The trishaw was a popular mode of transportation in Singapore in the mid-20th century. Trishaws first surfaced in Singapore in April 1914 as “pedal rickshaws” which had chairs bolstered to tricycle frames. The use of trishaws grew in the 1940s, especially in the years after the Japanese Occupation when petrol for motor vehicles was scarce, along with the abolishment of the rickshaw by colonial authorities in 1947. The trishaw industry declined from the mid-1950s with the introduction of multiple government regulations and increasing number of motor vehicles such as private taxis. Other factors such as the government’s urban renewal program contributed to the decline of trishaws as people were resettled from Central Areas of the city to urban neighbourhoods. They have since become a rare sight on Singapore’s busy roads and are now mainly chartered by tourists who seek to experience old Singapore.

Gross measurement: 143.0 x 113.0 x 194.0 cm
Accession No.
rubber (material)
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore
Credit Line
Gift of William Beardsley
Folklife Collection

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