Harold L. Lee and Sons Inc.

10 September 2019
Tai Lung Co. Chinese Art Goods store front (left) with Harold L. Lee Agent sign hanging above, Courtesy of Eric Y. Ng, Museum of
Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection
泰隆中国艺术品商店门前(照片左侧),李联公司的招牌挂在上方,Eric Y. Ng捐赠,美国华人博物馆(MOCA)馆藏

Founded in 1888, Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc. is a cornerstone of New York’s Chinatown and a window into one family’s four-generation journey. In 1874, Lee Kee Lo (also known as Lee On) was born in San Francisco, making him the first American citizen of the Lee Family. In 1888, his two brothers founded Tai Lung (meaning “Great Prosperity”), which sold Chinese vegetables and meats in a four-story building at 31 Pell Street, back when the burgeoning Chinatown consisted of only three streets: Mott, Pell, and Doyers. After the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Lee On used his mobility as a U.S. citizen and merchant to join his brothers at the growing trading company as its traveling head salesman and buyer.

After incorporating Tai Lung in 1892, the brothers brought their family to the U.S. Lee On’s eleven-year-old son, Harold, eventually became the patriarch of the next generation of Lee’s and expanded the family business into new ventures. These included the New York Chinese Film Exchange and most notably a foreign exchange and remittance business on the second floor, which became the first Chinese-owned business to offer financial services to the Chinese-speaking community. Eventually, the Foreign Exchange would expand into separate businesses run by Lee men and women of multiple generations: Harold’s son Andrew spearheaded Harold L. Lee and Son’s Insurance, the first Chinese-American insurance agency, while his son Henry began a successful travel agency. From Tai Lung’s modest beginnings as a grocery store, Lee Insurance is now a robust, national recognized company run 125 years later by the third and fourth generations of Lees from its original headquarters at 31 Pell Street.

创建于1888年,李联公司(Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc.)是纽约唐人街的基石,也是一个家庭四世同堂的移民经历的写照。1874年,Lee Kee Lo(又名Lee On)在旧金山出生,成为李氏家族的第一位美国公民。1888年,他的两个兄弟在披露街31号(31 Pell Street)的一栋四层楼的大楼里创立了“泰隆”(意为“大繁荣”),销售中国蔬菜和肉类。那时侯,正在兴起的唐人街只有三条街道:勿街、披露街和宰也街。《排华法案》通过以后。Lee On利用自己作为美国公民和商人的身份自由,加入了他的兄弟们,成为这家不断壮大的贸易公司的旅行销售和采购主管。

在1892年泰隆公司化以后,兄弟俩把他们的家人都带到了美国。Lee On的11岁的儿子Harold最终成为李氏家族下一代的掌门人,并将家族企业扩展到了新的领域。其中包括纽约中国电影交流中心(New York Chinese Film Exchange),和最为瞩目的位于二楼的外汇和汇款业务,成为第一家为华语社区提供金融服务的中资企业。最终,外汇业务扩展成为了李氏男女多代经营的独立业务:Harold的儿子Andrew领导了李联保险公司(Harold L. Lee and Son’s Insurance)——第一家美籍华人保险机构,而他的儿子Henry则创办了一家很成功的旅行社。从泰隆最初只是一家杂货店,如今李氏保险已成为一家实力雄厚、全国知名的公司,它从位于披露街31号的原总部开始,历经了125年的发展,现由李氏家族的第三代和第四代经营。

Countdown to the TCS NYC Marathon on November 3, 2019: 216 Days.

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