Although I am a management consultant who, for years, have been advising companies how to implement the Japanese technique of good housekeeping known as 5S, at home it is my wife who dictates all matters relating to 5S. And she is particularly ‘ruthless’, as one Japanese author puts it, when it comes to applying the first ‘S’, Seiri, which means Clearing – to discard things you no longer need. Anything that is deemed to be no longer needed around the house is ‘buanged’ (buang is Malay for throw). Her motto seems to be; Throw first, ask questions later.
Hence, it is a bit of an irony that my wife still has in her possession a number of very old science text books, including possibly the ‘oldest Periodic Table on the blog’. Here are some photos for you to enjoy.
1) Periodic Table
This old thing published is by Tekno Product of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. But I suspect this could be a ‘pirated’ copy because in the bottom left corner of this periodic table, the small print regarding its copyright has been typed over with a series of ###s. But I can still make out the year 1966.
Ah .. most physics students of my generation are familiar with the name Nelkon. His A-level textbook is a classic. This book was first published in 1958 and the one you see here is the 3rd edition (SI edition), dated 1970. But for O-level, Nelkon had a competitor by the name of Whitley, if my memory serves me well.
Guys my age who went to university or the polytechnic should also remember this name. It stood for English Language Book Society and their books were very cheap. Notice the words, Low-Priced Edition on the cover? This one was first published in 1960 and this is the “ELBS edition reprinted 1976”.
4) Eastern Economy Edition
How about this one? Any of you guys remember this other publisher of popular text books. This one has the following declarations in the opening pages.
This Eighth Indian Reprint – Rs 32.00 …… This Eastern Economy Edition is the only authorized, complete and unabridged photo-offset reproduction of the latest American edition specially published and priced for sale only in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Thailand.
My wife, who teaches science and biology in Methodist Girls’ School, told us that she is so used to these classics that she still refers to them now and then. And she is not shy to show them to her students. I think that is a good thing. For one thing, her students will learn to appreciate how fortunate they are to have textbooks nowadays that are so beautifully illustrated with colourful diagrams and photographs and even cdroms – and learn to take better care of them. They should also be thankful for having a teacher who is so passionate about the subject she is teaching.
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