Original 1934 San Francisco Chinatown CHINESE TYPE SPECIMEN Trade Catalogue BOCK NGAR CHY CO
Chinese American Type Specimen Catalogue
BOCK NGAR CHY CO., published in San Francisco (n.d.) circa 1934. Original decorative blue-green paper wrappers, top staple bound, 8.25" x 5.25", 44 unnumbered pages, printed in red and green, text in Chinese with some English, richly illustrated throughout. NEAR FINE Condition: mild age toning, tiny bit of wear at spine fold ends, tight, bright, clean and unmarked. A beautiful copy. Scarce, just 4 copies held in collections worldwide.
A typographic specimen book and trade catalogue featuring a wide variety of printing services, dual language Chinese-English printing, graphic design, typefaces, ornaments, borders, illustrated cuts, stamps, business cards, advertising, logos, and other printing jobs as well as rubber stamps, seals, corporate stamping machines, inks, moveable type sets, pens, labels, stationary and small promotional items. Numerous local Chinese owned business are represented in the samples, as well as Chinese companies outside California, and in Canada and Mexico.
A successful Chinese American printing and stationers firm in San Francisco's Chinatown, Bock Ngar Chy Company was founded by San Francisco native and visual artist Lee Shew Hung (b.1882). Educated in both Chinese and American schools Lee worked in his father's import export business before starting his own small press after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. I can't find early records but the February 1915 edition of the Chinese Students' Monthly has two ads for Bock Ngar Chy Co. Chinese printing and stationer services and Chinese artistic goods located at 920 Grant Avenue. The 1949 Chinese San Francisco City Directory shows Bock Ngar Chy Co. at a different Chinatown location, 556 Kearny Street and the last recorded item they printed was a 1956 calendar by Bock Ngar Chy, Youth Printing Co. It's entirely possible Lee Shew Hung remained the proprietor throughout.