W Britain Toys – made in Hong Kong from 1966 to ?

HF: Can anyone supply information about the period when these toys were made in Hong Kong? “In 1893 William Britain Jr., a British toy manufacturer, invented the process of hollow casting in lead, and revolutionized the production of toy soldiers. The company quickly became the industry leader, and was imitated by many other companies, such as Hanks Bros. and John Hill […]

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Sau Tao and Chewy – Noodle Giants

Sau Tao And Chewy Noodle Giants Detail Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: Sau Tao and Chewy – Noodle Giants Aside from “Doll” noodle covered earlier in the group, two of the leading local manufacturers of instant noodles are Sun Shun Fuk, maker of “Sau Tao” brand and Chewy, which were founded in the 1960s and 1970s respectively. Sun Shun Fuk (新順福食品) and “Sau Tao” brand (壽桃牌) Left: Sun Shun Fuk […]

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J. Ullmann (烏利文) – Swiss Watchmaker and Jeweler in HK and China

J Ullman Watchmaker Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: J. Ullmann (烏利文) – Swiss Watchmaker and Jeweler in HK and China Pictures of the interior and exterior of J. Ullmann’sTientsin store in the 1900s. (Directory and Chronicle of China, 1905) Founded in HK in the 19th century by a Swiss native of the same name, J. Ullmann & Co was a leading watchmaker not just in Hong […]

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The Office Appliance Co. and Scientific Service Co. – distributors of office equipment

The Office Appliance Co. Image 7 York Lo

York Lo: The Office Appliance Co. and Scientific Service Co. – distributors of office equipment The Office Appliance Co (hereafter referred to as OAC) and Scientific Service Co were two major distributors of office equipment and other products in HK and beyond but has since faded into history like the typewriters it represented. Below are their profiles:   The Office Appliance […]

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Cheung Lai Chun Jewellery and Shing Chai Tong Herb Co.

Cheung Lai Chun Jewellery Detail Image 1 York Lo

York Lo: Cheung Lai Chun Jewellery and Shing Chai Tong Herb Co. Left:Cheung Lai Chun Jewelry (left) and Shing Chai Tong Herb (center) from an old picture of Queen’s Road Central. Right: picture of HK Jewellery Building (center) at the same location today Cheung Lai Chun Jewellery and Shing Chai Tong Herb Co were two famous firms with a long […]

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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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