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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Hong Kong Artificial Flower Works, San Po Kong, location of the start of the 1967 riots

Duncan Tong (唐鼎康) died a few years ago aged 103. He was a pioneer of the plastic flowers industry and owned the Hong Kong Artificial Flower Works in San Po Kong (and apparently not Li Ka-Shing as is often incorrectly reported) where the 1967 riots started. “The political struggle between the colonial government and the leftist camp started in a […]

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South China Iron Works – company staff in the 1950/60s

Antonia Cheung has already kindly sent information and images which appear in two articles. The first was about her father, Chang Don Chien 張敦潛, chief engineer South China Iron Works, 1948-1968. And the second about the company, The Story of the South China Iron Works as told by Chang Don Chien 張敦潛. Both are linked below. Here Antonia provides a list of the […]

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Shanghainese Builders in Hong Kong (Part One) – the Pre-War Pioneers (Yaik Sang, Sung Kee Zee and Dao Kee)

York Lo: Shanghainese Builders in Hong Kong (Part One) – the Pre-War Pioneers (Yaik Sang, Sung Kee Zee and Dao Kee) Having contributed to the building of pre-war Shanghai into the leading metropolis in the Far East, Shanghainese builders and construction firms played a critical role in the post war construction boom in Hong Kong as the city emerged as […]

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Henry Vaucher, Hong Kong watchmaker, c1856-1857

Our article, Charles Weiss, Hong Kong chronometer and watchmaker, c1844-1856, ends: Charles left Hong Kong permanently in 1856 and transferred his business to Henry Vaucher, formerly of Canton (Friend of China 2 June 1856). Thanks to Richard McGeough for re-typing the extract from Carl Smith’s RASHKB article linked below. The article continues: Henry Vaucher was either French or Swiss, he had been […]

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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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Hua Nan Motors – HK distributor of DeSoto, Peugeot and Renault automobiles from the 1940s to 1960s

York Lo: Hua Nan Motors – HK distributor of DeSoto, Peugeot and Renault automobiles from the 1940s to 1960s From the 1940s to the 1960s, Hua Nan Motors Federal Co Inc (華南汽車公司) was a major car dealership in Hong Kong which served as exclusive distributor of American automobile brand DeSoto and French car brands Peugeot and Renault. In the 1950s, the […]

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Union Ceramic Industries and Heart Brand Enamelware

York Lo: Union Ceramic Industries and Heart Brand Enamelware Left: Union Ceramic Industries’ ad from 1949 (China Mail 1949-5-26); Right: Union Ceramics’s factory (Source: Ta Kung Pao, 1956-1-1) During the heyday of the HK enamelware industry between the 1940s and 1960s, Union Ceramic Industries (一心搪瓷, hereafter referred to as UCI), the maker of Heart Brand enamelware, had the distinction of being […]

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Douglas Lapraik – watchmaker, shipowner and co-founder of the Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Company

Douglas Lapraik arrived in Hong Kong in 1842 in apparently somewhat straitened circumstances from Macau. Things changed for the colourful Mr Lapraik. In 1863, together with Thomas Sutherland and Jardine, Matheson & Co,. he co-founded the Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Company (Kowloon Docks) which at its peak was the largest shipyard in Asia. The following article has been extracted from […]

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Charles Weiss, Hong Kong chronometer and watchmaker, c1844-1856

HF: In 1980 there were 1,187 registered watch factories in Hong Kong during a period when it was one of the largest producers and exporters of watches and clocks in the world. The origin of watchmaking here however possibly goes back 170 years and started very soon after the colony was ceded. Carl Smith wrote a lengthy article, The German […]

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