1957 Trade Fair TST – Chinese company names translated and indexed

Hugh Farmer: This article is a joint effort of Thomas Ngan, IDJ, Neil Morris and myself. Thomas has done a fantastic job in first translating the Chinese company names and products. And secondly by inserting arrows into the two photos below to link the advertising signs to the index. A lot of work Thomas, thanks very much. * The first […]

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Holts Wharf and Godown

Hugh Farmer: Holts Wharf (藍煙囪貨倉碼頭) was a  godown terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. In 1905 a decision was made to purchase land in Kowloon for the construction of wharves and warehouses so that dedicated and independent facilities were available for the Blue Funnel fleet, part of Alfred Holt & Company. The wharf opened in 1910 and was jointly owned by […]

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The “Canton System” – background and meaning of the term

This post follows from Queries & Answers 12 “The term Compradore.” James Chan has read that the comprador system originally came to prominence after the Canton system, in the late Ming dynasty, was abolished in 1842 and the compradores replaced the “hong” merchants as the main intermediaries between Chinese and Western traders. He is mystified. James wonders if anyone can explain the terms,  Canton system, and hong merchant. And […]

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Resources – updated, great new ways to discover HK’s Industrial History.

Hugh Farmer: Last updated 20th Feb 2014 I’ve added new places to go to research HK’s industrial past. Thanks to those of you who have added to the list. The latest is Andrew Wood who provides an Australian website http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/and laments that there are far more HK historic maps there than in HK official sources. If you’re British, and forgetting industrial […]

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Chu Lu Kuk / Chek Lap Kok Island Granite Quarry – early 19th century to 1960s?

James Chan: I found this reference to Chu Lu Kok Island Granite Quarry while looking for something else. The documents here come from the Public Works Department, 1906. The documents say the island was “on the north of Lantao Island” though the Particulars of the Lot say “north of Chu Lu Kuk. A mistake? I can’t find where this island […]

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Shek Pai Wan (Aberdeen) – update

This appeared first as Queries and Answers 15. Hugh Farmer: While walking around Aberdeen last week I saw an information board that said, “the name Shek Pai Wan meant a bay packed with rows of stone”. Shek Pai  Wan is Aberdeen harbour ie the water between Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau. Can anyone confirm that the above is correct. And if so […]

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Lam Leung-tim – Forward Winsome Industries Ltd

Hugh Farmer: The SCMP on 10th Feb 2014 had an article about  Lam Leung-tim who was a “toy tycoon”. http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1424643/toy-story-how-tycoon-lam-leung-tim-built-his-empire The SCMP on 10th Feb 2014 had an article about the 50th anniversary of G.I. Joe toy soldiers, first made in early 1964 in the Lam Leung-tim’s company made G.I.Joe toys in HK. When and where? http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1424595/hasbros-gi-joe-set-50th-birthday Forward Winsome Industries […]

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The Defense of HK

Tymon Mellor: The defense of HK has always been a sensitive issue, a report in The Engineer in January 1889 entitled “Defense of our Coaling Stations. No 1 Hong Kong”, gives an overview of the situation. The report notes that Hong Kong has a trade of GBP20 million per annum, with hundreds of steam ships and sailing vessels in the […]

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