The Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Ltd – HK Daily Press article

Hugh Farmer writes: From the  Hong Kong Daily Press dated 9 January 1886.

“In the farther corner of the new suburb in Belcher’s Bay called Kennedy Town stand the works of the Hongkong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Limited, whose big, round, squat chimney, technically called a “cone” can be seen struggling to make itself visible above the roves and chimneys of its surrounding buildings. Here all is secrecy, secrets in the mixing, secrets in the melting, secrets in the annealing, secrets in the cutting, secrets eve in the way in which the workmen, of whom there is a large staff of Europeans, are paid. “No Admittance” stares the would-be curious in the face; all is secret, sealed, closed. The mysteries of this very curious trade are religiously screened from the vulgar multitude. Yet as a rule glass manufacturers are said until quite lately to have been paid but little attention to science and even now there may be more than a lingering suspicion that the chemist has forced himself and his science upon the unwilling glass trade. Causa latet, vis est notissima has ever been the glass man’s motto; but others have found out the causes for him, and thus made our friend wise in spite of himself.”

“The western side is bounded by the glasshouse proper, a square building, from the centre of the roof from which is seen projecting the tall cone previously referred to. A single glance at this building, and its cone, even on the exterior, will show that here is the work of no ordinary native bricklayer or Chinese contractor, the smooth true laying of the bricks and its perfect workmanship proclaim to have been the work of a master hand; for this by the far most important part of the work, has been constructed by one of the first firms of furnace builders in England, Messrs. Geo. Ingram & Co of Birmingham.”

A quick check on the internet to find out about Messrs. Geo. Ingram & Co of Birmingham reveals nothing.

As Moddsey noted in The Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Limited the Glassworks did not last long. By 1889 the Company had closed down, and on 20 May 1894 the main building was being used a temporary plague hospital.

Thanks to Malcolm Morris for his help with retrieving the Hong Kong Daily Press article.

This article was first posted on 13th January 2014.

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