Dodwell & Company Ltd, 天祥洋行

Dodwell & Company (天祥洋行) was one of the leading British merchant firms, active in China and Japan during the 19th and 20th century. It was a direct rival to Jardine, Matheson & Co. “It was established in 1858 when W R Adamson and Company (silk dealers) set up in London, with its head office in Shanghai and branches in Hong Kong, […]

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Wai Nam Chan, co-founder of Ping Shan Enterprise Company Ltd

Our article, Ping Shan Enterprise Co Ltd, disused factory, Yuen Long, notes that the company was co-founded by Wai Nam Chan and Lam Chok Fai. Here are some brief biographical details about Wai Nam Chan. Thanks to York Lo for informing us of the link to the HKU citation from which the following extract has been taken: “Mr Wai Nam Chan […]

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The Hongkong Milling Company (Rennie’s Mill)

HF: The Hongkong Milling Company had a brief existence during the early part of the 20th century. Things ended tragically when its prime founder Alfred Herbert Rennie committed suicide by throwing himself off the company launch taking him to the Mill. The company, a major industrial enterprise at that time, is almost forgotten. I wonder also how many people remember […]

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Beer in Hong Kong – Part Five – the Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery Ltd 1936-1947

Martyn Cornell has kindly given permission for extracts from his article, A Short History of Beer in Hong Kong, to be posted on our website. The article was published in the Journal of the Brewery History Society, Brewery History, Issue 156, 2012 Martyn has his own blog, Zythophile – Beer now and then, linked below. Despite its title the article is […]

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Hong Kong’s Preserved Ginger Industry – Dan Waters discovers and recollects

Dan Waters writes: My first recollection of the name, ‘Hong Kong’, was as a teenager in the early 1930s. My uncle was a warrant officer in the British army and, for a time, he was stationed in India. Every Christmas a large, colourful blue-and-white porcelain jar of preserved ginger would arrive at our home in Norfolk, England. This had been […]

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Homi Villa – built by Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee during the construction of Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd Brewery

Homi Villa, a distinctive white building, was built by Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee, 律敦治, as a convenient place from which to oversee the construction of the Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd Brewery at nearby Sham Tseng. It’s located on an attractive promontory at 401 Castle Peak Road overlooking the Ma Wan Channel. It was subsequently purchased by the Hong Kong Government […]

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Sugar Street 糖街, Causeway Bay – origins of the name – silver into sugar or vice versa!

HF: In his book, The Atlas: Archaeology of an Imaginary City, a mixture of fact and fiction about Hong Kong in the past and future, Dung Kai Cheung, Louis, writes about Sugar Street (糖街) in Causeway Bay. Dung recounts the local legend that the Hong Kong Mint, based there from 1866 to 1868, failed because, in spite of melted silver being […]

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Mui Wo salt pans, Lantau Island

In our Queries and Answers 5 Eric Spain had an enquiry about salt production in Mui Wo. He remembers seeing some RAF aerial photographs which showed salt pans there. [presumably immediately before, during or shortly after WW2?]. Frank Watson and Namussi added information to Q+A 5 which is linked below. HF: Further information can be found in a post I made on gwulo.com […]

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Cheung Sha Wan Abattoir, 1969-1999

HF: Cheung Sha Wan Abattoir was one of HK’s three main slaughter houses before they were all closed and Sheung Shui opened. Established in 1969, it closed in October 1999. It’s a very large building, which I have been unable to enter, and is connected to the adjacent vegetable market via a footbridge. The Government’s decided in 1995 to close the three main […]

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Amoy Canning – connection to WW2 POWs and a particular Englishman?

HF: As part of my research into the Amoy Canning Company I came across the account given below. I don’t know what the Hong Kong POWs were fed but good quality canned food seems unlikely… Did the Japanese feed POWs with Amoy “beaned pork” ? Who was this unnamed Englishman? How did the latter procure the soybeans and tin plate[s] […]

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