As an important driver of the nation’s economy, Boustead & Co invested in important businesses such as the Straits Trading Company (Singapore’s first tin foundry), and the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company (now known as PSA Singapore).
After Mr Boustead’s death in 1888, Boustead & Co was handed over to his business partners who in turn trained young mercantile assistants to eventually take over the running of the businesses. This tradition continued for almost a century.
During the late 1880’s, Boustead & Co introduced rubber trees into Malaysia using seeds germinated at London’s Botanical Gardens in Kew. Boustead & Co went on to be a leading rubber plantation manager and owner in Malaysia, managing 49 plantations with a total planted area of 141,629 acres.
In 1892, Boustead & Co handled its first shipment of bulk oil to Penang. Shortly after, the Shell Trading and Transport Company was formed. Isaac Henderson, a Boustead partner was one of the founding directors of the new company, now known simply as Shell.
By 1899, Singapore had become the world’s main exporter of tin. Boustead & Co played a leading role as promoter and investor in the tin smelting facility on Pulau Brani, constructed by the Straits Trading Company. From that point onwards, Straits Tin became one of the leading businesses of Boustead & Co.
Boustead & Co played a leading role as promoter and investor in the tin smelting facility on Pulau Brani, owned by The Straits Trading Company.