs. A year later, the public transportation has started to be known outside the U.K, which is in France. As well as its northern neigbor, France released a horse-drawn omnibus. The second floor of the bus was also cheaper than the first floor, and sometimes it was freed of charges. However, in 1911, the omnibus was drawn following an overturned double-decker bus incident at place de l’Etoile. It’s not until 1966 that they tried to run the bus again.

Left, double-decker bus Schneider Brillié P2; Center, double decker horse-drawn omnibus

Left, double-decker bus Schneider Brillié P2; Center, double decker horse-drawn omnibus

Back to the birthplace of bus, London…

After LGOC operated the first motorized bus in 1908, fifteen years later, A.E.C. (Associated Equipment Company) released the first motorized double-decker bus which featured a full covered top deck, and called them NS-type. At the time, the full covered double-decker bus was considered rare and luxurious. The seats on the upper deck, which was previously made of wood, was finally replaced with more comfortable ones (close to what we use today), which featured padding, springs, webbing, and covers. Having more comfortable facilities to offer, the newly designed double-decker bus was finally able to gain more fans and compete with trams, which were also popular at the time. When new towns, which weren’t able to be reached easily using trams and trains, were growing rapidly, the NS-type double deckers’ popularity was rising. As motorized bus was continuously developing, the horse-carried omnibuses were no longer people’s favorite transportation. During World War I, on August 4, 1914, they stopped their operations. Yet, it was still wandering in the U.K.’s villages until 1932. Seemingly, the NS-type double deckers also couldn’t stay for a long time in top position. In 1937, it met its end as well.

the NS-type double decker bus, the first motorized one

the NS-type double decker bus, the first motorized one

Although, the NS-type has stopped operating, other double deckers were still operating. In 1941, a woman, Miss Phyllis Thompson, was entrusted to have a license to drive the huge vehicle for the first time. Later in 1949, another design of double decker, The Bristol Lodekka, was launched by Bristol Commercial Vehicles. It has a traditional half-cab design, but with a lower floor level and a lower overall height, decreasing the weight of the bus and making it easier to drive. The bus was able to go through undercovered bridges in the U.K. The bus was operating up until 1968.

The Bristol Lodekka double decker omnibus

The Bristol Lodekka double decker omnibus

Inside The Bristol Lodekka double decker omnibus

Inside The Bristol Lodekka double decker omnibus

14 years before it stopped operating, Routemaster Bus London was introduced. It was commercialized in 1956. It offered modern facilities, which most bus and some other motorized vehicles still didn’t have at the time, such as a front suspension, a power steering, an automatic transmission, and a hydrolic brake. The design gained more popularity in instant since it’s considered modern, more efficient than its competitors. London people recognized them with the double decker’s original color, bright red. Later, it became the icon of the U.K., and was one of the most favorite transportation to enjoy London’s view. Years later, the bus was widely-known around the world, and the design was used by many countries to create their own double deckers. So far, Routemaster bus has the longest operation term of all double deckers. Nevertheless, all the beginnings will meet their ends. That’s also what happened with Routemaster. The last Routemaster bus was officially pulled off on December 8, 2005. In recent time before it was off, the bus was functioned more for tourism and special events such as weddings.

A routemaster double decker bus

A routemaster double decker bus

The retired Routemaster buses have been changed into mobile holiday homes, campers, mobile theatres, catwalk fashion shows, as well as catering buses for film crews. Some others have been converted to cafes. The buses still attract tourists’ attention. One of them are even modified to be a triple-decker bus called the Knight Bus in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” movie. Unfortunately, many of them were also destroyed at demolition derbys or in “banger races”.

