The Nam Jam Factory Ltd – Sham Shui Po
HF: Nam Jam Factory, a manufacturer of torches (not boiled fruit and sugar) was set up in Hong Kong in 1928 and subsequently opened a branch factory in Canton.
First some background information about pre-WW2 industries extracted from the HK Memory Project – The Origins of the Hong Kong metal industry. “The metal industry of Hong Kong started budding in the 1920s. Many entrepreneurs from Guangzhou came to set up factories in Hong Kong. Before WWII most manufacturers of the metal industry were of medium scale, producing flashlight, batteries, thermos and enamel products, which were exported to the Mainland, Southeast Asia and the Commonwealth regions. In the early years, metal factories gathered in Tai Kok Tsui, Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok and Sai Ying Pun, etc. These areas were the fringes of the urban area at the time. Because of the lower price of the land, factories usually occupied single-block buildings.”
Ngo Tak-wing, see below, qoutes two sources one from 1936, the other from 1947 providing information about many pre-WW2 factories:-
“Nam Jam Factory (flashlights) workers 1,000 and premises of 50,000 square feet.” Both seem very rough estimates. I don’t know which year was used for the Nam Jam figures.
Elizabeth Ride provided this British Army Aid Group agent’s drawing made during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, WW2.
And here is an advertisement for the company from 1941 which gives the company’s address as 136-176 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po, HK.
1962 An advert in the Kenya Gazette 27 27th November provides the same Sham Shui Po address, demonstrates the company was exporting to Africa and that its products were flashlights, flashlight bulbs and “parts and accessories thereof”.
1963 This advert was supplied by IDJ.
An undated advert also sent by IDJ.
- The Hong Kong Memory Project Home Page
Hong Kong Memory (HKM) is a multi-media web site that gives free and open access to digitized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage. The materials include text documents, photographs, posters, sound recordings, motion pictures and videos.
- Hong Kong’s History: State and Society under Colonial Rule ed. Ngo Tak-wing, Routledge, New York, 1999
This article was first posted on 4th July 2015.