Apcar & Co

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Apcar & Co

'Apcar & Co' was a firm founded in 1819 in India that engaged in shipping, import and export. The most profitable trade was in opium, shipped from India to Hong Kong and the Pearl River. The Apcar Line also carried Indian and Chinese laborers for work in Malaya and Singapore. The first of the Apcar family had arrived in India in c.1795 from Armenia [1].

The Company acted as general business agents and insurance brokers and controlled the Apcar Shipping Line and interests in mining operations. On 27 February 1912 Apcar & Co, ships, workshops and mines, were sold to the British India Steam Navigation Company [2]


The Apcar Line ran a fleet of vessels from Kolkata carrying Chinese coolies and cargo, largely to and from Singapore, Hong Kong and Amoy (Xiamen), with connections to Japan. Pirates were active, and well into the twentieth century, the ships had to be armed and sandbagged against attacks [1].

Coal Mines

'Apcar & Co' also entered the coal business. In 1862 coal seams were discovered near Raniganj and Asansol. Apcar & Co purchased an extensive stretch of land and started a mine at Lachipur (4 miles from Asansol). They also opened coal mines at Charanpur, Faridpur and Borachuck. A large number of Armenians either owned collieries or worked in various capacities in the coalfields. Seeing the rapid development of the coalfields, European firms purchased large areas from 'Apcar & Co' on a royalty basis and started to mine the coal. As a result, Asansol became a large and developed mining district [3]

Following the sale of the company in 1912 the coal mines were managed by Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co Ltd until 1951 [3].

The known coal mines are as follows:-
See individual pages for information


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia "Apcar and Company"; Retrieved 26 August 2017
  2. Wikipedia “Apcar Family”; Retrieved 26 August 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wikipedia "Apcar Family Coal Business"; Retrieved 26 August 2017