Historical Photographs of China

I came across this website by accident when looking for information on an uncle who served in the Chinese Maritime Customs before the war. He died in Amoy in 1937 of blood poisoning, no penicillin then.

There are some wonderful photographs and not all of ships, but of people and places. Looking through them I felt sad, the faces seemed somehow rather naive and innocent. They had no idea of the horror to come.

Below a picture of one of Swire’s river steamers.

Steamer Kinling at Shanghai 1904

Author: jazz606

An Old Dog

11 thoughts on “Historical Photographs of China”

  1. Twenty years ago In Shanghai I was taken to an old ‘colonial’ hotel near the Bund which still featured tea dances to the accompaniment of a jazz band. Some of its venerable stars had been in the band for 70 years! Between the wars the hotel had been the mecca for British residents and visitors .

    Sorry, I don’t have a pic.

  2. I was appalled on reading that the Chinese have taken to MacDonalds. Chinese fast food is far better than anything dreamt of by McD’s and KFC which to my mind are a blight on the world.
    As 2nd mate on a small tanker which regularly carried fuel oil in the Malacca Straits from Port Dickson to Penang and Telok Anson. The PD loading was frequently overnight night and was usually finished by about 5 or 6 am and the load paperwork wasn’t available until about 9am. If I’d been doing the loading I and the chinese quartermaster would go ashore to one of the little food stalls for breakfast. We’d have some kind of stuffed dumpling and a couple of bottles of ice cold Anchor Beer….wonderful ! Can’t see that happening these days.

  3. No, I assure you that I am not beside myself. I am actually a single-cell organism that split and my two former halves are beside each other. That said, thank you for the picture. This summer I will go to Shanghai and stay in the region of the Bund. My mate is arranging it and his father who read law in Shanghai will take me around a few places as well. Expect me to keep all of you posted about life in China.

  4. Maybe life in Shanghai has moved on but in the ’90s, walking along the Bund in my raincoat, looking v English, I suppose, I was a bit of a curiosity, esp among the children.

  5. Janus: Westerners are no longer objects of curiosity in Shanghai, but in the provinces we remain very much that. The Fairmont Peace Hotel is still there and has been tastefully restored recently. The jazz band plays on. While I doubt I can convince anyone to go there with me in July, I might well return in October and pay the rate myself. A bit dear, but one pays for the experience and privilege of staying in such a hotel.

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