The “Canton System” – background and meaning of the term

This post follows from Queries & Answers 12 “The term Compradore.” James Chan has read that the comprador system originally came to prominence after the Canton system, in the late Ming dynasty, was abolished in 1842 and the compradores replaced the “hong” merchants as the main intermediaries between Chinese and Western traders. He is mystified. James wonders if anyone can explain the terms,  Canton system, and hong merchant. And […]

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Resources – updated, great new ways to discover HK’s Industrial History.

Hugh Farmer: Last updated 20th Feb 2014 I’ve added new places to go to research HK’s industrial past. Thanks to those of you who have added to the list. The latest is Andrew Wood who provides an Australian website http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/and laments that there are far more HK historic maps there than in HK official sources. If you’re British, and forgetting industrial […]

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Shek Pai Wan (Aberdeen) – update

This appeared first as Queries and Answers 15. Hugh Farmer: While walking around Aberdeen last week I saw an information board that said, “the name Shek Pai Wan meant a bay packed with rows of stone”. Shek Pai  Wan is Aberdeen harbour ie the water between Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau. Can anyone confirm that the above is correct. And if so […]

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Lam Leung-tim – Forward Winsome Industries Ltd

Hugh Farmer: The SCMP on 10th Feb 2014 had an article about  Lam Leung-tim who was a “toy tycoon”. http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1424643/toy-story-how-tycoon-lam-leung-tim-built-his-empire The SCMP on 10th Feb 2014 had an article about the 50th anniversary of G.I. Joe toy soldiers, first made in early 1964 in the Lam Leung-tim’s company made G.I.Joe toys in HK. When and where? http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1424595/hasbros-gi-joe-set-50th-birthday Forward Winsome Industries […]

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Early HK Chinese manufacturers 1870s + around WW1

Hugh Farmer: These two extracts provide a clear indication of the range of manufacturing and products produced by Chinese in Hong Kong at two periods. It would be of interest to hear a little about some of these goods. “While the expatriate investors set up all the major industrial enterprises , the Chinese community also went beyond handicraft industries and […]

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West Brother Island (Tai Mo To) Graphite Mine

Hugh Farmer: The mine was in the bottom left hand (SW) corner of the island (apologies for a fuzzy picture that resembles shark’s fin soup) West Brother Island lies to the north east of HK International Airport.  I have read an account that the graphite was discovered in the early 1950s  by fishermen who were looking for sandstone to make […]

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