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January 29, 2013

Amazing Vintage Photographs of Pre-Revolution China, 1870-1946

Before Europeans first arrived in Asia, China was one of the most advanced and powerful nations in the world. It was the most populous, was politically unified, and most importantly, it had mastered the art of agriculture. However, when Europeans first landed on Chinese shores, they found a nation that had revered to traditional culture and warfare. Industrialization was almost nonexistent.

At the beginning of the 20th century, China was divided into sphere of influence with each powerful Western nation trying to exert as much control over it as possible. The Chinese resented foreigners control and expressed this at the beginning of the 20th century with the Boxer Rebellion. At the same time, the traditional government of China began to fail in the early years. The Chinese people, being resentful of foreigners and dissatisfied with inability of the present government to throw them out, initiated the Revolution of 1911, replacing the Chinese 2000 year old imperial system with the Republic of China headed by Sun Yat-sen.

Here is an amazing collection of vintage photographs taken in pre-revolution China, in Pre Deng XiaoPing period (1870-1946).

Chinese Family [c1875] Attribution Unk

Group Of Chinese Women With Fans, Canton, China [c1880] Afong Lai

Greatwall China [1907] Herbert G. Ponting

Boxer Prisoners Captured By 6th US Cavalry, Tientsin, China [1901] Underwood & Co

Beggars, Beihai Park [c1917-1919] Sydney D. Gamble

Cholon Actress, Cholon, Saigon, French Cochinchina [c1900's] Attribution Unk

Qing Court Return, The Emperess Dowerger [1902] George E. Morrison

China, Manchu Ladies Of The Palace Being Warned To Stop Smoking [c1910-1925] Frank & Frances Carpenter

Interior Canal, Canton, China [c1917-1919] Sidney D. Gamble

Pekin, Walls Of The Tartar City [c1894-1896] William H. Jackson

Muslim Bandits, Xinjiang, China [c1915] Marc Aurel Stein

Peking To Paris Autorace [1907] Attribution Unk 

Bride On Her Way To Wedding, Fuzhou Fujian China [c1911-1913] Ralph G. Gold

Bomb Protection [c1940] Attribution Unk

Mouth Of Coal Mine In Mountain Ridge West Of Ta Chu, China MAR [1909] Thomas C. Chamberlin

Bridges By Which The Night Police Of The Roofs Cross The Streets, Canton, China [1900] Underwood & Co.

Chang The Chinese Giant [c1870] Attribution Unk

Chinese Punishment, Whipping A Lawbreaker [c1900] Attribution Unk 

Peking Mission School Children At Play, The Dragon's Head, China [1902] Carlton H. Graves Co

Foot Bound Girls, Liao Chow, Shansi, China [c1930] IE Oberholtzer (Probable)

During The Famine Young Child Dying In The Gutter, China [1946] Geroge Silk

Taiwan Aborigines, Bunun Tribe, Formosa [c1900] Attribution Unk

Empress Gobele Wan Rong [c1920-1940] Attribution Unk

Toy Vendor, Chinatown, San Francisco [c1900s] Arnold Genthe

Example Of A Coiffure On A Tartar Or Manchu Female, Frontview, Peking, Pechili Province, China [1869] John Thomson

The Meridian Gate, Entrance To The Forbidden City, Peking China [1927] Herbert C. White

Black, Chinese  Frances Carpenter

Ulysses S. Grant & Li Hung Chang, Tientsin, China [1879] Attribution Unk

Jade Belt Bridge & Boat, Summer Palace, Peking, China [c1924] Sidney D. Gamble

Men Laden With Tea, Sichuan Sheng, China [1908] Ernest H. Wilson

Imperial Gate Of The Imperial City, Looking North, Peking, China [1901] Hawley C. White Co.

Family In Lanchow, China [1944] Fr. Mark Tennien

Kampa Dzong, Tibet [1904] John C. White

Forest Temple Near Chefoo, Shantung, China [c1895] William H. Jackson 

Singing Girls, Hong Kong, China [c1901] Benjamin W. Kilburn Co.

