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January 20, 2021

Just Before WWI, Fascinating Photos Capture Everyday Life of Hong Kong Around 1910

On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, fear of a possible attack on the colony led to an exodus of 60,000 Chinese. However, Hong Kong during World War I saw no direct military action, and Hong Kong's population continued to boom in the following decades from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925.

Hong Kong around 1910


Nonetheless, the city served as an important port in East Asia, including as the headquarters of the British China Station, and saw significant socioeconomical changes during the war.

These photos are from a folder of postcards from the Kien family archives that captured everyday life of Hong Kong around 1910.

A group of Chinese ladies with small feet

A group of street coolies

A Chinese burial

Bowrington Canal, Hong Kong

Caine Road, Hong Kong

Canton steamer's wharf, Hong Kong

Causeway Bay with Kennedy's stable, Hong Kong

Central Part of Hong Kong

Chinese actors, Hong Kong

Chinese boys eating on the Hill-Side, Hong Kong

Chinese cargo junk in full sail, Hong Kong

Chinese coolies chow-chow

Chinese narrow street in Old Kowloon City

Chinese narrow street in Old Kowloon City

Chinese nurse is carrying a child by slinging him on her back, leaving her two hands free for work

Chinese pipe and opium smokers, Hong Kong

Chinese playing at Fantan, Hong Kong

Chinese school in Hong Kong

Chinese sweet-meat sellers, Hong Kong

Chinese taking their meal. What they call in Chinese chow-chow

Chinese wedding procession, Hong Kong

City Hall Square, Hong Kong

Des 'Veoux Road Central, Hong Kong

Des 'Veoux Road showing Central Market, Hong Kong

Des 'Veoux Road, Hong Kong

Des 'Voeux Road and electric car, sailor's home and St. Peter's Church

Greetings from Hong Kong Chinese fortune teller

Hong Kong China Town

Hong Kong prisoners in stocks

Jubilee Road, Hong Kong

Kennedy Road and Peak Tramway, Hong Kong

Kowloon City, Hong Kong

Life on board Chinese sampan, 3 generations

Mahomedam Mosque of Kowloon, Hong Kong

Praya Central, showing how Chinese child is carrying another child, Hong Kong

Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

Queen's Road East, Hong Kong

Queen's Road Near Central Market, Hong Kong

Queen's Statue, Hong Kong

Queen’s Road Central and Hongkong and Shanghai Bank

Sedan-chair and rickshaw

St John's Cathedral, Hong Kong

Stone steps of Pottinger Street, Hong Kong

Tailor girls in street

The hearse of a rich Chinaman, the procession marches along all the streets before they reache the cemetary

The naval yard, Hong Kong

Travelling in sedan chair, Hong Kong

View of Kong Kong and Kowloon

View of Peak Tramway, Hong Kong Harbour and Kowloon

View of the city and harbour between Hong Kong and Kowloon

Wanchai Road, Hong Kong

Warriors of the Ming Dynasty 16th century, Hong Kong

Wyndham Street, where flowers are sold




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