The ‘Vital Spark’ – last steam powered vessel to be licenced by the HK Marine Department 1988

IDJ: In 1984 The Hong Kong Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (HKSMEE) was officially registered. A major project by a member was a coal fired steam-engine powered launch, the ‘Vital Spark,’ based at Hebe Haven. The substantial steam engine and its accessories were built in a ‘home’ workshop with the hull constructed and fitted out near Hebe Haven. Vital Spark was […]

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U Tat-chee, “The Ginger King,” Managing Partner of Chy Loong Ginger Factory and the Chy Loong Soy Factory

U Tat Chee Detail SCMP 1.1.1952

Thanks to IDJ for sending the following newspaper article titled New Year Honours for H.K. Residents. Of particular interest is mention of U Tat-chee, “genial Ginger King and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Manufacturers Union, who becomes an officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division).” HF: I have retyped a further extract from the original article and […]

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George Underhill Sands, Early China Steamship Entrepreneur

Hankow In HK Harbour Date Unknown Source Peabody & Essex Museum, Salem, MA, USA From Ralph Wood

Ralph Wood has kindly sent the following article. George Underhill Sands was Ralph’s Great-granduncle. Ralph has compiled a substantial amount of information about George Sands’ family as well as the man himself. This can be found on Ralph’s website which is linked below the article. This website has posted a couple of articles about George Underhill Sands which are also […]

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The History of Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Ltd, 1923 – 1970s, Lingnam thesis

Sham Wai Chi wrote his MPhil thesis for Lingnam University in 2007 on the History of the Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company covering the years 1923 up to the 1970s. HF: The original company was founded by Lau Tak Po in 1897 when he purchased 5 wooden boats and provided services from HK Island to Kowloon under the  company name Yaumati […]

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European Settlements in the Far East – Part Five Trade and Shipping Lines in Hong Kong around 1900

Hong Kong Harbour 1890s Source SCMP

Vaudine England has kindly sent a link to what she describes as a typically 1900-era directory of the European empires in the east. There is much in the directory of interest to us which has been linked in articles below. The author was D Warren Smith.(1) I thought I would divide these summaries into several parts. Fifth up – Trade […]

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Tai Koo Dockyard makes a ship on wheels

Now Taikoo Makes A Ship On Wheels China Mail 26th September 1958 From IDJ

IDJ has sent the following article. HF: I have retyped the original article to improve clarity and aid searches Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped script. This is the galleon which will be taking part in the Festival of the Arts Pageant at the Government Stadium on October 30. It was designed and built by Taikoo Docks from old […]

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Lammert & Company – watchmakers, auctioneers and an 1858 murder

Lammert Bros Dteail Advert For SS Chekiang HK Telegraph 17.8.1923

“Lammert the auctioneers have a long history in Hong Kong. Their first association in Hong Kong was with the watchmaking trade. The transition form the watch to the auction hammer occurred as follows. One of the assistants in the watchmaking shop of Charles Weiss in 1852 was M Zobel. He is listed as a watchmaker from 1853 to 1855. In […]

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Kwok Hing Engineering Works, further information

Kwok Hing Engineering Works Name Plate From Nathan Laurent

Nathan Laurent, who lives in Queensland, Australia, has an interest in industrial history. HF: Nathan contacted me “to see if your researchers know anything about a metal manufacturing business that used the name Kwok Hing. My father has a metal working lathe of this brand made in Hong Kong which seems to be from the 1950s.” Below is a picture taken […]

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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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