Early Illustration and Old Historical Photos of Mount Kinabalu in North Borneo

For hundreds of years, Mount Kinabalu in North Borneo, Sabah has been fascinating locals and visitors from around the world. It became the iconic symbol of North Borneo and has appeared in countless publications, journals, documentaries and photos.

Now here’s a brief history about this sacred mountain. British colonial administrator Sir Hugh Low made the first recorded ascent of Mount Kinabalu’s summit plateau in March 1851. He did not reach the highest peak, but in April and July 1858, Low was accompanied on two further expeditions by Spenser St. John who was the British Consul in Brunei.

The highest point of Mount Kinabalu, now called Low’s Peak was finally reached in 1888 by zoologist John Whitehead. The official height is 4095.2 metres above the sea level.

British botanist Lilian Gibbs became the first woman and the first botanist to summit Mount Kinabalu in February 1910. Botanist E. J. H. Corner led two important expeditions of the Royal Society of Great Britain to the mountain in 1961 and 1964.

Kinabalu National Park was established in 1964 and was designated a natural World Heritage Site in 2000.

One of the earliest illustrations of Mount Kinabalu was probably this one which was drawn in lithograph by Thomas Picken. “Kina Balu from Pinokok Valley” was the caption of this image published in 1862.

Here’s another illustration of the Sacred Mountain from the Tempasuk Plain in 1893. Courtest National Archives, UK.

The mountain on a clear day taken from a vessel that was approaching the coastal area of Jesselton in 1947. (This original image is available for sale, please contact us)

This is definitely many people’s favourites, taken in 1950′s somewhere in Kota Belud. Courtesy National Archives , UK.

While most photos of Mount Kinabalu were taken from the ground, this one was taken from the air by Mr P. Popper while on the flight from Jesselton to Sandakan in October 1952. Courtesy USC.

During the Indonesian Confrontation in 1963-66, an army camp called ‘Camp Paradise’ was erected in Kota Belud which includes an air field. Seen here is RAF Blackburn Beverley transporting military personnel and equipment around Borneo. Courtesy A Chow.

Here’s another stunning photo of Mount Kinabalu in 1960′s. Courtesy of M Wah and V Wah.

The mountain was also featured on printed bank note right until present day. This one dollar note was issued in 1936 by the Treasury in Sandakan, which was once the capital of British North Borneo.

This one here is a fairly recent photo of the mountain taken from the summit of Gunung Tambuyukon. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Mount Kinabalu will continue to awe people with its serene beauty and mystery. If you have your own collection of old photos of North Borneo please do share them on our Facebook page.

via Wikipedia, National Archives UK

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About The Author

I love the history of North Borneo (Sabah) and strive to digitally any related information on this website. I can be contacted at info@northborneohistory.com.

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