Routemaster bus cafe Shoreditch London

Routemaster bus cafe Shoreditch London

A retired routemaster double decker is used for a hospitality business

A retired routemaster double decker is used for a hospitality business

A retired routemaster double decker was modified to become a bus with three decks in one of Harry Potter's movie sequel, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

A retired routemaster double decker was modified to become a bus with three decks for one of Harry Potter’s movie sequels, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

However,on February 20, 2012, a newly developed double-decker bus produced by jointly Aston Martin and architects Foster + Partners was launched in London. The launching was in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in the U.K. The first batch of production buses will enter into service in Spring 2013. The modern design of the bus still has retro touches inspired by the iconic London Routemaster. It is fully handicap accessible and uses the latest green technology such as solar panels. It is 15% more efficient in fuel rather than existing hybrid buses. Moreover, it is 40% more efficient than conventional diesel double deckers.

A new double decker bus designed by Aston Martin and architects Foster + Partners

A new double decker bus designed by Aston Martin and architects Foster + Partners

4. In Indonesia

Double deckers used to be found in several big cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Makassar, and Solo. I couldn’t find any information about when the trend of double deckers entered my country for the first time, but it was introduced in Solo back in 1983, thanks to Mrs. Tien Soeharto, the first lady of the second president of Indonesia, President Soeharto. One of Soeharto’s missions at the time was to develop Solo to become one of the most modern cities in Indonesia. Four years later, Solo had 30 double decker buses.

At the time, double deckers were one of the most important transportation in those big cities in Indonesia since the people didn’t have as many choices of public transportation as they have today. However, in 1998, there came the biggest economic crisis in Indonesia and chaotic political condition. The crisis gave a negative impact for the development of the huge bus. In short time, double deckers companies in Indonesia sold some of their units to reduce their loss. The companies couldn’t cover the cost for the maintenance. In Solo, the double-decker bus was reduced to 6 units only.

One of double deckers which ever operated in Jakarta, Indonesia

One of double deckers which ever operated in Jakarta, Indonesia

Nowadays, double-decker can only be found in Solo. A unit called “Werkudara” started operating on February 20, 2011. According to some reports, the number of passengers for this type of bus was not so many, and they are tourists who want to enjoy the view of Solo. However, as other double deckers, the bus have problems to transport tourists to some locations because of its height and body-shape. In order to solve the problem, Surakarta’s Head of the Transportation Department, Yosca Soedrajat Herman said in 2011, “For sure, double-decker bus will bring tourists to places as he wishes. However, when such limitations occur at that location, the bus must be parked outside.”

Some people complained about how slowness of the bus, but some others enjoy the slowness. A university student, Dian, admitted that sitting upstairs was relaxing. Others said that they liked to hear the rustle of leaves more clearly from the upper deck. In addition, children often asked their parents to grant their permissions to sit upstairs. Anton, a high school student in Solo, revealed that he liked to take a sit on the second floor of the double decker to refresh his mind while enjoying the views. Some people do still love the huge bus, and some of them, just like me, miss the sensation of sitting upstairs.

"Werkudara", the only remaining double decker in Indonesia, can be found in Solo and is used to transport tourists.

“Werkudara”, the only remaining double decker in Indonesia, can be found in Solo and is used to transport tourists.

Though it’s just one unit in Solo, I’m still happy to hear the news. I think it’s important for us to preserve this kind of transportation. It is indeed slower than general buses, but it can carry a lot more passengers and can help us to enjoy views from a higher place while touring a whole city or town. I still wish that someday I can ride it again… it was a wonderful childhood memory 🙂

Easter Island – From A Green Land to a Barren Land… What Happened?

Easter Island

Easter Island

Easter Island has been a famous tourism destination for long time, especially because of its unique ancient statues. The island also still becomes the object of archeologists’ researches since it still has several mysteries, waiting to be solved.

Easter Island is a name given by Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutch explorer. He found the island on April 5, 1722, exactly on Easter Sunday, when he was looking for David’s Island. He called it “Paasch-Eyland”, which means “Easter Island”.  It’s also called “Rapa Nui”, “Rapa”, and “Rapa Iti” by the Polynesians.

