old photographs

Chinese stylish girl
China Underground >

32 precious old photographs reveal the real life of the Chinese people in the 1980s

An album of selected images depicts a vision of China in the 1980s, very different from today. China was more ideological, and poor but apparently … Read more

1931 China floods
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15 rare historical photographs of the 1931 China floods

From the end of the 20s, China was afflicted by a long drought. Abnormal weather over central China began in the winter of late 1930. … Read more

The Flying Tigers: from Chinese pilots training camp in Arizona to the war in China against Japan
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24 rare images of The Flying Tigers: from Chinese pilots training camp in Arizona to the war in China against Japan

Images of The Flying Tigers: Many Chinese (mostly coming from Guangdong) joined the American Flying Tigers in Yunnan to fight Japanese invading forces. The Chinese … Read more

David Gamble - old images of China - chinese children
China Underground >

China through the lenses of David Gamble: 40 images

David Gamble (Cincinnati, 1890 – Sydney, 1968), the grandson of James Gamble, founder of Procter & Gamble in 1837, visited China for four periods doing Christian social work for the Y.M.C.A and conducting social surveys.

Related articles: The Photographic Work of Arthur Rothstein in China, The first photographs of Hong Kong, the Second Opium War, and Beijing, Felice Beato in 1860, Amazing restored old photographs of China

He is now best known for his remarkable photographs of Beijing and North China.

Gamble first toured in 1908 accompanying his parents, then after graduating from Princeton in 1912, studied labor and industrial economics at the University of California, Berkeley, spending six months on a fellowship working at a reform school for delinquent boys. At this time, he built the house which became known as the Sidney D. Gamble House.

In 1917, he joined the work of Princeton-in-Peking and the Peking YMCA where his Princeton friend John Stewart Burgess invited him to do the surveys which resulted in Peking: A Social Survey, which included more than fifty photographs. In 1919 Gamble was on hand to capture dramatic photographs of the May Fourth student demonstrations. The motto of the May Fourth Movement, “To save China through science and democracy,” and the missionary ideal of “Saving China through Christianity” for a time seemed to be united. When he returned with his bride, Elizabeth Lowe, to China in 1924, he used his family resources to hire a team of Chinese researchers to survey 283 families. The book was published in 1933 as How Chinese Families Live in Peiping (as Peking was then called). In 1926, Gamble traveled for three weeks in the Soviet Union with Sherwood Eddy, a longtime mentor.

As China became more and more inflamed by patriotic agitation and warlord fighting, he found hope in the Ting Hsien Experiment in Rural Reconstruction conducted by James Yen’s Mass Education Movement. In 1931-32 Gamble traveled to China for the fourth and final time to organize the surveys which he used for three more detailed volumes, Ting Hsien: A North China Rural Community (1954) and North China Villages (1963). Chinese Village Plays, published in 1970, after his death, give translations based on unique transcriptions of now lost village yang ko plays, which differ from the later dances.

Jonathan Spence concludes of Gamble that his “findings were open-minded, clear-headed, methodologically intelligent (though not always beyond criticism by scholars of different views), startlingly imaginative, and — when presented in photographic form — vigorous, ebullient, unsentimental, and starkly, yet never cruelly, illustrative of the deep and real suffering that lay at the heart of China’s long revolution.” [Wikipedia]

Rescued Slave Girls

Rescued Slave Girls ; 1917 – 1919

Industrial Training

Industrial Training – between 1917 and 1919

Yellow Lama Priest

Yellow Lama Priest ; 1917 – 1919

between 1917 and 1919

between 1917 and 1919

Chinese kids 1917 - 1919

1917 – 1919

The Temple Court — Quiet Save for the Tinkle of the Wind

The Temple Court — Quiet Save for the Tinkle of the Wind ; 1917 – 1919

The Slaughter House Sign, Pig Bladders

The Slaughter House Sign, Pig Bladders ; 1917 – 1919

The Peking Chinese Young Men's Christian Association

The Peking Chinese Young Men’s Christian Association ; 1917 – 1919

The foundlings' home

The foundlings’ home ; 1917 – 1919

he Five Teachers, Christ, Lao Tze, Confucius and

The Five Teachers, Christ, Lao Tze, Confucius and … John Howard ; 1917 – 1919

Chinese children
Teng Shih K'ou Church

Teng Shih K’ou Church ; 1917 – 1919

The Blind Working for the Blind

The Blind Working for the Blind ; 1917 – 1919

Student Guard at Government Law School, the Student Jail

Student Guard at Government Law School, the Student Jail ; 1917 – 1919

Sure of One Hot Meal on a Cold Day

Sure of One Hot Meal on a Cold Day ; 1917 – 1919

STITCHING SOLES

STITCHING SOLES ; 1917 – 1919

Rickshaw Shelter

Rickshaw Shelter ; 1917 – 1919

Spreading Modern Ideas Among the Common People

Spreading Modern Ideas Among the Common People ; 1917 – 1919

Reform School Dormitory

Reform School Dormitory ; 1917 – 1919

Prostitutes' Advertising

Prostitutes’ Advertising ; 1917 – 1919

Beijing walls

Beijing walls, 1917-1919

Peking Model Prison

Peking Model Prison, the First of 39 in China ; 1917 – 1919

Old China images
Chinese Old Style Prison

Old Style Prison ; 1917 – 1919

Old China photographs
National Teachers' College, the Forge

National Teachers’ College, the Forge ; 1917 – 1919

Old China pictures
Making Match Boxes - Model Prison Workshop

Making Match Boxes. Model Prison Workshop ; 1917 – 1919

Industrial Training

Industrial Training; shop practice ; 1917 – 1919

Industrial Education. National Teachers' College

Industrial Education. National Teachers’ College ; 1917 – 1919

Old China images
Photographs of old China
Student Demonstrations, June 4th and 5th, 1919

Student Demonstrations, June 4th and 5th, 1919

Arrested Students Going to Jail, 1919

Arrested Students Going to Jail, 1919

Source & Images: Wikipedia , http://commons.wikimedia.org/

unit 731 images
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Rare images of the infamous Japanese experiment unit 731 in China – Second Part – Graphic content

Unit 731 (731部隊) led by Japanese microbiologist Shiro Ishii, was a covert biological warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook … Read more

removing corpse teams
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12 rare pictures: removing corpse teams in China (1948)

The disastrous years of the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression and the War of Liberation devastated China: corpses were scattered along Chinese roads. Natural … Read more

henan-famine
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30 dramatic images of the 1942 Henan famine

Henan Province was hit by a terrible famine between the summer of 1942 and the spring of 1943 that led to the death of 3 … Read more

Unit 731
China Underground >

35 rare images of the infamous Japanese experiment unit 731 in China

Unit 731 (731部隊), based at the Pingfang district of Harbin and led by the infamous Japanese microbiologist Shiro Ishii, was a covert biological warfare research … Read more

Old China is fading away, 23 stunning pictures
China Underground >

Old China is fading away, 23 stunning pictures

Photographer Ouyang Xingkai has documented an era that is rapidly fading away through a collection of stunning images. Modernization replaces “outdated” lifestyles. What remains is … Read more