Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company – vanishing HK trades

Mary Anne Le Bas has sent an SCMP article, Six home-grown Hong Kong trades at risk of dying out, published on 21st June 2015. The first of these is the Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company about which we already have an article linked below.

Tuck Chong Sum Kee - snipped photo of Lam Ying Hun SCMP 21.6.15

Courtesy: SCMP

The article begins: “Lam Ying-hung runs the Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company. Bamboo steamer makers were once commonplace in Hong Kong but, in the 1980s, almost all production moved to the mainland. Lam’s company, located in Sheung Wan, is the last one left in Hong Kong.

“My great-great-grandfather started the enterprise during the late Qing dynasty. In the early days he sold his wares in villages and markets, but later moved to Guangzhou because he wanted to grow the business.

It takes at least three years to learn to make a steamer from a single piece of bamboo. I learned from my father and grandfather. In China, nowadays, they work in production lines, so each person performs only one part of the process. I might be the last person who knows how to make a steamer from start to finish.

In one day I can make eight large steamers or 50 small ones. The entire process is done by hand. Our customers choose our steamers, rather than the mass-produced ones from China, because they are better quality and more durable. The factory-produced steamers might deteriorate after one or two months, while ours can last for up to a year. The durability depends on the skill of the steamer maker, and how they work the raw materials – rolling, pressing and cutting the hard and soft parts of the bamboo…”

This article was first posted on 14th May 2016.

See: Six home-grown Hong Kong trades at risk of dying out SCMP 21st June 2015

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company – revisited
  2. Hong Kong rattan and bamboo products 1960s

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