Last updated: 26th August 2020

This page provides links to sources and websites that may be of use while exploring Hong Kong’s industrial history. It was first posted on 14th February 2014.

Recent additions: Hong Kong Medical History, The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

Transport – General

  1. Early Hong Kong Transport, Cheng Po Hung, HKU, 2009
  2. From Sedan Chair to Jumbo Jet: An Illustrated History of Transport in HK, F Davies Bonham Books, 2010
  3. Hong Kong Place Abandoned sections of HK roads and railways. Chinese site but with very reasonable English translation.
  4. Forgotten Transportation of Hong Kong This blog is dedicated to show the minority transportation of Hong Kong and includes information about rickhaws, lorry buses, airport apron buses, railways ans water transport.


Hong Kong Sources

  • HK Books
  • HK Engineering
  • HK Film Industry
  • HK Geology
  • HK Government
  • HK Groups – related interests
  • HK History Groups
  • HK Manufacturing
  • HK Maps
  • HK Maritime
  • HK Medical History
  • HK Mines, Quarrying and Sand
  • HK Newspapers
  • HK Personal Historical Accounts
  • HK Photographs
  • HK Shipping
  • HK Stamps
  • HK Transport
  • HK Universities

Non-Hong Kong Sources (with HK connections)
Australia + New Zealand
Mining, Quarrying and Sand


Hong Kong Books

Archaeological – with Industrial connections

  1. Piecing Together Sha Po: Archaeological Investigations and Landscape Reconstruction, M Atha & K Yip, HKUP, 2016 – a detailed study of Sha Po on Lamma Island, includes kilns, lime making, salt and woodworking and other manufacturing information


  1. Wings Over Hong Kong: A Tribute to Kai Tak, An Aviation History, 1891-1998, The HK Historical Aircraft Association, Odddysey, Pacific Century Publishers, 1997
  2. Hong Kong High: History of a Century of Aviation in Hong Kong, C Dunnaway, Oddyssey, 2014

Chinese Communities

  1. The Great Difference: Hong Kong’s New Territories and Its People 1898-2004, J Hayes, Hong Kong University Press, 2006 Hayes covers a wide range of transformations in the NT.

Colonial Reports

  1. Southern District Officer Reports, C Dunnaway, HK University Press, 2010 – Reports about islands and villages in rural HK 1910-1960

Company Biographies

  1. Arnholds: China Trader, Vaudine England, Arnholds & Moonchild Production Co., 2017
  2. Jebsen & Company – Ed: Nancy Nash ands Bill Cranfield, Rewarding Success: The First One Hundred Years of Jebsen & Company: 1895-1995, Pub: Jebsen & Company, 1995

Construction Industry

  1. The Building of Hong Kong: Constructing HK Through the Ages, A Walker + SM Rawlinson, Published for the HK Construction Association’s 70th anniversary, HKU Press, 1990

Dictionaries, Biographies

  1. A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant Harbour, Cummings PJ and Wolf  H-G, HK University Press, 2011
  2. Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, Hong Kong University Press, 2012, Holdsworth M and Munn C, over 500 men and women from HK history
  3. The Taipans: Hong Kong’s Merchant Princes, Colin C Criswell, Oxford University Press, 1981


  1.  Engineering Hong Kong: 50 Years of Achievements, Pub. The Chinese University Press and Henderson & Associates Ltd for HK Academy of Engineering Sciences and HK Institution of Engineers, 1997: Two Chapters may be of particular interest, Two – Utilities and Three – Industry

Fisheries and Agriculture

  1. The Milky Way-History of Dairy Farm, Nigel Cameron, Pub: The Dairy Farm, 1986

Non-Chinese Communities in Hong Kong

  1. Foreign Communities in Hong Kong 1840s-1950s, Ed Cindy Yik-yi Chu, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 – British, Japanese, Indians and Americans
  2. Turbans & Traders: Hong Kong’s Indian Communities, Barbara-Sue White, Oxford University Press, 1994 – information about various South Asian communities and their businesses from mid-1840s to the early 1990s

