Tower with Chinese characters

Tue, 11/10/2020 - 04:13

Cropped from Hong Kong (China), double-decker bus with rock formation in background

On the left side of the original photo is a tower with Chinese characters.

Can anyone read it? It might help to identify the location.

Date picture taken
31 Jan 1931


On the top from right to left is 富強民. The character 民 is a guess.

The bottom from right to left is 民XXX公司。The character 民 is also a guess.The other three are not clear.

looks like 富強牌 (brand name) on top, and the bottom looks like XX煙草公司 (XX cigarette company).

The building was in the shape of a rectangular liquor bottle with a screw cap on top. Maybe this 煙草 company was also selling liquor under the 富強牌 brand name.

Thanks tkjho.  The mid-bottom character could be 草.  But the mid-top character remains a puzzle to me because its left half does not look like  火 (= fire and left half of smoke 煙).  It looks like a 3-dot water to me.  So your liquor bottle caused me to think of water or related to water.  How about Tam-Cheun  潭 泉 ?  Regards,  Peter

It does not look like 潭 泉, could it be 湮草, tobacco and not cigarettes, as lots of people at that time smoked tobacco from a large bamboo water pipe (hookah) 水湮筒, even though 湮 does not mean 煙.

This is enlarged from UWM's original.

chinesebrand.jpg, by tkjho

This is another photo taken a few minutes apart. Note the 2 ads. pasted on the rock on the right, one was for brand 富強 and the other was for another cigarette brand 大來.

Is it a tower or just the side on view of a house? The left side of it appears to show balconies and supporting columns which would imply this is really a house viewed from the side. A painted wall advert is not uncommon even today in Hong Kong - and it makes sense given the way the wall faces the tram line. 

Thanks tkjho, they look like  湮草 to me.  You may remember the fabric shop on Apliu Street with its spinning machines which were a common sight in the early 1950s.  In late 1950s the industry was fading out.   The shop (they did not sell direct) was about midway between your home and Maple Street playground and the owner smoked with his bamboo water pipe.  Regards,  Peter