Raw Material Suppliers and Factory Owners in the Beginning Stage of Plastic Manufacturing Industry

When Lam was an employee at Yuen Hing Hong Co. Ltd., the company expanded on its raw plastic material business, acting as an agent for importers from Britain, USA, Germany and Italy, from whom he bought and resold plastic materials to local factories. Lam once conducted a research for information about American plastic firms such as Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Rohm and Haas, and Du Pontetc. In those days, Yuen Hing Hong used to represent British companies like Distiller Plastic Groups, Imperial Chemicals Industries, Saro (High Impact Polystyrene Sheet), and British Celanese (Cellulose Acetate). Simultaneously, Yuen Hing Hong was an agent for Styrene Hair, which was artificial hair made of Styrene for toy dolls, and for nylon, which was used to make toothbrushes. In 1960, Lam was invited by Distiller Plastic Groups to go on training in the UK. Larger companies such as Monsanto and Dow Chemical had appointed their agents in Hong Kong from early on.
From 1947, some small-scale plastic factories in Hong Kong had been buying raw materials via Yuen Hing Hong to produce spoons, small bowls, combs, dolls, and imitation jewellery targeted markets in Southeast Asia. Yuen Hing Hong once sold perspex sheets to a mahjong factory on Wellington Street. Perspex sheet was a kind of plastic materials that were used to produce mahjong tiles, signs, lampshades, lamps, and umbrella handles. Winsome Plastic Works used to make sign stands which can be placed on reception desks. In the post-war period, major plastics works in Hong Kong were founded by wealthy Shanghainese industrialists, including Kader, Chong Yuen, Far East Plastic, Perfekta and Po Yuen initially produced toothbrushes. Early suppliers of plastic materials were Chinachem, Wo Foo Plastics, Tins Chemical and Wah Sun Hong etc. Chinachem was an agent for an American material called ‘US Chemical High Density Polyethylene 666’, while Wo Foo Plastics and Tins Chemical focused on making PVC materials. H.C. Chieng, a plastic tycoon who ran factories in Shanghai, moved to Hong Kong in 1946/47 and openedChong Yuen on Tam Kung Road, To Kwa Wan, making daily products such as plates and hangers.

Company Forward Winsome Industries Limited
Subject Industry
Duration 14m8s
Language Cantonese
Material Type
Source Hong Kong Memory Project Oral History Interview
Repository Hong Kong Memory Project
Note to Copyright Copyright owned by Hong Kong Memory Project
Accession No. LKF-LT-SEG-031
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