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 […]

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Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company in China

HF: Following our recent article about the Asiatic Petroleum Company in China and Nicholas Kitto’s photographs of the APC building in Shanghai, I thought it would be of interest to learn about Royal Dutch Shell’s history there as the two companies were closely connected. Let’s start with Royal Dutch Shell in China according to their own website: Shell’s business relationship […]

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Ng Jim Kai – Financier of the Chinese Revolution and Pioneer of the Garment and Shipping Industries in Hong Kong

York Lo: In 2013, the Ford Motor Company released a 1924 letter which Sun Yat-sen sent to Henry Ford inviting him to open up a plant in south China – the bearer of the letter was a Chinese American merchant named Ng Jim Kai (a.k.a. Ng Tung Kai 吳東啟, 1859-1935). [1] A major financial backer of Sun Yat-sen for over […]

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Lok On Pai ‘desalting’ plant – site visit photographs including a great surprise!

Hugh Farmer: Following our recent articles about the Lok On Pai ‘desalting’ plant I visited the site on 4th December 2014 to see what remains. We know from recent aerial photographs and maps that the main building exists extending west to east, with one main arm at right angles to this running south towards the sea. Here’s what the site […]

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Peter H.T. Woo – Father of the Hong Kong Electronics Industry

Peter H.T. Woo – Father of the Hong Kong Electronics Industry – by York Lo Several years ago, I was invited by the editors of the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography (HKU Press, 2011) to write biographical entries for the book. In total I wrote 37 entries which covered many of the important figures in HK business history. However, there […]

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Yates and Thom, Blackburn, UK – Makers of the original Peak Tram engines

HF:  Yates and Thom, (formerly W and J Yates), 9 Canal Ironworks, Blackburn, UK, were makers of engines for mills, collieries and waterworks. And the orginal engine for the Peak Tram which was opened for public service on 28 May 1888. Construction had begun іn September 1885. Initially a static steam engine was used to power the haulage cable “built by […]

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The Dairy Farm Ice and Cold Storage Company – HKBRAS article

HF: Dan Waters wrote a short piece in 1990 about the Dairy Farm Ice and Cold Storage Company. Dan has kindly drawn my attention to this and given permission to reproduce it. This was part of a longer article, Hong Kong Hongs with long histories and British connections, published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, Vol […]

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Wi-Fi ‘Guard’ device to protect incense trees – SCMP article

HF: Today’s SCMP has an article about the latest effort to protect the endangered incense tree in Hong Kong. Namely, a ‘tree guard’ system that monitors realtime data about trees to stop them from being illegally felled or stolen. The system has been developed at Chinese University. Prof Chiu Siu Wai, of the University’s School of Life Sciences, says it […]

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