The Firsts in Myanmar


Guide & Reviews 2017

The Firsts in Myanmar

A computer operator uses the ICL 1902S as a visiting United Nations official observes on.

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The Very first Ambassador

The very first Ambassador known in Myanmar history was Shin Ditha Par Mauk, a Buddhist monk, going to the Kublai Khan’s palace during the reign of Tarouk Pyay Min (Narasihapatai), Bagan. There still is an inscription stating to that effect.

The Very first Ambassador to Europe

U Kaung, the very first Myanmar ambassador to the Europe went to England, France, and Italy during Myanmar’s industrial revolution under King Mindon’s reign.

Because he worked for British colonial government, after Britain captured Burma, he was often accused as a traitor, albeit historical evidence shows that he did the best he could.

The Very first Bus-line

The very first public bus-line introduced to Burma was in October, one thousand nine hundred thirteen by R.E.T. Company.

The very first Burmese-owned bus company was founded in 1924, when the founder bought buses by installment from Ford company.

The Very first Car

The very first automobile was imported to and used in Myanmar in 1905. By and by, many more cars were imported, and thus “Automobile Registration Act” was enacted in 1906.

After the World War-II, the number of cars in Myanmar doubled to one thousand five hundred fifty nine according to the registration. And in 1962, it mounted up to several folds: 30,068 (3894 mortor-cycles, three thousand two hundred twenty eight buses, five thousand seven hundred six trucks, five thousand nine hundred ninety one saloon cars, and so on).

The Very first Census

The very first census (The Household Census) was administered by King Dhamazedi during his reign AD 1472-92.

This caused the making of the largest bell on earth.

The Very first Cinema

“Globe Cinema” is said to be the very first cinema built in Yangon. However this has to be confirmed later.

The very first Christian missionery was known to be that of Dr Judson, an author of the earliest Myanmar-English dictionaries. Preacher Dr Judson and his wifey came to Myanmar from the United States together. Both of them happen to meet General Bandoola, during King Bagyidaw’s reign.

Judson (Yu-da-than, as written in Myanmar language) Church was built in memory of Dr Judson and his work.

The Very first Computer

The very first computer ever brought and used in Myanmar was IBM’s PDB-11 mainframe, with which programmers had to use punch-cards to save programs, not disks.

This very first computer resulted the founding of ‘Universities Computer Center (UCC)’ in Yangon in 1979. This PDB-11 is now totally shut down, stored in garage, and shown to visitors as a museum item.

The Very first Email Service

The very first email service was served by Data Service Company of the Eagle Group. Please see Internet Access in Myanmar.

The Very first Electrical Lamp Poles

The very first time in Myanmar history, electrical lamp poles were erected on the road-sides in 1907, to our records. There were only oil lamps lit by the roadside before then.

The Very first Fiction

The very first Myanmar fiction printed was “Maung Yin Maung and Ma Mae Ma” by James Hla Kyaw, published in early 1900s.

The Very first Computer Font

Myanmar language softwares for use on computers have been attempted by many: RIT, ICST, and other private companies. Almost all of them are stand alone word-processing softwares. However, the creation of language font on a wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get) GUI environment was tremendous. Just by using the language font and utilizing Microsoft Windows and numerous applications on market, computerization in the country boosted up. With this one font, users can do many in the local language: word-processing, spreadsheet, designing, database (however limited), etc. Printing industry switched to one fresh thing. Even a big project to launch Myanmar electronic typewriters was cancelled!

The very first Myanmar font for Macintosh was created by font designers under supervision of the prominent Myanmar language Professor John Okell, UK, in 1988.

The very first Myanmar font for Windows was developed Zaw Htut and Thet Ko Ko, former programmers of MCC. That was named “Pioneer Myanmar Font” and was very first exhibited to public on thirteen March 1992. This invention later developed to Win Myanmar Systems. For further information, pls see

The Very first Printing Press

French Bishop Bigandet ordered the very first printing press of Myanmar during King Mindon’s time. It was one of the 50+ revolutionary factories establashed by King Mindon.

There actually were two printing press in use at the same time. One sited in Northern Garden of Mandalay Palace, and the other beside Shway Kyee Myint Pagoda in Pyigyee Kyet Tharay place. The one in Northern Garden of Mandalay Palace was the very first printing press brought in.

