Author Topic: Wing On Co. tokens  (Read 3928 times)

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Offline KONDi

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Wing On Co. tokens
« on: October 02, 2013, 08:50:35 AM »
This is another interesting company in old Shanghai which issued several tokens. In a few words I will tell you something about the history of the company.

The Wing On Company (永安公司) had been formed by the Guo brothers (郭羅),郭樂 - Guo Yue and 郭泉 - Guo Quan an Australian Chinese family, they started building their empire with a fruit company in Sydney in 1897. This successful venture was followed by an unsuccesssful venture into a shipping line working the route between Australia and Hong Kong. But Hong Kong was to prove the start of their real success. Guo Quan (郭泉) returned to Hong Kong with accumulated savings and founded the Wing On Company, the second Chinese-owned department store in Hong Kong. They later went on to found Wing On Bank.

Wing On also had a branch in Shanghai. The Shanghai branch was opened on 5th September 1918 on Nanking Road (today's Nanjing Road) - cross streets: Chekiang Road and Nanking Road, and was at the time one of the "big four" department stores of Shanghai.
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 08:54:10 AM »
Among the four companies the one having the greatest influence was, as might be expected, Wing On. The reason, when traced, lay in its clever moves and shrewd business sense. In those days Nanjing road was already the busiest shopping centre in Shanghai. Prior to Guo's arrangements, the Sincere Company had elected to open an emporium on the north-south sector of the intersection of Nanjing Road and Zhejiang Road where the Guo brothers also planned to erect a building. With this in mind they surveyed the commercial and residential situation north and south of Nanjing Road, and found that while there were few busy sectors north of the road, there were many residential areas to the south and west with a good many wealthy families residing there. Then the two brothers decided to lease the land and have their own building constructed south of Nanjing Road just opposite the Sincere Company. Silas Hardoon, the owner of the land, demanded an annual rent of 50,000 taels of silver for a lease of 30 years, on the condition that the land was to be taken back together with the building upon expiration of the lasse. After meticulous estimations the Guo brother made up their minds to accept those extremely harsh terms.

With the completion of the building, the Guo brothers, in order to viewith the Sincere Company and Whiteaway Laidlaw for business, took great pains with the layout of their four-storied emporium. On the ground floor were departments selling daily-use articles, cosmetics, knit goods, hardware, sweets, biscuits, canned food, cigarettes, ect. Dazzling, attractive and rich in variety, these items found ready buyers. Departments on the first floor offered woolen goods, silks and satins, piece goods and garments for sale. Here the hall was made much more spacious so that various pieces of materials could be spread over the counters by the customers. The second floor was set aside for jewellery, watches and clocks, and musical instruments, while the third floor sold furniture, leather suitcases, rugs, and bicycles. As the two uopper floors handled middle and high-grade goods, most of the customers going there already had something in mind to buy, this bringing about a large turnover. To this day the Wing On-initiated layout is still adopted by many department stores in other Chinese cities. The Sincere Company had formerly used the ground floor of their building as a tea hall, resulting in a crowding of customers on the first and second floor because of their relatively small space for business. They then set about making improvements by imitating Wing On's way of doing business.

At first, Wing On sold mainly imported goods such as French cosmetics, British woolens, Czechoslovakian glassware, and Swiss watches. When a widespreas campaign was launched to advocate buying Chinese goods, Wing On opened up new sources of homemade goods by setting up their own workshops and processing factories. Engaging well-known technicians and skilled workers at high wages, Wing On now shifted to self-production and self-marketing, and soon made a name for selling goods of their own make. They also gave financial aid to a number of small and medium-sized factortes so that in time they became Wing On's special manufacturers. As for the local and special products of other parts of the country such as Jingdezhen porcelain, Fujian lacquerware, Huzhou silk floss, and Jinhua hams, Wing On sent their people to the respective producing areas to place orders, specifying that the goods should be labelled "Made under the Supervision of the Wing On Company". In this way, Wing On quite unexpectedly achieved double the result with half the effort in competition. 

The Big Four Companies:
1) Sincere (20th October 1917),
2) Wing On*
3) The Sun Sun (23rd January 1926),
4) The Sun (20th January 1936).

*The store occupied two prominent buildings. The distinctive original building stood opposite from the (then) Sincere Department Store. An extension was built next to it in the 1930s, one of the first modern "skyscrapers" of Shanghai.
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 08:55:43 AM »
After the Communist revolution in China (1949), the store was nationalised and renamed No.10 Department Store, traded under various names and no longer connected to Wong On in Hong Kong.

The Big Four survived the Japanese invasion and war and Wing On was the last one to close its stores in mainland in 1956.

The 1930s extension building houses a separate "Overseas Chinese Store", which, for many years, was one of the few places in Shanghai where people with overseas connections could spend their foreign exchange certificates to buy goods not avaialble to ordinary Chinese consumers.
 
