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From a little fish village to an international financial centre, Hong Kong has experienced a lot of changes. We would like to invite you to look back to the history of Hong Kong, the story of our home.
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《HONG KONG STORIES XIX - Our Classic Brands》 Who Brighten up the City?


《HONG KONG STORIES XIX - Our Classic Brands》 Who Brighten up the City?

After Hong Kong was opened up for trade, the construction of infrastructure increased tremendously, and two electric companies soon started providing light and other energies for this little city.

One of the early objectives of the establishment of the HK Electric was to support street lamps. In the late 19th century, a small-scale power plant was erected near Wing Fung Street and Star Street in Wan Chai. It did not have many customers and the demand of electricity was not high. Many local people were amazed by the street lamps outside the power plant, since they automatically switched on when the night fell. However, most of the conservative Chinese still used the old style coal oil or kerosene lamps for lighting purpose. Therefore, at the beginning, it was the westerners living in Mid-levels who asked for power supply, because they needed pump rooms and generators to bring water up to the Peak.

In 1894, the bubonic plague in Hong Kong caused a high number of casualties. In order to encourage its citizens to fight against rats, the government attached bins to lampposts to collect dead rats. A small bin attached to a tall lamppost thus became a remarkable scene representing the dark moments of the city.

In the late 19th century, although the Hong Kong Island was already brightened up by electricity, Kowloon Peninsula was still in complete darkness after sunset. CLP established its first power plant in 1903 on Chatham Road, serving the most populated area at that time, Yau Ma Tei.

“Who Brighten up the City?” unfolds the story of the establishment of the two electric companies in Hong Kong, showing us how our city life has changed in the past century.
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