A Boat On A River With Rolling Hills In The Background In The Kiangsu Province Or Yunnan Province In China [1946] Arthur Rothstein

Chinese Aviatrix Receives Gift Of New Plane From Colonel Roscoe Turner, Washington, D.C. [1939] Harris & Ewing

Natives At Breakfast, Movable Chow Shop, Canton, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

Rich Merchants Dining With Singing Girls, Pekin, China [c1901] Benjamin W. Kilburn

A Chinese Professor, China [c1919] Keystone View Co.

Six Strongmen In Traditional Dress, China [1909] William Purdom

Cake Of Millet & Jujubes, Peking, China [1915] Frank N. Meyer

The Harvard Houseboat, Kiating Fu, China [1908] Ernest H. Wilson

Stele Pavilion, SacredWay, Ming Tombs, Peking, China [c1900] Attribution Unk

Mercenary Artillerymen Supplied With Guns & Ammunition By The British [c1880] Attribution Unk

Canton, China [c1880] R.H. Brown

Flower Boats, Canton China [c1871] Emil Rusfeldt

View Of An Old Village, Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong [c1946] Hedda Morrison

Kidnapped Girls, Foochow, China [1904] Attribution Unk

Yung Ting Men, Front View Of The Two Towers & The Barbican [1924] Osvald Siren

Jeunes Filles Chinoises [c1901] René Parison

Tibetan Lhacham, Tibet [c1879] Sarat Chandra Das

Bowl Shaped Objects Scattered Outside A Building, Yunnan, China [1922] Joseph F. C. Rock

Ching Yang Temple, Chentu, China [1908] Ernest H. Wilson

Leuchtturm Im Cantonfluss [c1891] C. R. Hager

Fisherman In Grand Canal By The East Gate, Peking, China [1907] Herbert C. White Co.

Queen's Road On Chinese New Years Day, Hong Kong, China [1902] Carlton H. Graves

China,  Kuan Hsien Temple [1908] Ernest H. Wilson 

Drache Am Schleusenrand Im Túngchou-Kanal, Peking, Chihli Province [c1906] Ernst Boerschmann

Examination Hall With 7500 Cells, Canton, China [1873] Attribution Unk

Der Industriebezirk Der Salzbrunnen, Tzeliutsing, Szechúan Province [c1906] Ernst Boerschmann

Auf Der Reise Zum Kloster Des Himmelsknaben Bei Ningpo, Ningpo-Tíen Túng Sze, Chekiang Province [c1906] Ernst Boerschmann

Der Abt Des Klosters, Tíen túng sze, Chekiang Province [c1906] Ernst Boerschmann

Young Mother Carrying A Child On Her Back In The Market, Hong Kong Island [c1946] Hedda Morrison

Produce & Wares From Shops Along The Sides Of A Typical Backstreet, Western District, Hong Kong Island [c1946] Hedda Morrison

Seated Man Amid Baskets Of Fish & Hanging Dried Fish, Eastern Districts, Hong Kong Island [c1946] Hedda Morrison 

Produce & Wares From Shops Along The Sides Of A Typical Backstreet, Western District, Hong Kong Island [c1946] Hedda Morrison

House Interior Showing Woman With Bound Feet Tending A Stove In The Lost Tribe Country [1936] Hedda Morrison

House Interior Showing A Woman At A Brick Stove, A Bucket & A Ladle Made From A Gourd In The Lost Tribe Country [1936] Hedda Morrison

Fisher Families With Junks In Aberdeen Harbor, Hong Kong Island [c1946] Hedda Morrison

Men With Leopard At The Dongan Mission, China [1932] Fr. Otto Rauschenbach

China's Common Carrier, Her Substitute For Railways, A Camel Square In Peking, China [1901] Underwood & Co


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