Dragages Hong Kong – first HK projects, Kai Tak runway extension and Shek Pik reservoir

James Chan: Dragages Hong Kong, is a very familiar company name on signs at major construction projects around  Hong Kong. It’s parent company is Bouygues Construction The company was founded in Vietnam in 1902 as Société Française Industrielle D’Extreme-Orient. It undertook its first project, the dredging and maintenance of a 2,000 kilometre canal system in the Mekong Delta. In 1910 […]

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Three HK bakeries 1864 – Dorabjee Nowrojee’s, The Wanchi and The Colonial, and mention of two other companies

HF: The first mention of a bakery in a Hong Kong newspaper I can find is that of Dorabjee Nowrojee’s in Queen’s road next to P&O Steam Ship Company’s office. The advert, published in 1864, is dated 1860 so it’s rather odd that it suggests a newly opened business. James Chan:  The Wanchi Steam Bakery Company and The Colonial Bread […]

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Walter Dunn & Company – nautical instruments

James Chan: This advert from 1951 is courtesy of Grace’s Guides: British Industrial History. However, the company doesn’t appear to have operated in the UK. So I wonder if it was a Hong Kong based company. If so did it manufacture here? I can find no mention of Walter Dunn & Co. in the HK Public Records Office newspaper search. […]

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Frank Bowden – Raleigh Cycles – early fortune made in Hong Kong

James Chan: Frank Bowden was born in Exeter, England on 30th January 1848. In the early 1870s he came to Hong Kong. By 1872, when only 24, he had made a fortune in the local stock market. It would be of interest to have further details about Bowden’s time here. In particular how he made his fortune at that time […]

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Chinese Preserved Ginger shipped through HK 1913

This report is from The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia 7th April 1913. It adds information to our other articles about ginger in HK. “There has been a general increase in the export of preserved and candied ginger from China during the past few years, the United States particularly showing a growing demand for this sweetmeat. Exports during the past three […]

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John MacNeile Price, Surveyor General of Hong Kong, the Tai Tam reservoirs

James Chan: While walking around the Tai Tam reservoirs on 11th January 2018 I came across a sign on the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail, see below, which began: “Before the 1860s, Hong Kong relied on primitive sources such as wells and streams for its water supply. Although the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, the first rainwater facility, was enlarged in […]

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Rope-making and Dyeing/Calendering on Ap Lei Chau Island. 1971 RASHKB article

James Chan:  I found this Royal Asiatic Society (HK Branch) ‘Notes and Queries’ article while looking through old volumes of the HKBRAS’ Journals. I thought it would be a useful addition to what we have on rope-making in Hong Kong. I regret that I was unable to find the illustrations that accompanied the article. If you can please contact the […]

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John L Sardy’s vehicular circumnavigation of the the globe (twice) including Hong Kong, 1894

Steam Vehicle Company Of America Detail Advert John L Sardy 1901

James Chan: John L Sardy was connected to the Motor Car Works, 8 Saracen’s Chambers, Snow Hill, London which sold the products of the Steam Vehicle Company of America, Pennsylvania, USA, for which Sardy was the General Agent. In 1894 John’s life was about to dramatically change! “John L Sardy was engaged by the R.E. Dietz Company to circumnavigate the globe […]

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R E Dietz Company Ltd – established in Hong Kong 1956 – manufacturer of hurricane lanterns

Dietz Lanterns Advert Undated

James Chan: R.E. Dietz Company Limited was founded by Mr. Robert Edwin Dietz in New York, USA in 1840 and began manufacturing kerosene lanterns, which are commonly known as hurricane lanterns… …In order to reduce production cost and increase market share, Dietz relocated its production facilities from New York, U.S.A. to Hong Kong in 1956 and subsequently from Hong Kong […]

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