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This Singaporean Man’s HDB Flat Is A Gramophone & Telephone Museum That’ll Blast You To The Past

10 June 2024 | BY

This antique museum HDB is a time capsule of a home—with ultra-rare gramophones & telephones in working condition.

The air in this home brims thickly with nostalgia, old tunes echoing through its walls from the brassy rims of cygnet horn phonographs. Even at a single cursory glance, the collection of vintage gramophones and telephones lining this home is impressive—it’s almost like stepping into an antique museum housed within an HDB flat.


Mr. Harry Ang has a collection of around 200 vintage telephones and 10 gramophones. Not only that, but he also moonlights as a restorer, a talent he self-taught from French and German books Any person is open to come for a viewing to see his collection! grandmaphone@yahoo.com.sg #sghome #hometour #grammophone #telephone #collector #sgreno #tiktoksg #fyp

♬ original sound – uchify.sg🏠 – uchify.sg🏠

Hundreds of restored vintage telephones & gramophones 

museum HDB - Antique shelf

Just like a museum, homeowner Harry Ang’s collection is all-encompassing, with pieces ranging from desktop turntables to old-school dial telephones unrecognisable to most kids today. Every piece is proudly displayed on a series of ornate-looking mahogany shelves in the living room, adding to the vintage feel of the decor.

museum HDB - Turntable

His collection began with an antique telephone gifted to him back in 1970, sparking his interest in collecting antique goods. Every piece he curates for his collection is painstakingly catalogued, with in-depth information on every item’s make and origin. Today, he has more than 200 vintage telephones, and 10 gramophones in his collection.

museum HDB - French cradle desk telephoneFrench Cradle Desk Telephone.
Image adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Edison cygnet horn phonograph

museum HDB - Cygnet hornImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Perhaps one of the oldest items in Harry’s collection is the Edison Cygnet horn phonograph, manufactured over 60 years ago. Cygnet horn phonographs are notable for their massive horns, allowing for greater sound amplification.

museum HDB - Cylinder recordsImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Harry has an extensive collective of working cylindrical records, which are the earliest mediums for the commercial distribution and reproduction of sounds. Old-school gramophones play these, rather than vinyl disks. They’re exceedingly rare due to their age, which makes his collection even more impressive.

Siemens drum dial phone

museum HDB - Siemens drum phoneImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Another notable piece is the Siemens Drum phone from Germany, which gets its name from its unique drum picker dial. Despite its unassuming appearance, It’s one of the rarer items in his collection.

Ericsson wall phone

museum HDB - Ericsson wall phoneImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Despite the archaic nature of the antique phones he collects, Harry dedicates meticulous effort to restore them to working condition. One such example is the Ericsson wall phone, which has been modified with a dial to adapt it for modern day use. 

Workshop room where ultra-rare antiques are repaired

museum HDB - Antique restorationImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

Most of the other antiques in his collection are in working condition too—thanks to Harry’s efforts to maintain and restore every piece to near mint condition, which is impressive given the age of each item. 

museum HDB - Workshop wires

To this end, he has transformed one of the rooms in his flat into a workshop dedicated to restoration efforts, with dangling wires and equipment draped like steampunk decorations, making the place feel like a museum exhibit detailing how workshops used to look like in the 70s.

museum HDB - Workshop shelves

His tools and hundreds of spare parts are also carefully organised into drawers tucked into shelves that line the room.

Gramophone & telephone museum HDB

museum HDB - Workshop shelvesImage adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

The cherry on top of this antique museum of an HDB flat is the fact that it’s open for viewing on appointment, making our comparisons to an actual museum extremely apt━even more so than other collector homes. If you’re a fan of vintage or antique technology, you owe it to yourself to pay Harry a visit.

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Cover image adapted from: @iCollectOKDK

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