Bin Keow Brickworks

While exploring Kopi Sua, i came across many bricks and one of them was a Brick with the words, "Bin Keow" etched on it. The cluster of tombs around it was around the early 1950s. The first advertisement i found that mentioned Bin Keow Bricks was in 1949 where if you need to purchase 1st Grade Quality Bricks, Bin Keow Bricks can be purchased from Tan Sin Peng Co. at 11 Phillip St, Singapore (which was a hardware and estate supplies company at that time period). 

Bin Keow Brick 

Bin Keow Brick Works (1949)

Koh Tian Kit - Chairman of Bin Keow Bricks Work (1973)

Bin Keow Brickworks at Middle Road

Bin Keow Brickworks at Jurong Road 

The name Koh Tian Kit in his obituary notice in 1973, listed him as the Chairman of Bin Keow Brick Works (Pte) Ltd. But what caught my eye was that he was the Director of  Chong Gay Theatres which he founded in October 1964. At its pinnacle, its expansion plan included the construction of the 24-storey Golden Mile Tower (with Golden Theatre) and the Kallang Theatre. However, Koh Tian Kit was not able to see this coming to fruit as he passed away before Golden Theatre's official launch in October 1973. 

Address of Bin Keow Brick Work company over the years

Bylands Building, Unit 05-12
No 135 Middle Road  Singapore 0718

Bin Keow Brickworks (Pte) Ltd  (1995)
68 Jurong Road Track 20  Singapore 2264

110 Neythal Road Singapore 628597 

Bin Keow Brick Works (today) 

Brick markers complain of foreign threat 

In 1982, the Federation of Bricks and Tile Manufacturers appealed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for help against "unfair" competition from imported bricks and the survival of the local manufacturers are at risk. This was raised as local brick manufacturers can only use oil to fire their bricks as the Ministry of Environment disallowed other types of fuel for fear of excessive pollution. Manufacturers of imported bricks (Johore, China, Thailand) use cheap fuel such as waste wood and coal making it cheaper of about 10 cents per piece (and that doesn't include cheaper labour cost yet). The influx of Johore bricks poses the greatest threat to the local brick industry because contractors in Singapore can buy as conveniently as from local makers at 22 cents vs local bricks which average production cost is 30 cents. The federation represented  all the local oil-fired clay brick private manufacturers of that time. They are Jurong Brickworks, Nanyang Brickworks, Bin Keow Brickworks, Goh Bee Brickworks, Asia Brick Factory and Singapore Clay Products. Two other manufacturers - Remy Brick Works and Master Brickworks are not members as they make chemical rather than oil-fired bricks. 

How many of this companies exist till today ? Well, Bin Keow still exist. 



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