Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HYGEIA, "De Groote" Mineral Water from Semarang

Inside the Hygeia Factory, still could be seen in the background the stained glass window pattern, now was entirely dissapeared. In the top-right corner were the trademarks of Hygeia. (source: tropenmuseum)
If we take a walk to the fish market in Jurnatan, nearly end on the alley we would found an old building which abandoned with an inscription adorned on the walls, PABERIK HYGEIA. I believe, not so many people know, this is a factory of highly-innovative product that is very useful for the development of Indonesia in the scope of both chemistry and healthcare. Long time ago before Mr. Tirto Utomo with his bottled-water products, which now dominate the market developed in 1974, in Semarang, its built the factory of Hygeia, with their products is soda-water and mineral water. This company were developed by H F Tillema, one's of the great innovators during the colonial period.

The current condition of Hygeia Factory in Jurnatan now its used as the
cooking oil warehouse. The building were badly abandoned. 
Born as Hendrik Freerk Tillema, he spent his chilhood in Echten, a village in the Friesland, Netherlands. He was born July 5, 1870. his father, Sikke Tillema is a school principal. When Hendrik was seven years old his mother died. In 1896 at the age of 25 he went to the East Indies and tried his lucky in the city of Semarang. In Semarang, he worked in Samarangsche Apotheek, owned by R. Klaasesz en Co. According to the contract, he received a salary of 200 guilders monthly for the first year. In 1899 he was able to buy the company. he retains the name Klaasesz en Co.. In the age of barely 30, he became the sole owner and leader in the company.

Pharmacist jobs, such as weighing and preparing chemicals substance was his daily activity, thus once he got so bored about his job. In his first year as a boss, he was trying to find something new. When he read an articles on Het Pharmaceutisch Weekblad, he found that millions of soda bottles imported into Java island annualy. He got an idea,  if he is able to sell a hundred thousand bottles of soda, he'll gained such significant revenue.

Then it start, in a few years Samarangsche-Apotheek had an subsidiaries to made a bottled-water then its developed into a hypermodern soda factory. Tillema being so strict related to the hygiene thingy. He knows that pure drinking water is very important for health. At first, he failed to mixed the oxygen with the pure water until he remembered the lessons during his high school about the laws of nature, "Salt could dissolved quickly in the warm water while the gas in the cold water". Then he realized it, he brings tons of ice cubes but then he found that it was too expensive. Finally, he wrap the problems with ordered tons of water with the temperature of 5 degrees Celsius from the ice factory. Its gained success and soon his soda factory growth significantly.

Dr. H F Tillema, circa 1935 (source:KITLV)
In 1901 he built the first factory in Semarang where his workers purify and fill the water into the bottles on the conveyor belt, a most modern system on that time. People called his product as a blank water, and this have an attracted etiquette in the bottle, that is a picture of a black cat with a tail that waved leapfrog letters HYGEIA! The new brand for the Tillema bottled-waters. Hygeia (or actually Hygieia) is the daughter of Asklepios, the Greek god of health protection that now become the brand of the Tillema bottled-waters.

In 1901 he succeeded to sell 500.000 bottles of Hygeia. Also, in early of December 1901, he married Anna Sophia Weehuizen, a 24-year-old teacher. Anna was born and growth in Java, from a family with ten children. His father died at a young age. However, as her mother suggest her, he became one of the girls who continue her education until high school grade. Later, after marriage she became an advisor for the Hygeia marketing and publication. Ten months after their marriage, Anna gave birth to her first child. Two years later the second child was born. Tillema was loved to be circled by his family, so that he took his wife's family members to work in his company.

The Hygeia Ads, here its started with
the words De Groote mineralwater
fabriek te Semarang is wel de Hygeia
fabriek (eng: De Groote mineral factory
in Semarang is the Hygeia factory).
(source: OASE documentation)
While the Coca-Cola company in the early of 20th century have a good advertising patterns, Tillema also used the same way by adopting what the Coca-Cola done. He shared an ashtrays with Hygeia brand printed on it.. In the potential intersection in Semarang, he hung a billboard that interested the peoples to bought his botled-water, Hygeia. The photos of the streets where he placed the billboard itself were printed into postcard and shared freely with the phrase on the postcard, "Hygeia Lemonade is incredible!". When the Gementee (eng: town council) asked him to revoke all of his billboard, he switch the publicity  with using balloon reads Hygeia, that hovered in the sky of Semarang.