General History

  1.  A Concise History of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, Carroll, JM, 2007 -references to HK’s industry and industrialisation
  2. Present Day Impressions of the Far East and Prominent and Progressive Chinese at Home and Abroad, Feldwick, W, London: Globe Encyclopedia Co., 1917
  3. The Great Difference: Hong Kong’s New Territories and Its People, James Hayes, HKUP, 2006 The author argues that “the great difference” led the colonial government to administer the New Territories and its people differently from the old urban area from the outset, with repercussions that continue to affect present-day Hong Kong.
  4.  Forgotten Souls:  A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, Lim P, HKUP, 2011
  5. A Modern History of of Hong Kong, Tsang, S, Hong Kong University Press, 2004 – references to HK’s industrial and commercial history

Geology, Mining, Quarrying, Sand

  1. Hong Kong Mining History, Jackie CT Chu and Jacky SL Chan, ProjecTerrae, 2015 Superb new book covering all major HK mines and several quarries.
  2. Hong Kong Landscapes: Shaping the Barren Rock, Owen B and Shaw R, Hong Kong University Press, 2007 mines, quarries + considerable information  about how HK’s physical landscape has changed
  3. Sewell RJ et al, Hong Hong Geology: A 400-million year journey, Gov of HKSAR, 2009 Chapter 9 covers economic geology – mining, quarrying and offshore sand deposits in HK

Localities, Street Names

  1. Yanne A and Heller G, Signs of a Colonial Era, HK University Press, 2009  – origins of HK names especially street names


  1. Monks, S, Toy Town, TMAHK, 2011 An in depth account of  the post WW2 toy industry in HK and the manufacturing pioneers involved.
  2. Turner M, Made In Hong Kong: A History of Export Design in HK 1900-1960 Packed with information and illustrations about this period especially of smaller Chinese companies
  3. Wah Sun Hong, HK Plastic Industry – Looking Back at Half a Century of Glory and Looking Forward (香港塑膠業逾半世紀輝煌回顧與前瞻), in Chinese, on its 55th anniversary.

Maritime, Shipping, Shipyards, Ship breaking

  1. Chiu Tzu-nang, The Port of Hong Kong: A Survey of its Development, Hong Kong University Press, 1973
  2. Dick, H. & Kentwell, S., Beancaker to Boxboat: Steamship Companies in Chinese Waters, Nautical Association of Australia, Canberra, 1988 – information about HK Shipping Companies
  3. Dick, H. & Kentwell, S., Sold East: Traders, Tramps and Tugs of Chinese Waters, Nautical Association of Australia, Melbourne, 1991 — information about HK Shipping Companies
  4. Taikoo Dockyard. Fifty Years of Shipbuilding and Repairing in the Far East, Technical Advertising Services, 1954
  5. Zarach S, Hong Kong Maritime Museum: Museum Guide, HK Maritime Museum Ltd, 2013
  6. Zarach S, Changing Places: The remarkable story of the Hong Kong Shipowners, HK Shipowners Association, 2007

Port, Hong Kong

  1. Chu TN, The Port of Hong Kong-A survey of its development,  Hong Kong University Press, 1973
  2. Sinclair K, The Quay Factor-Modern Terminals Limited and the Port of Hong Kong, Kevin Sinclair-published by Modern Terminals Ltd.-1992
  3. Ho Pui-yin,  Challenges for an Emerging City-160 Years of Port & Land Development in Hong Kong, The Commercial Press, 2004

Postal Services

The Postal History of Hong Kong 1841-1997, EB Proud,  Proud-Bailey, 2004


  1. Quick Tidings Of Hong Kong, Austin Coates, Oxford University Press, 1990
  2. Hong Kong’s Telecommunication’s Story, Gertrude Layton, The Communications Association of Hong Kong, 2007

