Oriental Bank Corporation – HK’s first note issuing institution, 1847

HF: With thanks to moddsey for pointing out a couple of sources. The banking industry began in Hong Kong in 1845 with the opening of a branch of the Oriental Banking Corporation, which had its headquarters in India. This Bank was also the first bank in Hong Kong to issue banknotes when in 1847 “it put in circulation $56,000 worth of […]

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Magazine Island – The British Dynamite Co / Nobel Explosives Co

HF: Magazine Island (火藥洲; Fo Yeuk Chau), originally known as One Tree Island (一木島) is located off the southwest coast of Hong Kong Island, and off the northwestern tip of Ap Lei Chau. Administratively, it is part of Southern District. The former Magazine Building on Magazine Island is now a Grade Three Historic Building. It was built by the British Dynamite Company, which later […]

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The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918 – Part One

HF: Vol. 34 of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch published in 1994 contains a lengthy article about German speakers in Hong Kong and of the companies they were involved in. It was written by Carl Smith. I am familiar with only a small number of these companies and even fewer of those persons working for […]

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Submarine Cables – Maps 1901 + 1991 worldwide / Hong Kong networks

HF: Bill Burns runs a fascinating and detailed website about the history of submarine communication cables (linked at the end of this article). He has kindly sent four maps related to the worldwide network of such cables in 1901 and 1991. Two of the maps are centred on Hong Kong. The first is a 1901 World Map of “Grandes Communications […]

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Waglan Island lighthouse – a brief history

Stephen Davies provides further information about the history of Waglan Island lighthouse, its link to another in NE China and to two European companies. And a Swede who was awarded the Nobel prize for Physics for his invention regarding the illumination of lighthouses. SD: The light was built by Paris lighthouse makers Barbier, Bénard & Turenne as one of two identical lights for the […]

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The Hongkong Telephone Company, 1925 to 1933, Far Eastern Review article

Hongkong Telephone Company New Version Kowloon Exchange Building Peter Crush

Peter Crush has kindly sent the following article about the Hongkong Telephone Company which was first published in the Far Eastern Review of September 1933. Many thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped article shown below. And thanks to Peter for improving the clarity of the first two images below. Please note the  images do not appear in the same […]

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Standard Oil in Hong Kong – information 1894 to c1908

HF:  The 1962 Hong Kong Annual Report states: The Standard Oil Company of New York, now known as the Mobil Petroleum Company Incorporated, started operations in Hong Kong in 1894 and built their present oil berth and tank farm at Lai Chi Kok in 1904. This article is from Wright 20th Century Impressions THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF NEW YORK. […]

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Chy Loong Ginger Factory (濟隆糖薑廠)

Chy Loong Ginger Factory Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: Chy Loong Ginger Factory (濟隆糖薑廠) Chy Loong Ginger Factory in 1949 (Michael Rogge, 1949)  Earlier on the website there were a few articles about the once prosperous preserved ginger industry in HK and profiles of a few of the players based excerpted from Twentieth Century Impression of Hong Kong published in 1908. The firm which started the industry […]

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Tai Shing (泰盛): the Heung family’s eight decades journey from Canton to HK and from Weaving and Dyeing to Properties and Stocks

Tai Shing, The Heung Family's Eight Decades Journey Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: Tai Shing (泰盛): the Heung family’s eight decades journey from Canton to HK and from Weaving and Dyeing to Properties and Stocks Heung Chit-kau and others at the Tai Shing Investment booth with models of properties developed by the firm at a real estate exhibition organized by the Real Estate Developers Association of HK in 1966.  For eight […]

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The World Pencil Co. (大華鉛筆廠) – the first Chinese-owned manufacturer of pencils in HK and China

The World Pensil Company Detail Image 2 York Lo

York Lo: The World Pencil Co. (大華鉛筆廠) – the first Chinese-owned manufacturer of pencils in HK and China Although largely forgotten today, The World Pencil Company Ltd which was founded in 1932 was the first Chinese-owned manufacturer of pencils not only in Hong Kong but China and was known for its “Double Arrow” (雙箭牌) brand of pencils.  In fact, Wu Keng-mei […]

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