Victoria Harbour and Kowloon 1896-97 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Victoria Harbour and Kowloon 1896-97

Victoria Harbour and Kowloon 1896-97
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, January 1, 1896


This historical albumen print of the Victoria Harbour and Kowloon was recently acquired.  The date should be before 1907 as the signal station at Blackhead Point was not there yet.

CM Shun

Zoom-in showing the 1883 Building of the Hong Kong Observatory above the Knutsford Terrace (upper left) and the first-generation time ball tower, signal mast to the right of the TST Water Police Station (lower right). 

Victoria Harbour and Kowloon 1896-97 (Zoom-in)




The Hong Kong Club building (1897) is visible, but there isn't any sign of the Club Annexe (1903) next to it, so somewhere around 1900 sounds right.

There's also that building on the TST shore I'm still trying to identify.

Regards, David

Hi there,

I saw scaffoldings and ramps around the Hong Kong Club Building.   Would those be treated as another clue?

Best Regards,


Good point Thomas. Probably closer to 1897 then.

Regards, David

I could be wrong,

but there's no sign of Queen's building
so does that mean it's before 1899??


I'm not sure - would Queen's Building have been visible from here, or was it out of sight behind the Governor's residence?

Regards, David

My feeling (which may be wrong) is that the Queen's Building would be right behind the governor's residence as you think, but I believe it would be tall enough to be visible. The Hong Kong Club would still be visible, if the photographer had moved to the left.



The Butterfield and Swire Building was also built in 1897. Not very clear to see to the east of the Hong Kong Club.

So summarizing the above comments, could we settle the date of the photo to 1897 or even slightly earlier, e.g. 1896?

CM Shun

Yes, a date of 1896-7 sounds right.

Regards, David