Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory Ltd, newspaper article 1936

IDJ has kindly sent this article about the Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory Company extracted from the Hong Kong Sunday Herald 26th July 1936.

HF: Even when enlarged the original article was not always easy to read, indicated by [] in the retyped version, and I would be grateful to have any errors pointed out in my attempt to retype the article. Thanks to Yannis Baritakis and SCT for their help in attempting to do this.

The Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory Ltd., first opened its doors to business under the name and style of the Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory in 1933, but after having carried on business for a brief period, the Company was reorganised as a limited liability company with a registered capital of $500,000. This change was effected early in 1934.

In the early stages of its existence, the Company carried on with the machinery leased from the former Asia  Rubber Factory, at No. 20, Belchers Street, and due to lack of experience and other difficulties encountered, the management had to contend with a number of obstacles.

After the reorganisation of the business, however, the Company took over the entire plant from the Asia Rubber Factory, and at the same time Mr. Haking Wong was made General Manager of the establishment. It was under his able guidance that the Company found a firm footing and went on from success to success. To-day it is one of the leading establishments of it kind in South China. At the old factory the daily production ranged from 3,000 to 10,000 pairs of shoes, but with the growth of business these premises were naturally found to be inadequate and it was for this reason that the management decided to secure more spacious premises.

The working area of the old factory was about 17,500 sq. ft., which as may be imagined, was much too small for a factory dealing in thousands of pairs of shoes a day, and it was because of this that the Company found it hard to cope with the demand for its products. A search for a suitable site was begun, and the management was extremely lucky in securing a block of four buildings, owned by the China Provident Loan and Mortgage Company Ltd., at the new praya in Kennedy Town, and negotiations for a lease proved successful. The necessary alterations to the buildings were attended to almost at once, and the new factory is now nearing completion and will be opened early in August.

The main building is surrounded by a wall, with a small “yard” running right around the building, and in their efforts to make this one of the most up-to-date factories of its kind, the management of the Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory Ltd. did not lose sight of the comfort and welfare of its many hundreds of employees, this feature coming only second  and light.in importance to Efficiency, the watchword of the Manufactory.

Quite unlike the old factory, where congestion and bad lighting was experienced, the new place is well-ventilated and the many skylights and windows guarantee a maximum of fresh air and light. The whole floor area of the new premises is approximately 50,000 sq, ft. including the two mezzanine floors in the entire building.

In the first building, on the western side, the space is allotted to all the machinery, namely Diesel engines, boilers, rollers and [?]. Power is derived from two engines which do the work of driving all the machinery used in the process of turning out the rubber shoes etc, and in this building also a special area is allotted to the beginners or apprentices, who are put through their paces bu skilled workmen.

The finishing work, cleaning the shoes, packing them in cases ready for export and the like, is done on the eastern part of the building, and on the mezzanine floor of this section in store is found where shoes of all different shapes and styles are kept. ready for reference. In specially partitioned [?] sections are kept samples of the different buyers goods, this arrangement being made for the convenience of inspection, and the immediate dispatch of any goods that may be required at a moment’s notice.

The factory is sub-divided into 15 departments. each with his own head, who is responsible to the management for the smooth running and efficiency of his own particular group of workers. After each department has done its share of work, the finished product is sent to the Special Department, a very critical one indeed, who inspect minutely every single pair of shoes, and it is not until they are thoroughly satisfied that each pair is up to the high standard of the Company’s products, that they pass it for delivery. to attend

While maintaining a very strict discipline in every department, the management also keep a parental eye over the  comfort of its many employees and doctors, both in Western and Chinese medicine, are engaged to attend to all their illnesses and troubles. Each employee is subjected to a medical examination periodically, and in case of sicknesses, medications are supplied at the small charge of about 20 cents each time. In cases where expensive treatment is necessary, the doctor’s report is invariably [?] by the management and the expenses are met out of a special fund kept by the Company for this purpose.

In view of the many [?] regarding the imposition of quotas, by the Home Government, expresses the hope that  on imports into Britain from Hong Kong, the general manager expressed the hope that when the real position is appreciated by the powers-that-be, both locally and at home everything would be done to see that free access to trade with the Home country would be the [essential?] privilege of Hong Kong which is part of the vast British Empire, as British goods are used throughout in the manufacture of their rubber shoes.

It is of interest to note that last year the pay roll, insofar as the labourers were concerned came up to about $180,000 and it is felt that this figure would be exceeded this time, as , with the opening of the new premises, it is confidently expected that the output will be considerably increased, [recruiting?] in more workers having to be employed.

Hong Kong Rubber Manufactory Ltd Full HK Sunday Herald 26th July 1936 Full Article From IDJ

This article was first posted on 31st May 2020.

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