Pedder Street, early 1920's

Wed, 03/01/2023 - 16:20

Red: Caine Road 21, 23, 25, 27 (present numbering, same below), 4 semi-attached buildings.

Green: Caine Road 17, 19

Magenta: Caine Road 16 ("Glenealy")

Source: University of Cambridge Digital Library, "Views in Australia, Egypt, Aden, Asia and other places chiefly circa 1908-1915." (uploaded by S.K. Yip)

Date picture taken


The big advert with SHELL on it gives an indication of the date of the photo. Asiatic Building/Shell House opened in 1924, so the photo could be from 1923.

Addendum: There is another advert from the Coronet Theatre for "The heart of Maryland", a silent movie from 1927. Possibly 1924 is the opening date for the two-storey building in the back, and a bigger one is under construction in 1927. Maybe 1927 is correct date.

Thank you. That's great if the completion date can be narrowed down further.

Perhaps the photo may show the status of the Shell House site c.1924, when the China Building was still under construction and Catholic Administration Offices on Caine Road was not seen yet.

Item 38 of the 1922 Report on Public Works refers:

A commencement was made and good progress maintained on buildings on important sites in the centre of the City, such as the Asian Petroleum Company’s site, I.L. 619, Queen’s Road Central; the Old Post Office site, I.Ls. 2316, 2317, 2318 & 2319…….

Great you nailed the date moddsey.

Looking at this photo, there seemed to be a jinrickshaw rank on the central portion of Pedder Street.

When the flower sellers moved on from Wyndham Street from 25th March 1930, did the jinrickshaws from Peddar Street take over the western side of Wyndham Street? Certainly by 1925 motor cars had increasingly occupied both sides of Pedder Street (not sure if I can make out the jinrickshaws in the centre of Pedder Street). 

A few years before in 1919, the jinrickshaws certainly occupied the central portion of Pedder Street.

Hi David, this is an interesting observation. Looking into Regulations of Public Vehicles and Chairs in Hong Kong 1863-1941 reveals many details. Government Notifications for stands of rickshaws and chairs refer the following:

year location of rickshaws
1894 Pedder Street
1909 Pedder Street Clock Tower
1921 Pedder Street, centre of street
1924 no rickshaws, but Taxi-Cabs at Pedder Street outside GPO

The Pedder Street rickshaw stand was probably suspended and rickshaws were distributed to other stands. Wyndham Street rickshaw stand opened in 1931. 

That’s a good find Klaus. It would be great if you could make a place for the rickshaw rank for Pedder Street given what you have found with the regulations timeline. 

Pedder Street had gone through big changes - with the construction and then disappearance of the Clock Tower and then the disappearance of the rickshaws and dominance of motor cars and being hemmed in by tall buildings.