Transport – Aviation

  1. Hong Kong High: An Illustrated History of Aviation in Hong Kong, Cliff Dunnaway, Odyssey Publications, 2014

Transport – General

  1. Early Hong Kong Transport, Cheng Po Hung, HKU, 2009
  2. From Sedan Chair to Jumbo Jet: An Illustrated History of Transport in HK, F Davies Bonham Books, 2010
  3. Hong Kong Place Abandoned sections of HK roads and railways. Chinese site but with very reasonable English translation.
  4. Forgotten Transportation of Hong Kong “This blog is dedicated to show the minority transportation of Hong Kong” and includes information about rickhaws, lorry buses, airport apron buses, railways ans water transport.

Transport – KCRC

  1. Moving Millions: The Commercial Success and Political Controversies of Hong Kong’s Railways, Rikkie Yeung, HKU Press, 2008
  2. A Century of Commitment – The KCRC Story, Peter Moss, The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, 2009

Transport – MTRC

  1. Moving Millions: The Commercial Success and Political Controversies of Hong Kong’s Railways, Rikkie Yeung,HKU Press, 2008

Transport – Trams

I am pleased to tell you that the new edition of Atkinson & Williams book on HK Tramways has published.

  1. Hong KOng Tramways, just published (11/17) new editThe 1st book on HK trams in 1970 is highly regarded as the definitive history of tramway, the new edition is doubled of 1970 version with 500+ pictures, as a continuity of updating this unique dingding system in the world.
  2. Trams: Hong Kong Trams: A Close-up Guide, B Arenz, Pacific Century Publishers, 1998 
  3. Hong Kong Trams, Pacific Century Publishers Ltd, 1998
  4. Hong Kong Trams: Hongkong Tramways – 100 Years, Mike Davis, DTS Publishing, 2004
  5.  Centenary Date with Hong Kong Tramways, Eric Lee, Tramric Product & Design Ltd, 2012
  6. Amazing Ding Ding, Joseph Tse and Ricky Lau, Cosmos Books, 2012


  1. A Mountain Of Light: The story of the Hongkong Electric Company, Austin Coates, Heinemann, 1977
  2. Power -The story of China Light,  N Cameron, Oxford University Press, 1982
  3. Water for a Barren Rock – 150 Years of Water Supply in Hong Kong, Ho Pui YinThe Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Ltd, 2001

WW2, Japanese Occupation

Snow, Philip, The Fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China and the Japanese Occupation, Yale University Press, 2004

Hong Kong Engineering

The Hong Kong Engineering Archive -contains details about many HK projects including some of an industrial nature

Hong Kong Film Industry

50 Years of the HK Film Production and Distribution Industries: An Exhibition (1947-1997) This book is available at the HK Film Archive Resource Centre but can not be borrowed. It contains information about 12 HK Film Studios and 44 Film Production Companies

Golden Harvest Film Studio
Golden Harvest: Leading Change in Changing Times, Co-Edited Po Fung and Lau Ya, 2013 (In Chinese with English Edition in CD-Rom)

Hong Kong Geology

Civil Engineering and Development Dept: The Hong Kong Geological Survey has issued a number of geological memoirs, geological map sheets and reports listed here:

Geological Society UK – The Hong Kong Regional Group (HKRG)

The Mineralogy Society of Hong Kong The Society was formed in December 2004 to provide a forum where those who are interested in the subject can meet. We are an international group established in this international city, and our objectives are to provide access to activities, information, publications, equipment and specimens of special interest to mineralogists and collectors. We like just meeting together socially too. We use both English and Chinese as languages of communication, and much of our material is bilingual.
Our monthly newsletter features reviews of publications and software, special offers of specimens and equipment, and details of coming events, as well as articles about minerals. Members are very welcome to contribute, and to share information with each other through this means.

