Ancient Stone Trails, Stone bridges and Waymarkers in HK

Thomas Ngan: Before Shek Pik Reservoir and the South Lantau Road were built, villagers travelled either by boat, or by ancient footpaths between major villages on Lantau. You might have heard a few months some villagers of a few villages in the Tung Chun area blocked the foot path going through their villages. It was around the same month of the […]

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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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Chu Lu Kuk / Chek Lap Kok Island Granite Quarry – early 19th century to 1960s?

James Chan: I found this reference to Chu Lu Kok Island Granite Quarry while looking for something else. The documents here come from the Public Works Department, 1906. The documents say the island was “on the north of Lantao Island” though the Particulars of the Lot say “north of Chu Lu Kuk. A mistake? I can’t find where this island […]

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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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Early HK Shipyards and Graving docks

Hugh Farmer: In early colonial Hong Kong shipwrights used traditional skills to build junks and sampans and later acquired new skills by building western style ships. A considerable change came with the construction of dock facilities to build and repair iron steamships. John Lamont completed HK’s first dry dock in Aberdeen in 1860. The Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Company’s dry dock […]

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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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The Defense of HK

The defense of HK has always been a sensitive issue, a report in The Engineer in January 1889 entitled “Defense of our Coaling Stations. No 1 Hong Kong”, gives an overview of the situation. The report notes that Hong Kong has a trade of GBP20 million per annum, with hundreds of steam ships and sailing vessels in the harbour on […]

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