Bullivant & Co, Millwall London, supplier of Taikoo Sugar Refinery’s aerial ropeway cables

HF with thanks to IDJ for the two adverts. The cable used in the Aerial Ropeway constructed to link Takoo Sugar Refinery and its Sanitarium was made by Bullivant & Co. which began as a UK company. William Munton Bullivant was an early innovator in the stranded wire cordage field, invented in the mid-19th century by German mining engineers in the […]

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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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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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Sir Alexander Binnie, Binnie & Partners

HF:  The engineerng consultancy Binnie & Partners, though British, has had a close connection to Hong Kong through several large-scale engineering projects. From the late 1990s it has been part of the multi-national consultancy Black and Veatch which has its HK office  in Ngau Tau Kok. In 1909 AR Binnie and Son merged with another UK engineering consultancy to become […]

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Imperial Airways – including first scheduled flight into Hong Kong 1936

IDJ: Imperial Airways (Far East) Ltd Many people in Hong Kong have no concept of how airlines developed in the territory despite air services being their primary means of transport overseas. Airline services arrived late in Hong Kong relative to the rest of the world. Not until 1936, when the UK based Imperial Airways was slowly extending its routes from […]

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A History of the Wong Family Textile Business – Part One: Life in Shanghai

Eleanor Wong has written A History of the Wong Family Textile Business, a detailed account of her family’s business history in Shanghai, then in Hong Kong and finally Indonesia. She was assisted in this project by her editor, Carey Vail. Part One: Life in Shanghai  is a history of the Wong family’s interests in the textile industry in the city from 1911, […]

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A Look Back : Civil Engineering in Hong Kong 1841-1941

HF: Tymon Mellor and IDJ have both sent the article, A Look Back : Civil Engineering in Hong Kong 1841-1941 written by C Michael Guilford. The preface says this was  written as a contribution to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers which was from 1947 to 1975, The Engineering Society of Hong Kong. […]

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