Olyphant & Co, China 19th century (Hong Kong office)

HF: Olyphant & Co. was a merchant trading house in 19th-century China. From its initial involvement there, the firm expanded into other countries including Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  Olyphant & Co’s business dealings in Peru caused the company to collapse in 1878. The firm was founded in Canton by David WC Olyphant (1789-1851) and Charles N Talbot after their former employer, King […]

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George Underhill Sands (1824-1881?) – connection to three HK companies

Stephen Davies and Hugh Farmer have collaborated in researching the life of George U Sands (1824-1881). In particular his time as the captain of a steamship in China and his later involvement in three Hong Kong companies. Stephen’s contributions are indicated, all others are from HF. Any information about Mr Sands during his time in both China and Hong Kong and […]

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Fresnel Lenses – Barbier, Benard & Turenne – AGA and Waglan lighthouse…

HF: Barbier, Benard and Turenne (BBT) was a French company founded in 1862. It specialized in the manufacture of lights, optical devices and lighting systems. And complete lighthouses including the one on Hong Kong’s Waglan Island. The lighthouse incorporated Fresnel lenses. The Swedish Company AGA was later involved as was its UK subsidiary Pharos Marine. I didn’t know the name […]

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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 I-Feng Enamelling Company – details about associated family members

York Lo has sent biographical details of Tung Chi-fu, John Tung Chi-ying, Tung Hong-ying and other members of the family who founded and were associated with The I-Feng Enamelling Company and Freezinhot Bottle Co., Ltd. He also mentions others who were not family members but involved in other companies specially in Shanghai. York Lo: The founder of I-Feng, Tung Chi-fu (董吉甫, or […]

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The Sperry Flour Company in Hong Kong

  HF: The Company in Hong Kong: “The Sperry Flour Company has been interested in the flour trade of the Colony for upwards of forty years—a period considerably longer than any other similar company—and during the whole of this time it has lost no opportunity of studying the requirements of Eastern buyers, with the object of pushing business throughout the […]

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The Borneo Company Ltd – 1856 Hong Kong branch opened

James Chan: The Borneo Company Ltd had a very interesting history. In 1856 it apparently opened an office in Hong Kong and it would be interesting to know more about the company’s operations here. Rudi Butt’s fascinating Hong Kong’s First blog (linked below) contains this: This summary of the company comes from wikipedia: The Borneo Company Ltd formed in 1856, is […]

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The origins of Wahee, Smith & Co. (later China Sugar Refinery.)

York Lo has found this extract from the Carl Smith book linked below. One of the  early business enterprises in which Tong Mow-chee and his brother, Tong King-sing, were interested was the first sugar refinery built in Hong Kong. The sugar company grew out of a business parnership between Tong King-sing, William McGregor Smith and a Mr Dahlbeck. When the […]

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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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Andrew Weir Shipping and Trading Co.Ltd (Bank Line) – connection to Sha Lo Wan Mine, Lantau

HF: Tymon Mellor’s article, Sha Lo Wan Mine, includes, “A local company, The Bank Line (China) Ltd was interested in production of the ore for shipment to Japan, through Andrew Weir & Co, a local “reputable firm” as advised by the superintendent of Mines in a memo dated 7th January, 1953.” Here is an introduction to this British shipping company […]

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