Messrs. Shewan, Tomes & Co

Hugh Farmer: Shewan, Tomes & Co. was one of the leading  trading companies in Hong Kong and China during the late 19th and early 20th century. When Russell & Co. then one of the largest mercantile firms in the Far East went out of business in 1891, former employees Scotsman, Robert Shewan and Englishman, Charles Alexander Tomes took over the remains of the operation and […]

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Faithful Trading and Polytek Engineering

Faithful Trading And Polytek Engineering Detail Image 4 York Lo

York Lo: Faithful Trading and Polytek Engineering Industrial trading and engineering firms such as China Engineers, Reiss Bradley and Andersen Meyer covered earlier in other articles played an important role in the industrial development of Hong Kong and the broader region as they facilitated the necessary technology transfer from the West by acting as importers and installers of state of the […]

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The three Forbes brothers: opium traders, Russell & Company in China and HK, USA railway financiers…

Lintin Island Small Version Opium Ships Edward Duncan After William John Higgins Courtesy Google Arts & Culture

The following article was written by Peter E. Hamilton, and first  published in the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, edited by May Holdsworth and Christopher Munn. The publisher, HK University Press, has kindly granted permission for it to be posted here, but retains copyright over this material from 2012. Forbes, Robert Bennet b. 18 September 1804, Jamaica Plain, Boston, USA; d. […]

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Edward T.T. Chan (陳德泰, 1918-1981) and Tai Cheung – HK Real Estate Pioneer

Edward T.T. Chan And Tai Cheung Detail Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: Edward T.T. Chan (陳德泰, 1918-1981) and Tai Cheung – HK Real Estate Pioneer Left: Edward TT Chan in the 1970s (HK Scouting Gazette); Right: Tai Cheung ad in 1957 promoting its new development at the former site of I-Feng Enameling at 473 Castle Peak Road. The slogan reads “Tai Cheung’s buildings, the most reliable” and a 500 sq […]

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Frank Bowden – Raleigh Cycles – early fortune made in Hong Kong

James Chan: Frank Bowden was born in Exeter, England on 30th January 1848. In the early 1870s he came to Hong Kong. By 1872, when only 24, he had made a fortune in the local stock market. It would be of interest to have further details about Bowden’s time here. In particular how he made his fortune at that time […]

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Tsing Yi Power Station – 1966 construction to 1998 demolition

IDJ: For anyone looking towards the west from around 1966 onwards, the Tsing Yi Power Station site was an increasingly prominent feature of the harbor view. As the five tall concrete chimneys were built progressively from 1968 onwards, no one could fail to see them against the backdrop of the hills on the island. An illustrated brochure was handed out […]

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Lynhall Land Investment (聯合置業) – Real Estate Powerhouse from the late 1950s and early 1960s

Lynhall Land Investment Detail Image 2 York Lo

York Lo: Lynhall Land Investment (聯合置業) – Real Estate Powerhouse from the late 1950s and early 1960s Lynhall Land ad from 1958 featuring 7 of its properties that were available for sale that year (left to right): Majestic, Kingland, Hankow, Maylun, Phoenix, Lido and Mido(華僑日報, 1958-01-03) From 1945 to 1960, the population of Hong Kong jumped sixfoldfrom 500,000 to 3 […]

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European Settlements in the Far East – Part Three, The Peak District and the Peak Tram in HK around 1900

Vaudine England has kindly sent a link to what she describes as a typically 1900-era directory of the European empires in the east. The author was D Warren Smith. Of great interest to us is a rather neat summary of the industries and shipyards at that time. We have already posted Part One – Industries and Part Two – Shipyards, […]

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Alexander Kwang (鄭光) and Chu Shek-lun(朱石麟)

Alexander Kwang And Chu Shek Lun Detail Image 1 Yotk Lo

York Lo: Alexander Kwang (鄭光) and Chu Shek-lun(朱石麟) Left: Chu Shek-lun as CMA chairman casting his ballot for Miss HK Products Expo in December 1960 (TKP, 1960-12-27); Right: Alexander Kwang (right) presenting the silver trophy to the winner of the portrait competition at the CMA HK Products Expo in January 1961 (Kung Sheung Evening News, 1961-1-8) Alexander Kwang (1908-1964), and Chu […]

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