In the 20th century, the photography starts to developed, almost everybody pay an interest on it, likewise  Tillema. He made an album about several photos of Semarang scenery and on the backside of the book he put Hygeia brand, also the price list of his products. He spent 50.000 Guilders for advertisement annualy and soon he will enjoyed the results. Hygeia product both the carbonated lemonade drinks and the mineral water were very popular throughout the East-Indies. At that time the price of the product is 25 Guilders, and six empty bottles, can be exchanged for a full six bottles for only 75 Guilders. 

On 1910, Tillema became one's of Het Gemeenteraad (eng: City Council) of Semarang. Because of his services, Het Gemeenteraad van Semarang perpetuate the name Tillema on a park in the Candi Baru region. The park who situated near the official house of De Javasche Bank agent and in front of Ereveld Candi were named Tillema Plein or Tillema Park. Currently we recognize the park as Gajahmungkur Park, because of its situated in Gajahmungkur regency.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

De Spaarbank in Semarang

De Spaarbank building, located in Jalan Kepodang 2-4, in Kota Lama areas, Semarang. The photos was taken in 2012.

De Spaarbank building, taken in 1910.
(source: Leiden University Library)
Just get shocked while having conversation with my friends, His name was Gea Fatah Sambera or well known as Era. He just go back from His Exchange programs in Poland. One things that got me shocked is that He funds his own trip! “I just used my parents money to made the passport and visa, the rest are from my own money” he said. Great, so that his exchange expenditure that I guess it took more than 20 million rupiahs is from his own pockets. I felt so curious and unbelieve about his story, till he explains that he funds his exchange from the saving which he started it since he was in the 3rd grade of elementary school. Okay, then he add, “I still rememmbered, the first amount of my saving is Rp 30.000,- “. Hahaha cool, well thats more than just great story for me dude ;)

For me, saving money is not as easy as we imagined to just set appart our expenditure for consumption. Aims and motivation are the important role here to save the money itself. Set our own goals, so that we have a great motivation thus can help us more excited about the saving learning process. Although saving money theoretically is a compulsory in daily life, and its explained in consumption equation while Y (revenue)= C (consumption)+S (saving). So that saving have a portion in every human revenue, and the purpose is like for avoiding us from consumptive lifestyle, having an emergency money, reach the others urge and so on.

The advertisement of Postpaarbank, with
the content to persuade the people
to save their money in order to avoiding the poverty.
(source: Azhari Sofyan on pinterest)
During the early banking system were introduced in Indonesia, in Semarang is established De Spaarbank in 1853. We can get this establishment years from the book titled De Spaarbank Semarang, Indonesie, Gedenkboek 1853-1953, written by D. de Jonge to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the bank. If we assumed from the name Spaarbank which means Saving Bank, so it could be having a same role like another sparbank that almost spread over the Dutch Indies at that time during 19th centuries. Its different from the role of much conventional bank at that time that always strongly related with the plantation and trading company, but the Spaarbank is focused on people's saving. Havent read the books of Spaarbank Semarang yet, but actually there's two notable Spaarbank in Indonesia history which is Postpaarbank. As We know that the governments also have a important role to persuade their people to save their money, because more money saved in the bank, the governments also have a lots of capital to spends its development project, thus they established the Postpaarbank in Batavia (Jakarta) on 1897. By late 1939, Postpaarbank has managed to collect public funds until 5.4 million! The achievements itself successfully achieved by Postspaarbank significantly through its decentralization policy-implemented system. The bank then nationalized in 1963 and became Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN). The second one is De Poerwokertosche Hulp en Spaarbank der Inlandsche Hoofden, established in 1895 by a Javanese Aristocrats named Raden Bei Aria Wirjaatmadja in Purwokerto, Central Java. Thus, its having reputation now as the oldest bank in Indonesia.

De Spaarbank in Semarang building now in Kota Lama currently owned by CIMB NIAGA Bank. Its also makes a curiousity, considering most of the Dutch/ foreign bank during the late of 50's decade and in the beginning of 60's decade is nationalized and of course it will be managed by the state company. But CIMB NIAGA Bank is a private bank, and its established in 1955 according to the official website. Well outside all of that story that also brought a lots of question hehe, once again, saving is important personally or in the macro scope is for the government growth. So still have a question “why should I save money?” Think twice :)