20 George U. Sands – connection to three HK companies 1866 to 1880?

Hugh Farmer: George U. Sands apparently lived and worked in Hong Kong from 1866 to 1880 though one account says he died in 1878.

Harvard University Library has a collection of his business records which consist of account books, letter books, diaries, financial material related to Sands’ management of:-

  • The Patent Slip and Dock Company
  • The Novelty Iron Works
  • The Hong Kong, Canton and Macao Steamboat Company.

And the George U. Sands business records kept at Harvard Business School contain similar resources:- account books, letter books, and unbound papers reflecting Sands’ activity in the management of the same three companies and continues, “He was very familiar with the river trade and steamboat navigation, having been a captain himself. The collection highlights the transportation industry and the introduction of steamboats to China. The collection includes correspondence relating to shipment of iron, instructions to steamboat captains, and business transactions, including meetings with American merchant agents.”

The Novelty Iron Works was definitely a Hong Kong concern (there were at least two companies in the USA with the same somewhat curious name). As obviously was the Steamboat Company. I’m not sure about The Patent Slip and Dock Company though, I can find very little about it.

Any information about Mr Sands or the three companies would be of great interest.

The image accompanying this article is of the Hong Kong, Canton and Macao Steamboat Co Ltd’s “Honam”.


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