Postcard showing latest Sentosa attractions

Located off the southern coast of mainland Singapore, Sentosa (Isle of Tranquillity) was initially known as Pulau Blakang Mati (Island Behind Death). Starting from the 1880s, the island was an important British military base with a number of forts built on it to protect the southern shipping lanes. In 1970, the island was renamed Sentosa following a naming contest organised by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB). The development of the island into a tourist and recreation resort came under the management of the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which was formed in 1972.In 1980, the STPB announced plans for a second round of development to attract more visitors to Sentosa. New projects planned included a $3.2 million computer-controlled musical fountain (bottom right). Subsequently, plans were also made to upgrade existing attractions to keep them attractive to visitors. This included a $1.49 million project to clean up the man-made swimming lagoon, and the purchase of aquabikes for visitors to use in the lagoon (bottom left). The Sentosa Wax Museum was also earmarked for an $8.4 million revamp that would involve the creation of a new Pioneers of Singapore Gallery (top left), and the relocation of the Surrender Chambers exhibit to a new wing of the museum (top right). Most of the upgrading works were completed by the late 1980s.