In 2005, the department store in the original 1918 building resumed the Chinese version of the Wing On name (Chinese: 永安; pinyin: Yǒng'ān). However, the store is owned by a separate company to Wing On, called "Yongan Department Store Co Ltd", a state-owned company. This company does not use the "Wing On" name in its English translations.The exterior of the original store was restored to its appearance during the Wing On period. However, the interior has been drastically refurbished. The store has also changed its market orientation, focusing almost exclusively on domestic Chinese branded clothing targeted at visitors from other parts of China, with a small department in watches and other accessories but it is no longer involved in the silver trade.
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 08:56:52 AM »
The Wing On Company issued at least 16 types of tokens. Most of all 10 cents and 20 cents tokens. Howevere there is also on dollar size token and a few gambling $1 tokens as also one WO bakelite token.
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 10:47:06 AM »
Among the four companies the one having the greatest influence was, as might be expected, Wing On. The reason, when traced, lay in its clever moves and shrewd business sense. In those days Nanjing road was already the busiest shopping centre in Shanghai. Prior to Guo's arrangements, the Sincere Company had elected to open an emporium on the north-south sector of the intersection of Nanjing Road and Zhejiang Road where the Guo brothers also planned to erect a building. With this in mind they surveyed the commercial and residential situation north and south of Nanjing Road, and found that while there were few busy sectors north of the road, there were many residential areas to the south and west with a good many wealthy families residing there. Then the two brothers decided to lease the land and have their own building constructed south of Nanjing Road just opposite the Sincere Company. Silas Hardoon, the owner of the land, demanded an annual rent of 50,000 taels of silver for a lease of 30 years, on the condition that the land was to be taken back together with the building upon expiration of the lasse. After meticulous estimations the Guo brother made up their minds to accept those extremely harsh terms.

With the completion of the building, the Guo brothers, in order to viewith the Sincere Company and Whiteaway Laidlaw for business, took great pains with the layout of their four-storied emporium. On the ground floor were departments selling daily-use articles, cosmetics, knit goods, hardware, sweets, biscuits, canned food, cigarettes, ect. Dazzling, attractive and rich in variety, these items found ready buyers. Departments on the first floor offered woolen goods, silks and satins, piece goods and garments for sale. Here the hall was made much more spacious so that various pieces of materials could be spread over the counters by the customers. The second floor was set aside for jewellery, watches and clocks, and musical instruments, while the third floor sold furniture, leather suitcases, rugs, and bicycles. As the two uopper floors handled middle and high-grade goods, most of the customers going there already had something in mind to buy, this bringing about a large turnover. To this day the Wing On-initiated layout is still adopted by many department stores in other Chinese cities. The Sincere Company had formerly used the ground floor of their building as a tea hall, resulting in a crowding of customers on the first and second floor because of their relatively small space for business. They then set about making improvements by imitating Wing On's way of doing business.

At first, Wing On sold mainly imported goods such as French cosmetics, British woolens, Czechoslovakian glassware, and Swiss watches. When a widespreas campaign was launched to advocate buying Chinese goods, Wing On opened up new sources of homemade goods by setting up their own workshops and processing factories. Engaging well-known technicians and skilled workers at high wages, Wing On now shifted to self-production and self-marketing, and soon made a name for selling goods of their own make. They also gave financial aid to a number of small and medium-sized factortes so that in time they became Wing On's special manufacturers. As for the local and special products of other parts of the country such as Jingdezhen porcelain, Fujian lacquerware, Huzhou silk floss, and Jinhua hams, Wing On sent their people to the respective producing areas to place orders, specifying that the goods should be labelled "Made under the Supervision of the Wing On Company". In this way, Wing On quite unexpectedly achieved double the result with half the effort in competition. 

The Big Four Companies:
1) Sincere (20th October 1917),
2) Wing On*
3) The Sun Sun (23rd January 1926),
4) The Sun (20th January 1936).

*The store occupied two prominent buildings. The distinctive original building stood opposite from the (then) Sincere Department Store. An extension was built next to it in the 1930s, one of the first modern "skyscrapers" of Shanghai.

The Sun Company (Dah Sun, also called DaXin) opened on 10th January 1936 (NOT on 20th January---my mistake, sorry).
KONDi
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Offline KONDi

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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 01:19:24 AM »
This piece belongs to Wing On company series.
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 04:13:52 AM »
This is an example of another Wing On Co. token. The value of this toen is 1 yuan which is 1 dollar. It is made of red bakelite (old type plastic). This is a gambling token. There is also green variety of this token as far as I remember. If I will find the image I can share with you. I have also seen the variety of this red bakelite token with 3 letters: CRB, but CRB is a different company in old Shanghai :001_rolleyes:
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Re: Wing On Co. tokens
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 11:37:51 AM »
Those 2 tokens which photos you can see are examples from the Wing On company. That was a big company in old Shanghai and issued more than other company tokens.
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