Carl Ingenohl – owner of the Orient Tobacco Manufactory Company

This article is the result of several people’s research into the life of Carl Ingenohl and in particular the Hong Kong company, Orient Tobacco Manufactory, which he owned.

This company operated during the early part of the 20th century and at least until WW2.

The information we have about Ingenohl’s and Orient Tobacco is sometimes confusing or contradictory. Correction, clarification or further information is always welcome.

I have not always directly stated who contributed what information as the material received often overlaps.

Contributions from:-

HF – Hugh Farmer
ES – Edward Schneider, Carl Ingenohl’s great-grandson
MT – Mike T

Impressively named Carl Franz Adolph Otto Ingenohl was the owner of C. Ingenohl which operated cigar manufacturing companies in both the Philippines and Hong Kong under the trade name La Perla del Oriente.

In Hong Kong Ingenohl ran the Orient Tobacco Manufactury Company which had a factory in Yau Ma Tei.

ES: Ingenohl emigrated to Antwerp from Germany in 1876 and lived there until his death in 1934. He took Belgian nationality before the First World War and his house in Antwerp was requisitioned by the Germans during the war. He thus suffered from the German occupation along with all Belgians.

MT: I found this very interesting piece from Papers Past, in a 1916 issue of the New Zealand Herald.
“The proprietor of La Perla del Oriente is C. Ingenohl, living in Rotterdam, and a naturalized Belgian citizen. He is a brother of Admiral Ingenohl, who was lately chief admiral of the German grand fleet. The manager, assistant manager, and European employees of La Perla del Oriente are all Germans. C. Ingenohl is also proprietor of the Hongkong Tobacco Manufactory, Hongkong. All supplies for La Perla del Oriente cigar factory are imported from Germany, even the office supplies.” (1)
Obviously, the NZ Herald article has to be seen in the context of anti-German sentiment during World War I, and it’s quite possible that description of the company’s operations could have been tailored to draw on that sentiment — especially that “even the office supplies” at the end.

ES suggests that Ingenohl never lived in Rotterdam.

ES: While living in Antwerp Ingenohl travelled regularly to Hong Kong and Manila, managing his business in both locations in a very hands-on manner.
The Manila operations were wrongly confiscated by the Americans during WW1 because Ingenohl’s brother Gustav Heinrich Ernst Friedrich von Ingenohl had been the admiral in charge of the German European fleet until 1915. By the time Ingenohl won his case to recover the Philippine assets in front of the US Supreme Court ten years after the end of WW1, the company to which the assets had effectively been given had gone bankrupt, so he recovered nothing in spite of having won in court.

MT: The Orient Tobacco Manufactury Company is mentioned in the Chamber of Commerce Members list from 1936 (page xxxiii), as Orient Tobacco Manufactory / C. Ingehnohl Ltd. as a member since 1912.

MT: The Orient Tobacco Manufactury Company seems to have lasted at least until WWII as there are multiple Swiss and Japanese library records dating to the end of the war and mentioning the company, specifically in relation to having been looted during Japanese occupation of the colony.

Ingenohl - HK cigar factory Mike T

Courtesy: Ian Wolfe (source 1)



Related Indhhk articles:

  1. The Orient Tobacco Manufactory Company – updated information
  2. The Orient Tobacco Manufactory Company – location
  3. Orient Tobacco Manufactory – many questions, any answers? – initial research
  4. C Ingenohl – company and man – HK cigars
  5. El Oriente – link to the Orient Tobacco Manufactory Company and Carl Ingenohl
  6. C Ingenohl (Hongkong Tobacco Manufactory ?) – cigar factory in Manila



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