On the 5th of this month the New York Public Library released some hundred thousand digitized public domain images online, among which are a number of photos from early 20th century China.
The following were originally black and white pics — now digitally colorized for your viewing pleasure — taken by European publishers, intended to be sold as postcards. Regrettably, the specific context and precise dates of the photos have been lost, so the original titles and approximate time periods will have to suffice.
“A Chinese Tea and Cake Party,” 1908, M. Sternberg
“Barber in the Streets, Shanghai,” 1907-1918, Young Photo Co.
“Chair,” 1907-1918, NY Public Library
“Chang Ji-men, Outer City Wall, Peking,” 1915-1930, Librairie Francaise Pekin Chine
“Chinese Planting Rice,” 1913, Kingshill
“Chinese Saw Mill,” 1913, Kingshill
“Comic Laughters,” 1910-1919, Mee Cheung
“Farmer,” 1910-1919, Mee Cheung
“Hong Kew Market, Shanghai,” 1907-1918, Young Photo Co.
“In Front of a Chinese Temple,” 1910-1919, Kingshill
“Life on a Sampan,” 1904, Hong Kong Pictorial Postcard Co.
“Shanghai Nanking Road,” 1907-1918, Kingshill
“Street in Peking,” 1908, NY Public Library
“Street Scene in Chinese City,” 1907-1918, Kingshill
“Street Vendors, Peking,” 1907-1918, NY Public Library
“Transporting Tea in Chests for Export,” 1910-1919, NY Public Library
“Two Little Maids in China,” 1907-1918, American Baptist Foreign Mission Society
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Incredible images of life in Republican-Era Shanghai taken by a French journalist
Amazing travel photos from century ago give glimpse of Chinese landmarks before selfies
By Pinky Latt
[Images via NY Public Library via Asia Society]