The subtropical maritime island is one of the remotest inhabited islands in the world with Pitcairn Island as its closest inhabited neighbour (2,075 km) to the west. Its nearest continent is America, at 3,512 km, and is now claimed by Chile as its island. It’s a triangular-shaped volcanic island.

When it was discovered back in 1722 by Europeans, it was a dry island with no trees over ten feet in height. It was in poor condition. At the time, 2,000 inhabitants lived in the area were thin and malnourished. There were also no other animals seen besides Polynesian rats. The natives also had very little numbers of boats. Another mystery is the statues they saw standing in some points of the island, gazing to the sea.

1. The Mysteries

So far, Easter Island still keeps some secrets of its past, especially about the statues, and its civilization extinction. However, some theories have been revealed and some have been considered as the best answers for both mysteries.

a. The Statues

The Moai Statues

The Moai Statues

887 whole-body statues, known as Moai or “Easter Island Heads”, are still gazing to the sea after about 5-8 centuries. The word “Moai” means “Image” in English. The statues are varied in height, weight, and location. They have no legs, and some of them are busts. The multiton behemoths’ average height is about 4 meters high, with the average width at the base about 1.6 meters. Made of tuff (a compressed volcanic ash), they weighed around 12.5 tonnes a piece.

Some theories about the Moai statues have surfaced for years. Here are some of the theories:

  1. Aliens came to the earth and planted the statues as signals for their fellows to come and rescue them.
  2. The statues were built by a great race of guilders who were stranded on Easter Island before they were rescued.
  3. The ancient natives carved the statues to worship their Gods or ancestors (either just a general worship or a plea to their Gods to rescue them from a catastrophic incident in the past). – This theory is the one widely-approved now.

There are still hundreds of incomplete Moai statues to carve. The experts are still not sure when exactly the natives began to stop carving the Moai statues. There is an indication that the project was stopped after chaos dominated the lives of the ancient natives. I’m going to talk more about the catastrophic incident and chaos soon.

There have been some debates on how to transport the massive statues to the place they stand right now. Here are some efforts to solve the mystery:

  1. Czech engineer Pavel Pavel tried to solve the mystery. He worked with Norwegian explorer-adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and a team of 17 helpers to propel an upright, 13-foot (4-meter), nine-ton Moai forward with twisting motions, keeping the statue fully upright at all times. That was in 1986. But Pavel’s team damaged the Moai’s base and had to stop.
  2. In 1987, U.S. archaeologist Charles Love and a team of 25 erected a 13-foot (4-meter), nine-ton model upright on a wooden sledge and moved it over log rollers, advancing it 148 feet (45 meters) in two minutes.
  3. Descendents of Polynesian settlers on the island believe that the statues move by themselves. “We know the truth,” said Suri Tuki, 25, a Polynesian tour guide. “The statues walked.”
  4. Archaeologists Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii and Carl Lipo of California State University Long Beach believed that 18 people could, with three strong ropes and a bit of practice, easily maneuver a 10-foot, 5-ton moai replica a few hundred yards. This newest theory was revealed in 2012.
The wood sledge theory on how to transport the Moai statues

The wood sledge theory on how to transport the Moai statues

The newest theory on how to transport the Maoi statues. The ancient local people were possibly transporting the Moai statues using ropes.

The newest theory on how to transport the Maoi statues. The ancient local people were possibly transporting the Moai statues using ropes.

b. The Ancient Civilization

Polynesian ancient natives or ancient Rapa Nui people came to inhabit the island back in 1200 A.D. When they came to the island at the time, Easter Island was a sub-tropical forest with so many tall Easter Island Palms, which could grow up over 50 feet. The likes of Paschalococos (The largest palm trees in the world), Alphitonia zizyphoides, and Elaeocarpus rarotongensis were also believed to grow in the forest. At least, there were six species of native land birds live around the island.

The civilization developed rapidly. The natives started to build a complex social structure with a centralized government and religious priests. Along with the rapid development of system, the number of population was also rapidly increasing. The people made a living by farming, fishing, and hunting. To build houses to stay and canoes to fish, they cut trees in the forests. The Easter islanders hunted porpoises for a steady diet. For a while, things went well for the society.

