Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China

By Bridget O'Donnell, January 9, 2016

2 0

Earlier this week the New York Library released a massive collection of 180,000 photos previously available only in its New York City locations. Among them was a set of rare colorized postcards from China in the early 1900s.

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China "Street Life in Peking." 1921. (Hartung's Photo Shop/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China "Comic Laughters." 1910-1919. (Mee Cheung/New York Public Library)

According to Asia Society:

The images — colorized from black and white photos though photocrom or handpainting processes — were developed by European publishers to be sold as postcards to foreign visitors. In 1911, the Xinhai Revolution marked the end of China's last imperial dyansty (the Qing) and began the Republican era, which lasted until the foundation of the People's Republic in 1949. Around this time, foreign tourists and long-term expatriates poured into the country. The surrounding context and precise date of many photos have been lost to time, so they are presented here only with their original title, publisher, and approximate year of origin.

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Farmer." 1910-1919. (Mee Cheung, Swatow/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Street Vendors, Peking." 1907-1918. (New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Chinese Saw Mill." 1913. (Chrom. Edit. Kingshill - Shanghai/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Hongkew Market, Shanghai." 1907-1918. (Young Photo Co. Nanking Road Shanghai-printed in Germany/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Chang Ji-Men, Outer City Wall, Peking." 1915-1930. (Librairie Francaise-Pekin-Chine/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Street in Peking." 1908. (New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Shanghai, Nanking Road." 1907-1918. (Chrom. Edit. Kingshill - Shanghai/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Chinese Planting Rice." 1913. (Chrom. Edit. Kingshill - Shanghai/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"A Chinese Tea and Cake Party." 1908. (M. Sternberg, Hongkong/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Transporting Tea in Chests for Export." 1910-1919. (New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Barber in the Street, Shanghai." 1907-1918. (Young Photo Co. Nanking Road Shanghai-printed in Germany/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Travelling on Wheel Barrow in Shanghai." 1921. (Kamogawa & Co. Shanghai/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Life on a Sampan." 1904. (Hongkong Pictorial Postcard Co./New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"In Front of a Chinese Temple." 1910-1919. (Chrom. Edit. Kingshill, Shanghai. No. 136/New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Chair." 1907-1918. (New York Public Library)

Amazing Colorized Postcards Capture Early 1900s China
"Two Little Maids in China." 1907-1918. (American Baptist Foreign Mission Society/New York Public Library)

[Images from the New York Public Library via Asia Society]

more news

PHOTOS: Rooftoppers Capture Thrilling Views of South China

Vertigo-inducing shots from the PRD's highest vantage points.

China's 10 Most Amazing Viral Videos of 2016

From breathtakingly gorgeous cinematography to the downright hilarious and bizarre moments captured on film, a look back at some of the most amazing viral videos from China in 2016.

This Day in History: Queen Elizabeth II Visits China

Joined by gaffe-prone 'Great Wally of China' Prince Philip...

The Rise of Vaping in Tobacco-Hooked China

As cigarette bans gather steam in China, the country's smokers turn to vaping.

#TBT: Asia's Largest Plastic Surgery Hospital is in China, We Paid a Visit

A visit to Asia's largest plastic surgery hospital.

Are China's Staff-less Stores a Glimpse into the Future?

We visited no man's land, AKA Shanghai's first 24/7 staff-less store.

This Day In History: Central China Floods of 1931

The deadliest natural disaster ever recorded.

This Day in History: First NBA Team Plays in China

On August 24, 1979, the Washington Bullets became the first professional US sports team invited to China.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.