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September 25, 2023

Hong Kong in the Late 1950s Through Fascinating Photos

The 1950s in Hong Kong began against the chaotic backdrop of the resumption of British sovereignty after the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended in 1945, and the renewal of the Nationalist-Communist Civil War in mainland China. It prompted a large influx of refugees from the mainland, causing a huge population surge: from 1945 to 1951, the population grew from 600,000 to 2.1 million. The government struggled to accommodate these immigrants.

Unrest in China also prompted businesses to relocate their assets and capital from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Together with the cheap labour of the immigrants, the seeds of Hong Kong’s economic miracle in the second half of the 20th century were sown.

E. Reed was an American Engineer who had been working in Japan, installing American Equipment in Japanese powerplants. He passed through Hong Kong at least twice during 1958 to 1959. These photos were taken by E. Reed that show street scenes of Hong Kong in 1958-59.


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