Between the year of 1250 A.D. until 1500 A.D., the Easter islanders started to build Moai statues. More woods were cut to create ropes or wooden sledges in order to move the statues  to locations the local people wanted them to be. Around this era, the number of woods started to decrease rapidly. The seeds from the trees, which fell to the ground, didn’t grow as new trees since Polynesian rats consumed them all. According to the experts, the rats weren’t the native animals of the island. They were brought in by the ancient Rapa Nui people once they arrived in the island. The population of the rats were steadily increasing. The islanders did consume them as well, but otherwise they didn’t have other predators. Hampering the trees in the forest to grow, the outnumbered rats also ate birds’ eggs. As a consequence, the number of birds in the island were also continuously decreasing.

Around 1400 A.D., the Easter island palms went extinct. Just like dominoes effects, afterward, the ancient Rapa Nui people couldn’t make other canoes to hunt fish in the sea. As a consequence, they couldn’t consume fish like porpoises anymore. Thus, they began to focus on hunting land birds, migratory birds, and mollusks. However, soon, the number of animals were severely reduced. Their crop fields were also not successful enough to harvest because of soil erosion. The strong wind may also become the factor though the people have tried to protect their plants by building a barricade of stones as a shield to the wind. Furthermore, drinking water supplies dried up when drought came. Before Europeans arrived in the island, the ancient natives’ lives started to turn into chaos. The catastrophic drought and starvation due to lack of food devastated the civilization system. They started to fight against each other for food, which turned into civil war. The frustrated society then gradually turned their lifestyle into cannibalism. After the Europeans came, there were just little signs of the ancient civilization in that island. There were also only small numbers of people still lived there.

After the European settled in the island, the Rapa Nui people were still not so lucky since the newcomers brought deadly diseases. By 1877, only 111 Rapa Nui people survived in the island.

In short, the civilization were extinct because of deforestation, drought, starvation, civil war, and illness. An American scientist and 1998’s Pulitzer prize winner, Jared Diamond said that the fall of the civilization is “the clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources” and “a worst-case scenario for what may lie ahead of us in our own future.”

Nowadays, Easter island has become a famous tourism destination. It’s also one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.

Easter Island is now dominated by grass, with just little trees left.

Easter Island is now dominated by grass, with just little trees left.

Can I imagine this look of an island as the ancient Easter Island when a subtropical forest dominates the island? :)

Can I imagine this look of an island as the ancient Easter Island when a subtropical forest dominates the island? 🙂

Dibya Puri Hotel in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia – A Precious Historical Place, Yet Abandoned

I live in Semarang since I was born. As a little child, I’ve started to love historical old buildings and museums. In my opinion, we can live today thanks to history. The past time has taught and inherited us many important and precious things. We, as the young generations, shouldn’t forget what our ancestors gave us. We are their grandchildren!

Yet, here what I see… Old buildings are ignored, abandoned, and destroyed. All the memories, either they are good or bad, are let go and forgotten. It’s tragic, especially for history lovers like me. Now, I will tell you the history of one of those historical buildings, Dibya Puri Hotel.

Dibya Puri Hotel

1. The History of Dibya Puri Hotel

There is this building called Dibya Puri Hotel, which was built in 1847, and used to be named Du Pavillon. It’s located at Bojong Street (now Pemuda Street), Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. At the first time, the hotel consisted of some buildings, which were connected to each other. It was a two-floor-villa, before it was changed to be an inn for an economic reason. During the era, it was the second hotel in Semarang ever built. The first one was Jansen Hotel, located at Heeren Sraat Street (now Let.Jend. Suprapto Street).

Built in Dutch colonialism era, the inn was designed with a classic style of Dutch architecture. Its saddle roofs are propped with huge pillars.

