Postcards from 1900s Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Postcards from 1900s Hong Kong

My grandfather James Steven visited Hong Kong in 1908. He was on a world trip -  part pleasure, part business - for his father's firm, Steven & Struthers, a Glasgow brassfounders, that sold brass and bronze ships' chandlery, propellers, pumps, and lighthouse lanterns, world-wide.

He wrote letters over the course of his whole trip but unfortunately the ones from Hong Kong were missing by the time I transcribed them. Just the tantalising snippet that he was looking forward to the Chinese New Year celebrations when he got to Hong Kong.

The only thing we do have is the five postcards I have uploaded.

I arrived in Hong Kong by ship in 1968 - a Russian ship - the MS Baikal - which I had boarded in Nahodka a few days earlier after a journey on the Trans-Siberian Express across Russia. We were delayed by a typhoon and so arrived late and had to be taken off the ship by lighter and so I disembarked sixty years on from my Grandfather's visit in much the same manner!

I unearthed the photos from my Grandfather's album while I was writing my own book about my time in Hong Kong which has recently been published, The Hong Kong Letters.

I'm including two of the postcards in this post. The iconic Peak Tram and The Hong Kong Hotel. Mrs Betty Church, one of the chief protagonists in my book met her first husband there where she took tea every day. The hotel was long gone by the time I got to Hong Kong but I suspect it was probably where my Grandfather stayed when he visited the Colony.

Peak Tram Hong Kong. Postcard purchased 1908.jpg
Peak Tram Hong Kong. Postcard purchased 1908.jpg, by W Brewer& Co, Hong Kong


Hong Kong Hotel. Postcard purchased 1908.jpg
Hong Kong Hotel. Postcard purchased 1908.jpg, by W Brewer & Co.