KinShan Steamer | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

KinShan Steamer

KinShan Steamer

In 1865 the Hong Kong, Canton and Macao Steamboat Company was started, to provide steamship connection between Macao, Hong Kong, and Canton. The American shallow-draft river steamers Kinshan (the first boat of this name), White Cloud and Fire Dart were the company's earliest acquisitions. The White Cloud was a paddle-wheeled vessel, which was sold out of the company during the Spanish-American War.

Photo was taken arround 1865 by Sylvester Dutton

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, January 1, 1865


The American type of river paddle steamer could be used in China with almost no modifications, as indeed they were. The KINSHAN has a "walking beam"  engine and the beam can be seen above the superstructure between the paddle boxes and the twin funnels. Known in China Coast pidgin as a  "walkie walkie ship".

Slight error with respect to the White Cloud. The first White Cloud (1859-1871, 170 tons register, 220 tons gross, so small), initially managed by Augustine Heard & Co. and as noted, then with the HCMSBC, was wrecked in Macau in the 1874 typhoon (full report of the Marine Court of Enquiry in the HK Daily Press 24.10.1874 and aubsequent days). The second White Cloud was built at Captain Sands West Point/Belcher's Bay yard and launched on 5th July 1875 (report of launch in HK Daily Press on 6th July 1875).