Hong Kong Government

The Carl Smith Collection

Hong Kong Museum of History – Resource Centre

HK Film Archive + Resource Centre

HK Government Legco Archives, since 1858

HK Government Reports Online (HKGRO) is a full-text image database providing online access to pre-World War II issues of five major government publications, namely, Administrative Report, Hong Kong Sessional Papers, Hong Kong Hansard, Hong Kong Government Gazettes and Blue Books.

HK Public Libraries (HKPL)

HK Public Records Office(HKPRO) Includes a collection of 15 HK English and 7 Chinese newspapers 

Hong Kong Groups – Related Interests

The Conservancy Association – Concerned with the preservation of Hong Kong’s heritage

The HK Geological Society – mines, quarries

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce – annual reports starting in 1889 – basic company information

The HK Institute of Architects research into HK architects since 1841

The HK Institute of Architectural Conservationists (HKICON) 香港建築文物保護師學會 is a professional body for architectural conservation practitioners. It was established within the context of growing recognition for the protection and conservation of built heritage in Hong Kong.

The HK Underwater Heritage Group are  a group of maritime archaeology trained divers  undertaking research on Hong Kong’s underwater heritage

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, HK Branch – mines, quarries

Hong Kong History Groups

Gwulo, almost anything to do with HK History, excellent photographs

HK Archive Society includes the HK Business Records Group and the HK Oral History Group

HK general history

HK Heritage Discovery Centre

HK Heritage Project  and Has records of a number of Kadoorie family HK Industrial Companies including HK and Whampoa Dock , HK and Gowdown, HK Rope Manufacturing, Nanyang Cotton Mill and Tai Ping Carpets as well as a range of other companies concerned with utilities, hospitality, construction, land development and aviation.

HK History Project The project, hosted at the University of Bristol and funded by the Hatton Trust, aims to encourage and facilitate the study of the history of Hong Kong in the UK, and to build collaborations with partners in Hong Kong, specifically in terms of collaboration between the University of Bristol and the University of Hong Kong, as well as other interested HEI and community/NGO partners.

HK Institute of Architectural Conservationists (HKICON) 香港建築文物保護師學會 is a professional body for architectural conservation practitioners. It was established within the context of growing recognition for the protection and conservation of built heritage in Hong Kong.

HK Maritime Museum, The central repository for publications and archival documents on the maritime heritage, culture and history of HK and Southern China resource-centre

HK Memory Project a multi media web site that gives free and open  access to digitalized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage,interviews with industrial workers, excellent industrial photographs and more

HK Postal History – Hong Kong Study Circle – since 1951

HSBC Archives

Hulu Culture, a group seeking to preserve indigenous HK culture

Kwun Tong Culture and Histories

Royal Asiatic Society HK Branch Its journals contain a fascinating collection of articles on the history and culture of HK, some directly related to industrial history.

Wikiswire – WikiSwire is, and should always be, a work in progress. Our aim is for WikiSwire to become a regular stopping place for those who work for Swire, have worked for Swire or just have an interest in the group, its history and its operations. We want this to be a place where visitors not only find what interests them, but also a place where they can freely share new information, new stories and new images. We hope that WikiSwire will always be growing, evolving and offering something new. We hope to learn as much as we hope to inform.

Hong Kong Manufacturing

HK Museum of History: Research project on local industry not easy to access but contains numerous HK manufacturing companies and their dates of foundation. Little else information. Dated 14th October 1988.

The Centre for Heritage Arts & Textile Scheduled to open in Spring 2019, the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT) is a part of the heritage conservation project of The Mills, the former cotton spinning mills of Nan Fung Textiles in Tsuen Wan.

Hong Kong Maps

Copyable but low resolution HK maps The Probert Encyclopaedia is offline as of Feb 2015

Lots of HK historical maps at the National Library of Australia’s website
Including these from GB War Office 1929-1960

Commercial Sites -YPMap        


HK Government Lands Dept, provides map and aerial photos

HK Government Map Service, provides digital map products to the public.

