Fred Westphal – the American Oil Taipan from New Orleans who helped to power Hong Kong

York Lo: Fred Westphal – the American Oil Taipan from New Orleans who helped to power Hong Kong Fred Westphal (right) with Governor Sir David Trench (centre) and Lord Lawrence Kadoorie (left) at the opening of Peninsula Electric Power’s Tsing Yi power station in 1969. Source: HK Heritage On October 11, 2016, Frederick Clement Westphal Jr passed away in his native […]

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J.H. Vaughan – An American Shipbuilder in Hong Kong

York Lo: J.H. Vaughan – An American Shipbuilder in Hong Kong San Pablo from the movie The Sand Pebbles – JH Vaughan’s highest profile creation (Source: Sand Pebbles movie website) Americans have been involved in the Hong Kong shipbuilding industry since the early days of the colony when two Bostonians – Charles Emery and George Frazar set up their shipyard in […]

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Spear and Yips – Pioneers of the HK Shirt Industry

York Lo: Spear and Yips – Pioneers of the HK Shirt Industry Before the war, shirts in Hong Kong were dominated by imported brands from overseas (e.g. Arrow Shirt from America) or the mainland (e.g. Smart Shirt and 555 Shirt from Shanghai).  The first two domestic shirt brands to emerge in the post War period were Spear Shirt (槍牌恤) and […]

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Hung Cheong Import & Export Ltd – YKK Zippers’ Hong Kong agent

York Lo: The authorized agent for YKK zippers in Hong Kong since the 1950s has been Hung Cheong Import & Export Ltd (鴻昌), which was founded by Kwok Tak-seng (郭得勝, 1911-1990) and Yeung Yiu-chung (楊耀松, 1921-2003). The profits from selling YKK zippers formed the foundations of two multi-billion real estate fortunes as Kwok went on to start Sun Hung Kai Properties […]

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Shanghainese Wood Carvers and the Development of the Wooden Furniture Industry in Hong Kong

York Lo: Shanghainese Wood Carvers and the Development of the Wooden Furniture Industry in Hong Kong As mentioned in the article “There was Something About Hong Kong Old Mary…”, Chiuchow natives Mary Wong and her son Jimmy Tse of HK Old Mary Sing Shun Co. were pioneers of the export carved wood furniture industry in Hong Kong and Jimmy himself actually […]

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From Author to Pen Maker – Holia Chow and Rox Industrial

York Lo: The Queen of Pens – Holia Chow and Rox Industrial In the 1960s, Hong Kong had a pen manufacturer by the name of Rox Industrial (樂士實業), which made a variety of writing instruments including ballpoint pens, fountain pens, markers, sign pens and mechanical pencils. Although Rox focused on the export market, the firm was known locally as it […]

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Union (V-Tex) Shirts (伊人恤) – the Rise and Fall of an Iconic Hong Kong Brand

York Lo: Union (V-Tex) Shirts (伊人恤) – the Rise and Fall of an Iconic Hong Kong Brand Left: Close up view of the Union V-Tex booth at the 23rd HK Products Expo in 1966. Right: Governor David Trench (lower right with the hat and glasses) walking by the booths of Union V-Tex (left) and Pak Fah Yeow (right) at the same […]

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K. Y. Shang, the China Can Company and the Development of the Can Industry in Asia

York Lo: K. Y. Shang, the China Can Company and the Development of the Can Industry in Asia In 2010, a 62 year old abandoned mansion and its grounds located at 20 Peak Road on the Peak was sold for HK$750 million. The mansion was the former residence of Kiang-Yuen Shang (項康原, 1895-1968, hereafter refer to as “K.Y. Shang”), the […]

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Lee Yat-Ngok, the Local Printing Press Company and the Development of the Hong Kong Printing Industry

York Lo: Lee Yat-Ngok, the Local Printing Press Company and the Development of the Hong Kong Printing Industry Passengers on the upper deck of westbound trams passing by Wanchai would recall that the first floor of 48-50 Johnston Road was the home to both the Hong Kong Printers Association (香港印刷業商會,  hereafter referred to as “HKPA”) and the Hong Kong Hok Shan […]

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