A short history will help set the stage. During World War II, Japanese Imperial forces occupied Hong Kong. The occupation was brutal, and, due to starvation, emigration, and mass killings, the population dropped from 1.2 million pre-war to only 600,000 by 1945. Because of its strategic position in the South China Sea, Britain reoccupied Hong Kong after the war, even though most European powers were slowly divesting themselves of their colonial possessions. From 1945-1949, Hong Kong was a rather sleepy outpost of the Empire. But in 1949, Mao Zedong's communist forces occupied all of the mainland, forcing Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang government to flee to Formosa (now Taiwan). Soon, huge numbers of Chinese fled to Hong Kong. Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 by Barbara W. Tuchman (1972) provides an excellent background to our difficult relations with China in the pre-war and WWII era.
The 1950 colour photograph was taken on Kodachrome film with a Leica 3C camera and 50mm f/2.0 Summitar lens (still in use occasionally 65 years later). The black and white frames were taken on Kodak Panatomic-X film with a Canon rangefinder camera and its 50mm Serenar lens. The Canon was one of the early products of the Japanese industrial recovery after World War II. My dad took these photographs during a long trip from Guam to New York, via Hong Kong, India, Egypt, and Europe.