Pre-WW2 Industrialisation – products, when first manufactured and by whom

HF: The following list shows the product, date when first manufactured in Hong Kong and the company involved. The website has information about only of two of these, Leung So Kee Umbrella Factory, and  The Hong Kong Cotton- Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing Co. Ltd.

Therefore  further information about any of these companies would be welcomed.  And confirmation that they were indeed the first to manufacture the product in Hong Kong, some of them appear to be later than I would have expected.

The dates also appear to slightly differ from other sources we have. For example the image shown to accompany this article of Leung So Kee Umbrella Factory says “since 1885″ and not 1886.  And the Hong Kong Cotton- Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing Co. Ltd. was formed in 1898 not 1899.

The large range of products again demonstrates the amount of manufacturing that went on pre-WW2 in Hong Kong.

The information comes from a short but fascinating catalogue ” Made in Hong Kong…” published in 1988 by The HK Museum Of History which I believe accompanied an exhibition.  I presume it is not in print.

Product Year Company Name
Glassware 1880 Lam Wang Loong Glass Factory
Umbrellas 1886 Leung So Kee Umbrella Co.
Printing 1888 Hongkong Printing Press Ltd.
Textiles 1899 The Hong Kong Cotton-Spinning,Weaving and Dyeing Co.Ltd
Leather goods 1900 Wah Kee Leather Factory
Tobacco packaging 1904 Nanyang Brothers Tobacco Co. Ltd.
Cosmetics 1905 Kwong Sang Hong Ltd.
Wooden furniture 1905 You On Co.
Hosiery 1908 Li Man Hing Kwok Weaving &Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Singlets, vests 1908 Tai Hing Knitting Factory
Baking machines 1910 Chun Shing Machinery Works
Firecrackers 1910 Kwong Man Loong FirecrackerManufacturing Co.
Hats 1916 China Brothers HatsManufactory Co.
Dyeing & printing 1921 Wing Pang Knitting Co. Ltd.
Lanterns 1921 Kwong Tai Loong
Canning 1924 Amoy Canning Corporation(HK) Ltd
Rubber Footwear 1925 Fung Keong Rubber Manufactory Ltd.
Rattan furniture 1925 Kowloon Rattan Ware Co. Ltd.
Embroidered goods 1925 Tai Sung Embroidery Co.
Batteries 1926 Wing Lok Battery Co.
Confectionary 1926 Garden Co. Ltd.
Wall clocks 1927 Nam Jam Factory
Flashlights 1928 Ling Nam Hardware Manufacturing Co.
Paint 1932 China Paint Manufacturing Co.
Aluminium ware 1932 Keung Wah Aluminium andEnamelware Factory
Vacuum flasks 1933 Tai Hing Bottle Factory
Hurricane lamps 1933 World Light Manufactory Ltd
Steel furniture 1933 Tai Ying Steel WindowManufactory Co.
Electric fans 1934 Ngai Sun Metal Works
Bakelite utensils 1934 Powell Industrial Co.
Printing machines 1936 Ngai Hing Machine Manufacturers
Bicycles 1936 Union Cycle Manufacturing Co.
Military goods 1937 Daiward Steel Works
Enamel ware 1938 I-Feng Enamelling Co (HK) Ltd
Needles 1938 Dah Chung Industrial Co. Ltd
Diesel trucks 1938 South China Iron Works Ltd.
Radios 1939 Premier Radio

See: Turner M, Made in Hong Kong: A History of Export Design in HK 1900-1960, HK Museum of History, Urban Council, 1988

This article was first posted on 20th May 2014.

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