The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918 – Part Two
HF: Vol. 34 of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch published in 1994 contains a lengthy article about German speakers in Hong Kong and of the companies they were involved in. It was written by Carl Smith.
I am familiar with only a small number of these companies and even fewer of those persons working for them. I don’t think most were what we could describe as industrial, in that they were involved in manufacturing, shipping, mining, utilities etc. However a few were and I think it is of general merit to include the whole article on our website.
As the article is lengthy I think it best to break it up into at least two parts.
If you have not come across Carl Smith before you can read more about the man and his quite extraordinary passion for collecting data about Hong Kong here.
The whole RASHKB article is linked below.
…the article continues with information about a number of firms. I list them here together with the opening paragraph of each and anything else of interest. The print is a little hard to read, I welcome corrections, and of course further information especially of an industrial nature:
Pustau and Co
Carlowitz and Co
Stemssen and Co
Arnhold, Karberg and Co
Bourjau, Hubener and Co
Meyer, Sahefler [?] and Co
Melchers and Co
Schellhass and Co
Carl Bodiker and Co
Hesse, Ehlers and Co
Radecker, Hagedorn [?] and Co, Krummenacher [?] and Co, Vogel Hadedorn [Hagedorn?] and Co
E and J Meyer, Meyer and Co, Garrels [?] Borner [?] and Co, Meyer, Alahot [?] and Co, Meverink [?] and Co, Rodatz and Co
Heuermann, Herbst and Co
Dreyer and Co
Scheele and Co, Lutkens, Roseing and Co
Arnemann and Co
Deetjen and Von Bergen
Raynal and Co, Peter and Ebel, Milisch and Co
Kirchner, Boger and Co
Carl Smith then lists firms established after 1880. The date is the opening of a company office in HK.
Bornemann and Co 1881
Jebsen and Co 1894
Ulderup and Schluter 1906
“Ulderup and Schluter opened an establishment in Hong Kong in 1906 as general merchants, engineering agents and motor boat builders. The partners were Johannes P Ulderup and Carl Schluter. When Jebsens returned to Hong Kong after the Second World War, Mr. Ulderup was head of their machinery department.”
Berlinger and Co 1908 liquidated 1914
Hugo Fromm 1908
George Prien [?] “was an assistant in Blackhead and Co in 1902 but in 1908 set himself up in business as a dealer in cigars and tobacco. In 1914 his shop was in the Hong Kong Hotel Building.”
Wendt and Co 1908 “F. Wendt had an office at 6 Ice House Street in 1902. His business became Wendt and Co in 1908. The partners were F.A.Wendt and W. Melchers.”
Hill Bergdahl [?] ” The aerated water firm…was liquidated in 1914.”
Heuser, Eberius [?] “listed in the HK Directory of 1914 but both its partners were not in Hong Kong at that time.”
Lamke and Rogge “…was formed in 1890 as shipbrokers by Johannes Lambe and Carl Heinrich Rogge. Mr Lamke had been an assistant in Blackhead and Co. and then Arnhold, Karber and Co. In 1885 he had his own shipbroking office until he and Mr. Rogge became partners. Mr Rogge began his business career in Hong Kong wirh Melchers and Co. In 1914 Lamke and Rogge are listed as ship, freight and coal brokers. ”
Robitske and Reis [?] (Grossman and Co) no dates given
Ships and Stores:
Blackhead and Co
Charles Weiss, Gaup and Co – this section does not appear to indicate that the watches were actually made in Hong Kong. However…see the next company.
Lammert and Co
Kruse and Co
Jurgens – Claussen and Muller
Deutsch – Asiatische Bank
German Firms and Insurance Agents
William Pustau and Co – agent for the Austrian Steam Navigation Co
German Lloyd Steamship Co
Hamburg Amerika Line
The Internment of Germans in 1914
The article concludes with a very intesting though brief account on this subject. It includes details of escape attempts.
Source: The German Speaking Community in HK 1846-1918 RASHKB Vol 34, 1994
The image shown on the Home Page is of F Blackhead & Co.’s Soap and Soda Factory in Shau Kei Wan.
See: RASHKB says “Anyone with an interest in the history, art, literature and culture of China and Asia, with special reference to Hong Kong, will enjoy membership of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, which is generally regarded as the premier Society for the study of Hong Kong and South China. Dating back over 150 years, the Society is today a very active body, organizing varied visits, talks, seminars and more.”
The Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch website
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