Manufacturing in HK 1876 and 1881 – a comparison of numbers of workers
Hugh Farmer writes, in Newsletter Seven I mentioned Chinese manufacturing enterprises in the 1870s. These included two for preserving ginger and other processed food including soy sauce and preserved fruit, several machine-makers, a tannery, a paper factory and a manufacturer of matches, workshops for producing cigars, tobacco, clothing, glass, oars, rifles, ropes, umbrellas, spectacles, tooth-powder and soap, as well as small factories for producing goods in bamboo and rattan.
A 1881 report by Governor Pope-Hennessy extends the above information. Here is a condensed form in which census returns from 1876 to 1881 are compared showing how many workers were occupied in a similar range of manufacturing enterprises.
Bamboo workers increased from 93 in 1876 to 121 in 1881
Boat builders 48 to 110
Carvers 59 to 70
Cigar makers 21 to 31
Gold beaters 41 to 60
Glass manufacturers 0 to 16
Lantern makers 50 to 63
Leather box makers 39 to 53
Watch manufacturers 0 to 13
Oar makers 30 to 43
Rifle makers 0 to 5
Sail and Rope makers 100 to 141
Sandal-wood dealers 74 to 76
Paper box makers 21 to 10 (a decline)
Rattan workers 596 to 448 (a decline)
It would interesting to discover how many of the 1876 and 1881 businesses, and workers, were Chinese or not.