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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Alfred Holt, 1829-1911, founder of Alfred Holt & Co (Holts Wharf TST)

HF: Holt’s Wharf and the Godown were set up in 1910 and jointly owned by the Swire Group and Blue Funnel Line. Together they formed  a railway and freight hub in Tsim Sha Tsui. See the article, Holts’s Wharf and Godown, linked below. Here is Alfred Holt’s obituary posted on the excellent Grace’s Guides website and originally published by The Institution […]

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John Chi-ying Tung (董之英, 1914-1986) of I-Feng Enamelling

York Lo: I-Feng and Freezinhot first caught my attention when I stared up at the third floor exterior of the infamous Chung King Mansion on Nathan Road and spotted the corporate signages. It turns out that I-Feng, which dissolved in 2001 according to Companies Registry record did have its head office in Chung King Mansion. And then I got even […]

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Chen Din Hwa – founder of Nan Fung Textiles 1954 and “King of Cotton Yarn”

James Chan: Chen Din Hwa was born in Ningbo, China in 1923. His family were poor and he left school when he was 12 and became an apprentice to a silk merchant. When he was 22 he was already chief manager of his family business and owned several shops in Shanghai and Ningbo. In 1949, Chen’s family moved to Hong […]

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Ng Jim Kai – Financier of the Chinese Revolution and Pioneer of the Garment and Shipping Industries in Hong Kong

York Lo: In 2013, the Ford Motor Company released a 1924 letter which Sun Yat-sen sent to Henry Ford inviting him to open up a plant in south China – the bearer of the letter was a Chinese American merchant named Ng Jim Kai (a.k.a. Ng Tung Kai 吳東啟, 1859-1935). [1] A major financial backer of Sun Yat-sen for over […]

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Chevalier R Pescio – Tunnelling the Peak – proposed tramway 1906-1910

HF:  Chavalier R Pescio was a man with vision. Especially when it came to trams and tunnels in Hong Kong. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 11 August 1909 contains this article which notes “rents in the Colony of Hongkong are abnormally so, more than in any part of the world in proportion to the accomodation offered”. Even then […]

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Peter H.T. Woo – Father of the Hong Kong Electronics Industry

Peter H.T. Woo – Father of the Hong Kong Electronics Industry – by York Lo Several years ago, I was invited by the editors of the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography (HKU Press, 2011) to write biographical entries for the book. In total I wrote 37 entries which covered many of the important figures in HK business history. However, there […]

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Proposed Tramway linking Victoria and Aberdeen by Peak tunnel, 1906-1910

IDJ has sent an extract from a book by Martin Barnett published in 1984 about the history of tramways in Hong Kong. HF: Chevalier R Pescio was an Italian with an exotic name and an alluring proposal. Namely to build a tramway between Victoria  and Aberdeen. He repeatedly tried to obtain government interest in this scheme between 1906 and 1910 […]

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The Decline of Street Hawkers in Hong Kong

HF: One of my first memories of arriving in Hong Kong in 1989 was the smell of fish ball stalls in Causeway Bay. Unfamiliar food being cooked in oil that never seemed to be changed. Industrial strength. And real Dai Pai Dongs. Real in that all the equipment – cookers, gas bottles, tables, chairs, food and drinks arrived by trolley […]

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