I wrote about the history of this building and company sometime ago after coming across rare pictures of it from the Harrison Forman Collection. Read the article titled: South Bridge Road - Lim Teck Lee (Images from the past.
Established in 1918, Chop Lim Teck Lee was one said to be one of the first few establishments to set up shop along Circular Road during the 1920s (source: Roots.sg). The Roots.sg website provides insights that Lim Teck Lee business started with shophouse no 2 and 3 and that the business specialised in the import of German dyes for distribution in Singapore and the region. When their business grew, they subsequently acquired shophouse 3 and 4 and merged with the existing two units during the mid-1930s. This observation matches with the photo below taken by the American photographer, Harrison Forman in 1941, where from this rare picture, the name of the street can be clearly seen and the shophouse that is displaying the long advertisement banners is where the Lim Teck Lee building was. The shophouses that previously occupied these lots were demolished for the construction of the Lim Teck Lee Building (i am not sure exactly when the new building came about, but it has to be before 1962) – and it still stands today at Nos. 2–5, Circular Road.
|Lim Teck Lee shop facade|
(source: Harrison Forman Collection, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries)
|A 1962 workers strike at Messrs. Lim Teck Lee Company Limited (source: National Archives, Singapore)|
Lim Teck Lee Pte Ltd
The advertisement of Ligton chairs made in the former Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia) under the Cock Brand trademark brings memories of all the old coffee shops that uses such chairs.
Harrison Forman Collection of the American Geographical Society Library of the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries
NewspaperSG. (website). National Library Board, Singapore.
Archives Online. (website). National Archives Singapore.