HK Historic Maps, Set up in February 2016 by Tymon Mellor a frequent contributor to our wesbite. Tymon says his website is dedicated to the discovery and display of historic maps of Hong Kong

HK Public Libraries (HKPL) old maps of Hong Kong

HK University of Science and Technology, some old HK maps, images. Their website appears to have changed since I last visited and I am not sure where the maps are now to be found.

“Mapping Hong Kong – A Historical Atlas” by Hal Empson contains old street maps, topographic maps and aerial photos.  It was printed by the HK Government Printer. However as of mid-Nov 2013  it is now out of print and no more copies are available.

Wikimedia, Old Maps of HK  h.ttp:// 

Hong Kong Maritime 

Hong Kong Shipowners Association, The Hong Kong Shipowners Association was incorporated in 1957 by 11 local shipowners with the purpose of creating a forum for shipowners resident in Hong Kong.

Nautical Institute, The, HK Branch

Old China Coast Ships, A new site under development authored by Howard N Dick and Stephen A Kentwell.

“From the coming of the age of steamships the China Coast saw an active buiding up of shipping fleets, both by major foreign-flag companies which were able to dominate services to the “Treaty Ports” and by Chinese shipping interests.  The Chinese companies were disadvantaged in political and economic terms but could draw together local capital and an outstanding ability to maintain ships and override various obstacles.  This site presents the major shipping fleets of both categories, which then faced the severe difficulties of the 1930s and 1940s.”

P&O, extensive list of world wide websites some with a HK connection

Ships List, The, useful information about HK shipping companies

Worldwide Shipbreaking , contemporary  information not sure about historic

Hong Kong Medical History

The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

Hong Kong Mines, Quarrying and Sand

Civil Engineering and Development Department, Series of Geological Reports from the 1990s covering HK – useful for information/images – mines + quarries eg Chek Lap Kok island

Development Bureau. Information about 4 HK quarries :Anderson Road, Shek O, Lamma and Lam Tei Quarries:

Institute of Quarrying, The,  HK branch

Hong Kong Newspapers

HK Public Libraries – old HK newspapers
– click ALL MMIS MATERIALS, click OLD NEWSPAPERS, click SEARCH BOOKS/VIDEOS, enter subject, click search on right….
click refine search, click View Online…..not easy to use, you need to experiment…

See Chapter 35 for many early HK newspaper reports 1836-1844

HK Public Records Office(HKPRO) Includes a collection of 15 HK English and 7 Chinese newspapers 

Wikipedia- worldwide newspapers resource

HK Personal Historical Accounts

Paul Tsui’s unpublished autobiography which contains details of aspects of HK Industry through a long career in various government departments from 1948 to the 1970s

Hong Kong Photographs

UK National Archives700 HK photographs on Flikr

“Hong Kong Now and Then – A Collection of Hong Kong Aerial Photos”, produced by the Survey and Mapping Office (SMO), Lands Department pub 2014. Aerial photos from the 1950s onwards. Sold at all SMO sales outlets.

Tumblr, Historical photos of HK

G Warren Swire Collection, has several hundred photographs taken 1906-1940 of Butterfield & Swire’s subsidiaries in China, including Hong Kong Great stuff but copyrighted as far as I know.

The Photographic Heritage Foundation “Through its books, exhibitions, online and outreach the PHF offers a unique opportunity to share and perpetuate Asia’s photographic heritage. There is a compelling need to preserve and communicate Asia’s photo heritage.” Includes a considerable number of remarkable images of Hong Kong some with an industrial connection.

Hong Kong Stamps

Hong Kong stamp perfins a perfin is a postal stamp that has had initials or a name perforated across it to discourage theft. The name is a contraction of perforated initials or perforated insignia. This site has numerous examples of HK company perfins.

