Q+A 14 Inland River Operations Company

HF writes: I am trying to gather information about this company and not coming up with much. Apparently in mid-January 1942 (ie during the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese) the Inland River Operations Company resumed river steamers between Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland. I am not sure whether “resumed” meant the company existed pre-1942 or whether it was […]

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The Titanic – the 106th anniversary of its sinking – the untold story of its eight Chinese passengers

Titanic A Still Photo From The Film The Six

At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, 106 years ago today, the British ocean liner Titanic sank into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The massive ship, which carried 2,200 passengers and crew, had struck an iceberg two and half hours before. “Eight Chinese men were among the 2,200 people on board the RMS Titanic. Six […]

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The Seawise Giant, the longest, heaviest, ship ever built – Hong Kong connection

Seawise Giant Image SCMP

Seawise Giant, later Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis, Oppama, and finally Mont, was a ULCC supertanker (ultra large crude carrier) that was the longest ship ever built. She possessed the greatest deadweight tonnage ever recorded. Fully loaded, her displacement was 657,019 tonnes (646,642 long tons; 724,239 short tons), the heaviest ship of any kind, and with a laden draft of 24.6 m (81 ft), she was incapable of navigating the English Channel, the Suez […]

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George Benjamin Dodwell, 1851-1925, Prominent Hong Kong merchant and shipowner

George Benjamin Dodwell Image Wikipedia

Dodwell & Co. (天祥洋行) or Dodwell’s, was one of the leading British merchant firms, or hongs, active in Hong Kong, China and Japan during the 19th and 20th century. It was a direct rival to Jardine, Matheson & Co., Dent & Co., and Russell & Co. Swire oulived the latter two and remains a major commercial power in Hong Kong, China and […]

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French maritime companies in Hong Kong 1918-1941

PA Lapiicque Shipping Line Company Flag

Dr. François Drémeaux, Honorary Professor, Department of History, The University of Hong Kong, is currently working on the presence of French companies in Hong Kong during the interwar period. He has kindly sent three charts showing a selection of these companies. The first one shows: Les principales compagnies maritimes françaises à Hong Kong (1918-1941) I have copied the company names […]

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The Isthmian Shipping Line 1910-1974 – monthly sailing from Hong Kong to New York 1950s

Isthmian Line SS Steel Seafarer Isthmian LInes WebsIte

Stephen Davies: The Isthmian Shipping Line (1910-1974) was initially a strange, hybrid beast – American but set up in London with a British management agency, the Federal Steam Navigation Co (ex-the famed Money & Wigram, itself an offshoot of the EIC when that lost its monopoly in 1833). I think the key point is its connection with US Steel – […]

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Hong Kong Industry during World War One

HF:  This is an initial attempt to analyse the impact of World War One on industry in Hong Kong. First some rather surprising evidence of pro-German feelings immediately prior to the outbreak of WW1. During research at the national archives in Berlin for his forthcoming book, The Germans and Hong Kong, 1843-1997, Bert Becker, associate professor of history at the […]

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The Signal Tower, Blackhead Point – link to Blackhead and Company

Signal Tower At Blackhead Point, Tsim Sha Tsui. The 109th Declared Monument.

The Signal Tower in the Signal Hill Garden at Blackhead Point was built in 1907 by the Hong Kong Observatory to house a time-ball apparatus that was previously located in the nearby Round House of the Former Marine Police Headquarters. [Nick Kitto points out: the time-ball is still visible at the  Marine Police Headquarters in TST. HF:Blackhead Point (黑頭山, lit. […]

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BAAG Naval Section Intelligence Summary, late January to late March 1943, ship repair, maintenance and movements

Asosan Maru Image

Elizabeth Ride has sent the Naval section of a British Army Aid Group (BAAG) Waichow Intelligence Summary (WIS 24) dated 23rd March 1943. This covers shipping movements in and out of Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation in World War Two during late January to late March 1943, a longer period than is usual in this type of report. There are a […]

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Telegraph Bay, HK Island – location of the first submarine telegraphic cable into Hong Kong, 1871

HF: “Telegraph Bay was the site of an early cable landing dating from the early part of the Twentieth Century. The environment of the bay and valley has been radically altered through reclamation and the construction of the Cyberport development. The old cable house is still located in its original position (although it is now located within the grounds of a school). […]

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