In ME-1240, King Theepaw moved the press from the Northern Garden to the east side of the Paliament.

The Very first Movie

Myanmar was one of the earliest movie makers in SE Asia.

The Very first Movie with sound: n.a.

The Very first Movie without sound: n.a.

For more information on movies about Myanmar, please see our movies section.

The Very first Myanmar Script

The very first Myanmar script ever found was a brief phrase of Myanmar quoted within a Mon stone inscription. That was Myakan Mon stone inscription by King Kyansitthar telling “Maha Nibban Letswe Chi Ye”.

However, the very first Myanmar stone inscription, “Yarza Komer stone inscription” (also known as “Mya Zedi stone inscription”) is known to many as the very first Myanmar script.

The Very first Myanmar Newspaper

Yadanapon Naypyidaw newspaper was the very first newspaper printed and wielded by Myanmars. King Mindon enacted a law of seventeen articles on fifteen Aug 1873, establishing this newspaper. The very first issue was released on nine Mar 1874.

The very first publication of Mawlamyine Chronicle is unknown. However after British had captured Yangon, it switched the name to Yangon Chronicle and began publishing from five Jan 1853. Published only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Wielded by Mr Louis, a lawyer.

The Very first Petrol Pipeline

The very first petroleum pipeline in Myanmar was built in 1907-08, connecting Yaynanchaung to Thanlyin (Syrium). It was two hundred seventy five miles long, and was later extended to Sintgu to three hundred twenty five miles length.

The Very first Myanmar Queen

The very first Myanmar queen was Queen Kuwerami of Waytharly dynasty.

Queen Phwar Spotted (AD 1454-72) was also recognized as the very first queen of Myanmar, because some historians believe that records about Waytharly kingdom were legendary.

The Very first Myanmar Stone Inscription

Myazedi stone inscription also known as Yarza Komer stone inscription, was engraved in four languages: Myanmar, Mon, Pali, and Pyu on four sides of a stone.

Every Burmese knows Prince Yarza Komer’s story. He was a son of King Kyatsitthar, who had a lawful right to be the successor king, but the father King Kyansitthar didn’t know he had a son, until after he had crowned his grandson (his dauther’s son).

He lived his entire life as just as a prince. When her mother died, he donated all his mother’s jewlery and four villages, by building a pagoda, Myazedi, and engraved the following stone inscription. He also donated all his victims to this pagoda in order to take care of it.

The summary of the stone inscription was that Prince Yarza Komer donated all this in memory of his parents, and if anyone attempts to demolish his donation, he cursed that this person should not have a chance to meet the next upcoming Buddha.

The Very first Shipyard

Yangon and Minethu (Dala) Shipyard were known to be the best shipyards of the region during 1700-1800s, for its quality, durability, and price.

Those shipyards were led by both French and Myanmar engineers. Myanmar’s teakwood must have been most advantageous. They were half the price of same-size ships built in Bombay, and two-third of those built in Bangal. Government tax was only 10% of the cost. And the cost was usually 70-80 Kyats per ton. More than three thousand workers were employed in these shipyards. According to same records, one hundred seven ships were built within twenty five years (1786-1821).

The largest ship sold to French was called “Laurestone”. That was a ship of one thousand five hundred tons, carrying fifty cannons. The ship was used in the French Navy of East India Company.

The Very first Surveys

The Very first Major Economic Survey

King Bodawpaya (1740-1819) made the very first major economic survey of the entire kingdom in 1784.

The Very first Literacy Survey

Just after the British took over Myanmar in late 1800s, the British government of India took a survey in Myanmar, most very likely in Mandalay, and found out that 72% masculine and 22% female were literate. This was three times higher than in India at that time.

The very first telephone system installed in Myanmar was since 1884.

The Very first Tram

It was a steamer tram introduced to the country by Dawood Company in 1884, and the route of which extended from the Yangon harbor to Shwedagon Pagoda. The company was sold to Strand Tramway Company in 1889.

The Very first Electrified Tram

The Very first Electrified Tram was driven on fifteen December one thousand nine hundred six from Kyimyindine Market (Surati Bazaar) to Theingyi Market (Suratibara Bazaar). The entire tram sytem was possessed by Rangoon Electrical Tram and Electro-therapy Production Company.

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