In 1883, the right and left wings of Du Pavillon were expanded. However, the main part of the building were still the same. On March 4, 1892, an agreement to share money for stockholders were signed. The decision was made to give more financial supports for the hotel construction. The hotel’s role and location became more significant once Tawang Railway Station was opened in 1913. At that time, there were railroads in front of the hotel. Now, the railroads are no longer seen since the train doesn’t operate at Bojong / Pemuda Street anymore.

Du Pavillon / Dibya Puri Hotel during its early time

In 1914, when “Pekan Raya Semarang” (Semarang Fair) was coming, the hotel was almost totally reconstructed. The wings area were renovated and two towers with pyramid roof were added in both sides of wings. The main building was also renovated. The Europe design was changed to be Indies style. The porch was widened, while glass panels and blinds were added to the windows. The huge pillars made of bricks were also replaced with the ones made of irons. The renovation was resulted in a better air and light circulation.

At the time, Du Pavillon was in its best period since it became the best hotel in Semarang. However, it was a bit destructed back in 1945, when there was a war between Semarang young armies and Japanese armies (Japanese armies came in 1942 and colonized Indonesian people for three years, defeating Dutch armies, who have inhabited Indonesia for three and a half centuries). The building witnessed a historical war, which was later called “Pertempuran Lima Hari di Semarang” (Five Days of War in Semarang). The war happened in October 1945. At the time, the hotel was used by Semarang young armies as defense headquarters. As a consequence, the building’s walls were damaged. However, the hotel lobby was also used for negotiation with the enemies. Therefore, the hotel has a great historical value.

The owner of Du Pavillon, N.V. Semandy, handed over the hotel management to the Indonesian government on December 9, 1957. At first, it was taken care by an estate company under the Department of Agriculture. The hotel then changed name to be “Dibya Puri”, which means a strong building. On December 28, 1960, the hotel management was handed over to the Department of Land Transportation, Post, Telecommunication, and Tourism. At the time, the government institution took care 18 old hotels, which was built during Dutch colonialism. Later, PT. Natour (National Hotel and Tourism Corporation ltd.) was the one to be responsible to take care the hotel. The institution is owned by Indonesian government.

In 1964, the hotel, in where Soekarno (the first president of Indonesia), and Megawati (the fifth president of Indonesia) ever stayed overnight, was again renovated. The porch was widened. A thick rectangle sectional wall was built in the middle and at the front of the main building. It’s higher than the main building. “Hotel Dibya Puri” is written on it. There used to be a banner, which said, “Mie jowo, Bir jowo, Nasi goreng jowo” (Javanese noodle, Javanese beer, Javanese fried rice). The food and drink were served at night in front of the hotel. A zigzag roof completed the look of the front area of the main building, under the rectangle sectional wall.

The west area of the hotel is never to be seen anymore since it was s0ld in 1987 and destroyed in 2002, but the east area is still maintained. In 1992, the hotel was officially one of 101 historical buildings which should be preserved. Soeharto, the second president of Indonesia, even ordered his officers to stay at Dibya Puri every time they have duties in Semarang.

2. The Last Days of Dibya Puri Hotel

Time forgets everything,” people say. So, that what happened to Dibya Puri as well. When new and modern hotels with more facilities to be offered were opened one by one in Semarang, the hotel started to face a difficult situation to survive. Financial problems came as a result of decreasing number of visitors. Furthermore, the old building needed extra renovation in some rooms as it became easily destructed time after time, as other old buildings’ typical problems.

At its last days, Dibya Puri has 49 rooms, which were feasible for rent. They were two family rooms, 6 Puri suite, 17 moderate rooms, 9 standard rooms, five AC economy rooms, and 10 non-AC economy rooms. The rest five rooms were above the restaurants and not in good condition for rent. Also, there were other chambers beside the rented rooms, which were no longer used because of their poor condition. Later, the ACs were not functioned anymore. Fans were used to replace the ACs.

The five rooms above the restaurants were closed by triplexes, looking dirty and neglected. However, when the triplexes are opened, we can actually see the restaurant from above. There used to be people dancing at the restaurant.

