Asiatic Petroleum Company – contemporary photographs of its Shanghai building
Nicholas Kitto has a family connection to the Asiatic Petroleum Company. His grandfather, John ‘Jack’ Kitto, was recruited directly from school by Royal Dutch Shell in 1910. After training in their London office he travelled to Shanghai on the Trans-Siberian Railway and commenced work with The Asiatic Petroleum Company (North China) Limited on 16 September 1912. He remained with APC in various locations in China until his retirement in 1939.
Nicholas and Robert Nield have spent the last seven years visiting the old Treaty Ports of substance in China. Robert as writer and Nicholas as photographer. This has resulted in the book, The China Coast: Trade And The First Treaty Ports.
During his visits Nicholas has tracked down several buildings with a connection to Asiatic Petroleum motivated in part by his grandfather’s involvement in the company.
He was aided in this effort by his father’s memory, the HKU’s collection of Directory & Chronicles and time spent on various genealogy websites. He has managed to identify the locations and timing of most of his family’s activities in China, and certainly of Jack Kitto’s with APC.
- Nicholas Kitto’ Asiatic Petroleum Company photographs 45 images from a variety of locations in China.
- Nicholas Kitto’s website devoted to two projects, both involving historical buildings in China. The first is to photograph the many surviving foreign-inspired buildings in China’s former treaty ports and leased territories. This project is approaching completion. The second is to record Hong Kong’s 108 Declared Monuments.
- The China Coast: Trade And The First Treaty Ports, Robert Nield, Joint Publishing Co., 2010
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