Robert Gordon Shewan – CLP, Green Island Cement and HK Rope Manufacturing

Hugh Farmer: Robert Gordon Shewan was born in London on 13th November 1859 (1860 according to 20th Century Impressions – see below) but achieved prominence in Hong Kong as a Scottish businessman. He was the son of Andrew Shewan, master mariner, and Jane Thomson. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1881, at the age of 2,1 in connection with the American […]

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Messrs. Shewan, Tomes & Co

Hugh Farmer: Shewan, Tomes & Co. was one of the leading  trading companies in Hong Kong and China during the late 19th and early 20th century. When Russell & Co. then one of the largest mercantile firms in the Far East went out of business in 1891, former employees Scotsman, Robert Shewan and Englishman, Charles Alexander Tomes took over the remains of the operation and […]

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The three Forbes brothers: opium traders, Russell & Company in China and HK, USA railway financiers…

Lintin Island Small Version Opium Ships Edward Duncan After William John Higgins Courtesy Google Arts & Culture

The following article was written by Peter E. Hamilton, and first  published in the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, edited by May Holdsworth and Christopher Munn. The publisher, HK University Press, has kindly granted permission for it to be posted here, but retains copyright over this material from 2012. Forbes, Robert Bennet b. 18 September 1804, Jamaica Plain, Boston, USA; d. […]

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Tsing Yi Power Station – 1966 construction to 1998 demolition

IDJ: For anyone looking towards the west from around 1966 onwards, the Tsing Yi Power Station site was an increasingly prominent feature of the harbor view. As the five tall concrete chimneys were built progressively from 1968 onwards, no one could fail to see them against the backdrop of the hills on the island. An illustrated brochure was handed out […]

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European Settlements in the Far East – Part Three, The Peak District and the Peak Tram in HK around 1900

Vaudine England has kindly sent a link to what she describes as a typically 1900-era directory of the European empires in the east. The author was D Warren Smith. Of great interest to us is a rather neat summary of the industries and shipyards at that time. We have already posted Part One – Industries and Part Two – Shipyards, […]

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Bamboo Scaffolding – Dan Waters

Dan Waters: In 1957 I led a class of building students to a building site in Central District, Hong Kong, to see an exhibition of Acrow, tubular steel and tubular aluminium scaffolding. The exhibition aroused interest in the industry and elsewhere and there were those who prophesied that the use of bamboo scaffolding was drawing to a close. But while […]

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Bamboo Scaffolding – Dan Waters’ photo gallery

A selection of Dan Waters’ photographs of bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong over the years. Click to enlarge. Dr. Dan Waters standing in front of the mural of pandas and bamboo at the Sheung Shui Training Centre. This article was first posted on 26th February 2014. 2007See: Hong Kong Industrial History: A Brief Account of the Accompanying Role Played by […]

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Alexander Skirving Watson, pharmacist who lent his name to one of Hong Kong’s oldest companies

A S Watson Chemist Detail Advert China Mail 1.8.1878

The Hong Kong Dispensary was founded in Hong Kong in 1841. Alexander Skirving Watson, a British pharmacist, joined the company as Manager in 1858, and by 1862 the name A.S. Watson began to feature prominently with the Hong Kong Dispensary and eventually became the official name of the pharmacy and was then incorporated in the A.S.Watson Group. The Hong Kong […]

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Film Studios, Hong Kong – dates, locations, layout, founders…

Hugh Farmer: If you can add further information on these or other studios please add a comment or email me directly: at indhhk at gmail dot com.  Thanks to IDJ for informing me about the illuminatedlantern.com website, linked below, from which I have added to our initial information. Source (1). HF: Philip Edward Kenny who runs the absorbing website about HK film locations, hongkongandmacacufilmstuff […]

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