Street Scene | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Street Scene

Primary tabs

Street Scene
Tags: 

Photo courtesy of Laura Darnell.

She thinks it may be from the 1920s, or 30s at the latest.

Any suggestions for when & where this was taken?

Regards, David

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, January 1, 1930

Comments

Hi there,

The destination of the Tram facing the camera was Causeway Bay.  So at least we know the photographer was west of Causeway Bay, somewhere along the tram line, and standing on the eastbound traffic side of the street.

If it was 1920 or 1930, Wanchai wasn't much developed yet along the Tram lines.  The photo showed us a business area.  In this respect I would suggest it would likely be somewhere in west of the Central Market in Sheung Wan, or even a bit further west.

Best Regards,

T

That sounds like the right area.

The only extra clue I can see is a sign for "Far East Leather Articles Mfg. Co." in the top-left corner. But no sign of that company name in HKGRO, HKPL's Newspapers, or Google Books.

Regards, David

I think I am seeing a vehicle parked at the street. It shows up to the left of the man with the pipe. There may be a logo on the door. Is the front windshield open from the bottom or perhaps a reflection? That pipe is interesting in itself. That man is quite jauntily dressed. Successful? To the right, I can make out over the street side, a store sign that has the word RADIO in it. Perhaps Cheung Yuan --------, "Radio &" ------------. Quite an interesting street scene. A man is squatting on the curb among pedestrian traffic. Some people are in shorts, others in traditional gear that is long, like a long skirt or dress. The figure in white is holding a lit cigarette at his side. A man looks barefoot. Lots of fun details show up. Laura

Hi there,

You are quite right concerning Chung Yuen.  The photo should be some time latter than 1927 as Chung Yuen was established in 1927 (according to their own corporate page).  I remember they used to have a store front in De Voeux Road Central, very close to Central Market.  This might be it provided someone could verify the business address of Chung Yuen at that time.

Best Regards,

T

Good find with Chung Yuen.

The "tram ride" article has photos taken along that section of road, and might show a match for a building or shop name.

Regards, David

According to this webpage the original address for Chung Yuen (established 1927) was 71 Des Voeux Road Central. There is a photo of the premises and the building superficially matches with the above street scene photo. Can anyone hyper focus on this area for photos to see if there is a clearer match?

The word "Radio" is also advertised on the sign board. The article mentioned that radio broadcasting in Hong Kong did not start until June 1928 for English, and 1934 for Chinese. So safe to say that the photo was taken after June 1928, and likely also after 1934.

The tram design is the fourth generation version (c.1925-1951) but looks very close to the circa 1937 photo of this tram. So could we be looking more the late 1930s? The photo also have a pedestrian with the same fashion of white pith helmet but that is not useful to date the photo as civilian use of it was common up till the 1940s.