Messrs. Shewan, Tomes & Co

Hugh Farmer: Shewan, Tomes & Co. was one of the leading  trading companies in Hong Kong and China during the late 19th and early 20th century. When Russell & Co. then one of the largest mercantile firms in the Far East went out of business in 1891, former employees Scotsman, Robert Shewan and Englishman, Charles Alexander Tomes took over the remains of the operation and […]

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Faithful Trading and Polytek Engineering

Faithful Trading And Polytek Engineering Detail Image 4 York Lo

York Lo: Faithful Trading and Polytek Engineering Industrial trading and engineering firms such as China Engineers, Reiss Bradley and Andersen Meyer covered earlier in other articles played an important role in the industrial development of Hong Kong and the broader region as they facilitated the necessary technology transfer from the West by acting as importers and installers of state of the […]

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The three Forbes brothers: opium traders, Russell & Company in China and HK, USA railway financiers…

Lintin Island Small Version Opium Ships Edward Duncan After William John Higgins Courtesy Google Arts & Culture

The following article was written by Peter E. Hamilton, and first  published in the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, edited by May Holdsworth and Christopher Munn. The publisher, HK University Press, has kindly granted permission for it to be posted here, but retains copyright over this material from 2012. Forbes, Robert Bennet b. 18 September 1804, Jamaica Plain, Boston, USA; d. […]

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Tsing Yi Power Station – 1966 construction to 1998 demolition

IDJ: For anyone looking towards the west from around 1966 onwards, the Tsing Yi Power Station site was an increasingly prominent feature of the harbor view. As the five tall concrete chimneys were built progressively from 1968 onwards, no one could fail to see them against the backdrop of the hills on the island. An illustrated brochure was handed out […]

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Lynhall Land Investment (聯合置業) – Real Estate Powerhouse from the late 1950s and early 1960s

Lynhall Land Investment Detail Image 2 York Lo

York Lo: Lynhall Land Investment (聯合置業) – Real Estate Powerhouse from the late 1950s and early 1960s Lynhall Land ad from 1958 featuring 7 of its properties that were available for sale that year (left to right): Majestic, Kingland, Hankow, Maylun, Phoenix, Lido and Mido(華僑日報, 1958-01-03) From 1945 to 1960, the population of Hong Kong jumped sixfoldfrom 500,000 to 3 […]

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Alexander Kwang (鄭光) and Chu Shek-lun(朱石麟)

Alexander Kwang And Chu Shek Lun Detail Image 1 Yotk Lo

York Lo: Alexander Kwang (鄭光) and Chu Shek-lun(朱石麟) Left: Chu Shek-lun as CMA chairman casting his ballot for Miss HK Products Expo in December 1960 (TKP, 1960-12-27); Right: Alexander Kwang (right) presenting the silver trophy to the winner of the portrait competition at the CMA HK Products Expo in January 1961 (Kung Sheung Evening News, 1961-1-8) Alexander Kwang (1908-1964), and Chu […]

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R.P. de La Sala – the Global Shipping and Industrial Magnate from HK 

R.P. De La Sala The Global Shipping Magnate Detail Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: R.P. de La Sala – the Global Shipping and Industrial Magnate from HK   Left: R.P. de La Sala (Brazilian immigration record, 1958); Right: Manners’ “West Breeze” as the first British vessel passing through the Suez in 1957 (British Pathe) Robert Perez de La Sala (1908-1967, hereafter referred to as R.P.), the employee turned owner of Hong Kong-based Manners built […]

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Alexander Skirving Watson, pharmacist who lent his name to one of Hong Kong’s oldest companies

A S Watson Chemist Detail Advert China Mail 1.8.1878

The Hong Kong Dispensary was founded in Hong Kong in 1841. Alexander Skirving Watson, a British pharmacist, joined the company as Manager in 1858, and by 1862 the name A.S. Watson began to feature prominently with the Hong Kong Dispensary and eventually became the official name of the pharmacy and was then incorporated in the A.S.Watson Group. The Hong Kong […]

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United Rubber Works (聯合膠廠)

United Rubber Works Detail B Image 2 York Lo

York Lo: United Rubber Works (聯合膠廠) United Rubber Works ad in 1949 (HK Scouting Gazette, 1949) United Rubber Works was one of the five biggest rubber product manufacturers in HK in the late 1940s with ties to several figures discussed earlier in different articles. Formed in 1946 (although the firm was not incorporated until March 1947) with HK$1 million in […]

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