Keeping Warm – Nam Wah Industrial (南華實業), maker of polyester blankets and thermal carriers

York Lo: Keeping Warm – Nam Wah Industrial (南華實業), maker of polyester blankets and thermal carriers

Nam Wah Industrial Image 1 York Lo

Article about Nam Wah’s thermal carrier for tropical fish. The carrier shown appears to be made for Pan Am (WKYP, 1961-11-1)

Recently while browsing old newspapers for research on other topics, I came across three articles (all shown here) about a firm by the name of Nam Wah Industrial which appears to be a pioneer in making and selling polyester blankets (referred to as 賽絲龍被 in Chinese) and thermal carriers in HK.

Nam Wah was founded in 1955 by Leung Yan-sui (梁仁瑞) who was managing director of the firm and by 1961, the firm had already made over 100,000 polyester blankets with factory located at Belcher’s Street in Kennedy Town, offices at Room 304 at 8 Queen’s Road Central and a rapidly expanding network ofseven retail outlets located in Tsuen Wan, Nathan Road, North Point, Yuen Long, Kwun Tong, Shau Kei Wan and Aberdeen.

The firm focused on the mass market – with an emphasis on factory workers. It located its outlets next to industrial areas and organized “Blanket Clubs” (a similar fashion to the popular mooncake clubs and lending clubs in Chinese communities at the time) which allowed customers to pay for blankets by installments. Leung appeared to have very close relations to senior officials of the Chinese Manufacturers Association such as enamelware tycoon John Tung and textile magnate Chu Shek-lun who were guests of honor at Nam Wah’s store openings as shown in the articles below. In 1961, the firm expanded into the thermal carrier business when it was asked by an airline to manufacture nylon thermal carrier to keep tropical fish warm in air cargo and a cold environment. According to the article, Nam Wah’s carrier was over 30 pounds lighter than the ones made by British manufacturers and over 20 pounds lighter than the ones made by American manufacturers.

According to company registry, Nam Wah Industrial as a firm was incorporated in 1968 and dissolved in 1971. A firm called Southern Polyester Products Ltd (南華賽絲龍製品有限公司) which might be related was incorporated in 1979 and dissolved in 2003. Any more info about this firm would be much appreciated.

Nam Wah Industrial Image 2 York Lo

Leung Yan-sui (right), John Tung of I-Feng Enameling (center) and branch manager Kwong Suet-wan (left) cutting the ribbon for the Tsuen Wan branch of Nam Wah Industrial. (WKYP, 1961-7-17)

Nam Wah Industrial Image 3 York Lo

Chu Shek-lun, chairman of the CMA, cutting the ribbon for the new Kwun Tong branch of Nam Wah Industrial (香港工商日報, 1961-11-13)

Additional sources (other than the ones listed)

  1. 香港工商日報, 1967-03-15

This article was first posted on 25th June 2018.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Spear and Yips – Pioneers of the HK Shirt Industry
  2. Tai Hing Knitting Factory

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