Hong Kong Transport

The HK Railway Society

Hong Kong Tramway Books
Light Railway Transit Association – UK based – information about HK Tramways + Light Rail
The Hong Kong Trams Preservation Society The purpose of the “Hong Kong Tram Culture Conservation Society” is to instill a correct and comprehensive history of the tram and promote the culture of the tram. The long-term goal is to promote the establishment of a tram museum in Hong Kong so that tram-loving friends can know the world’s unique double-decker tram: Ding Ding. Its President is Joseph Yiu Hong-tse who has contributed to several of our website articles on various aspects of HK Tramways.

Hong Kong Universities

HK University, Great Britain Colonial Office Series 129 is a basic reference material for research into HK’s history. It covers the period 1842-1951 and includes 40,000 despatches in some 400,000 pages

HK University Library A huge collection of digitalized material 

HK University – HK Government Reports Online (HKGRO) is a full-text image database providing online access to pre-World War II issues of five major government publications, namely, Administrative Report, Hong Kong Sessional Papers, Hong Kong Hansard, Hong Kong Government Gazettes and Blue Books.

HK University Library  An extensive list of HK journals online

HK University of Science and Technology


Australia + New Zealand

Information about Australian and New Zealand companies, some with a HK subsidiary or connections

Public Record Office Victoria – archives some with a HK connection
Australian resources including Newspapers online – easy to use, excellent
New Zealand  84 newspapers + periodicals 1839-1945


Flight magazine archives 1909- 2005 including many mentions  about Hong Kong photos and information about aviation in HK 


Jones, W, Dictionary of Industrial Archaeology, Sutton Publishing, 1996 over 2,600 entries especially relating to Britain’s industrial history but with occasional HK relevance – many illustration


The Virtual Shanghai Project is a research and resource platform on the history of Shanghai from the mid-nineteenth century to nowadays. It incorporates various sets of documents: essays, original documents, photographs, maps, quantitative data, etc. The objective of the project is to write a history of the city through the combined mobilization of these various types of documents.

Cigarette and Cigar manufacturers

Dheeraj Khiytani was in touch in August 2019 regarding a HK cigar maker which resulted in the article, Orient Tobacco Manufacturing Company c1910 coloured lithographs of company cigar products

Dheeraj subsequently provided the following links to the following groups which are primarily interested in cigarette packs in their own countries but may be able to help with enquiries worldwide:

US Cigarette Pack Collectors Association
Cigarette Packet Collectors Club GB


Far East Currents  – Roy Eric Xavier’s website covering many aspects of the Portuguese – Macanese community including companies and people in both Macau and Hong Kong.

Mines, Quarrying and Sand

On this site you will find thousands of mines in the UK and international mines as well as tens of thousands of photos of mines and a vast resource of mining articles and historical documents:


The National Library of Singapore


The world’s largest online wreck database –

This website has moved, but to where?  Can’t actually remember why I found it useful! 
Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world’s greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you.
Stamps US based but worldwide members. Some information about Hong Kong.


The Tramway Information Website  HK information, HK Tramway postcards, model trams, dioramas…


  1. Aerial photos – Britain from above – over 59,000,including industrial companies/buildings with HK associations. If you’re from the UK try where you come from (forget the industrial stuff!). I did and found the photos amazing. 
  2. AIM25 is an educational charity supporting public access to historical archives held in the London area. It provides electronic access to collection level descriptions of the archives of over one hundred and fifty higher education institutions, learned societies, local authorities, cultural organisations and livery companies within the region, for the purposes of research, teaching and public enjoyment.
  3. Cambridge Archives Editions, HK government Annual Administration Reports 1841-1941
  4. Grace’s Guides to British Industrial History, A leading source of information about industry and manufacturing in Britain from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present – many Hong Kong links eg UK companies supplying equipment, machinery, expertise
  5. National Archives, The, The UK government’s official archive. Contains HK information and old maps  

Watch and Chronometer Makers, Jewellers etc 

Silver Forums, Worldwide site- this link covering historic companies in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and other Asian countries

This Index was first posted on 14th February 2014.


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