The illustration of Dibya Puri Restaurant in old days

Some meeting rooms could still be used. Puri Sari and Puri Asri could accommodate 60 people, while Puri Megah could accommodate more people.

At the beginning of 2000s, the hotel was in critical condition. The hotel management was not able to optimize the potential it has to develop. On March 19, 2001, PT. Natour joined PT. Hotel International Indonesia (HII) (Indonesian International Hotel), and became PT. Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN).

There were actually some plans to develop the hotel at that time, but financial problems made it impossible. The hotel’s condition was going worse. In 2005, it was prepared to be sold. Some investors were attracted to buy, but somehow there’s no deal until today. Dibya Puri wasn’t able to continue its operation with stack of unresolved problems in its hand, so in May 2o08, the hotel stopped its operation.

Now, some parts of the roofs skew and collapse, while the backyard has been overgrown by weeds. If the building’s not maintained immediately, I’m afraid it will collapse. Will the building, which has precious historical value will be completely neglected and destroyed someday? Is it going to collapse that easily after all the outstanding history it has? So sad… 😦 I wish a kind and rich person will buy the building and preserve it…

Some parts of Dibya Puri Hotel have skewed and collapsed

Dresses : Year by Year Designs

Most girls and women love dresses including me. Well, I’m not a modest person but I love art and fashion.  When I think about party people and their dresses, it appears in my mind that teenagers tend to wear different styles of dresses compared to their parents. Then, a grandmother will have another style. It’s not only because of their ages… I guess they are influenced by fashion styles in their eras. I got interested and looked for fashion styles history, then I found these pictures…

Bridal dresses :

Bridal fashion style from time to time

The following picture is a European fashion style history for centuries:

European fashion style for centuries (men and women)

Chinese fashion :

Chinese fashion style from time to time

I haven’t got a lot of information about my own country’s (Indonesia) dress history. However, I found these pictures:

This dress was worn around 1800s until the beginning of 1900s. It originally came from Java, the primary island in Indonesia and donned for informal occasions. The dress is a combination of Muslim culture, as you can see the turban on his head, and European fashion, as can be seen on the clothes.

Around the beginning until the mid of 1900s, Indonesian women wears a traditional clothes as seen in the photograph. This woman wore a Javanese traditional clothes called “Kebaya”. Meanwhile the man donned Western-style clothing. The variety of dress-styles in Indonesia is an indicator of local, Muslim, and Western influences on the country.

How is the history of dresses in your culture? Let’s share more here!

The History of Comic Books

Do you like to read comic books? I do. It’s a part of my childhood even until now. In my opinion, there’s something unique about comic books. I enjoy reading novels as well as magazines but I still love to see expressive faces, emotion, cool action scenes pictured inside a book to form a story. It’s just a magical moment…

I was so curious about the history of comic books, so I browsed, and I found out that the first comic book was written back in 1827 in Switzerland by Rudolphe Topffer. That’s what I read in Investors, though according to Wikipedia, there is an 18th century Japanese pictures collection, which could be categorized as one of the first comic strips. It’s still debated.

Here are some of the first comic strips written by Rudolphe Topffer :

Histoire de M. Jabot’ by Rudolph Töpffer (1833), one of the first comic strips ever made.

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck by Rudolph Töpffer. One of the first comic strips ever made.

“The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” is the first comic book being published in United States. It was published in 1842. However, there is a doubt about whether Topffer is the first comic writer since in Japan, an allegedly manga book (the Japanese term for comic) called “Kibyoshi” was written before the year Topffer wrote his first comic.

“Kibyoshi” is a genre of Japanese picture book Kusazoshi produced during the middle of Edo period, from 1775 to the early 19th century. Physically identifiable by their yellow-backed covers, they were typically printed in 10 page volumes, many spanning two to three volumes in length, with the average number of total pages being 30.

“Kibyoshi” The first writing was in 1775, during Edo Period of Japan.