Photos Of 1932 Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, & Asia


From Sina:

A Female Photographer’s 1932 Around The World Tour

Mrs. Mary, an old friend in New York, personally handed to me an album of photographs before her passing, a “1932 Around the World Tour” album, containing photographs recording the experiences of Mrs. Mary’s world travels during her youth, vividly showing life at the beginning of the last century. This album not only has precious historical value and legendary origins, from the perspective of photography, it is also an outstanding piece of work.

This album of photographs is from Mrs. Mary Smith, an old friend from my school days. Mary was born to a wealthy New York family, and the gift her father gave her was a cruise ticket to travel around the world. This photo collection are the photographs young Mary took using her camera to record her world travels. Over a decade ago before Mary passed away, she personally gave me this photograph collection to me as someone who also likes photography. I have carefully preserved this album of precious photographs since then, but given that the photos within are already severely yellowing and fading and the urgent need to preserve them, from today forth, I plan to scan these photographs into digital copies for preservation.


Mary’s 1932 around the world tour route picture (scan is “Hamburg-American Line, S.S. Resolute travel manual, this 64-page travel manual was preserved along with the photo album by Mary).

Mary was a talented/exceptional female, and after her worldwide tour, she came back to marry a young surgeon, Dwitt Smith. Not long later, when World War II erupted, Mr. Smith joined the military ranks, saving the dying and nursing the wounded on the Pacific front lines…while the full-of-photographic-and-artistic potential Mary stayed behind to shoulder the burden of raising the children and family alone. As a person who could have become a photography master and artist, this is how Mary quietly disappeared from public view, and her 1932 around the world work likewise remained in her home for decades treated as only a family photo album. This is also why this album of photographic work has only been revealed to the world now. However, Mary’s life was a successful/happy one, personally raising four outstanding children, making many social and welfare contributions, and in her spare time, she enjoyed reading books, traveling, admiring and collecting art and artworks, possessing a unique perspective and special concern for society and culture. While Mary’s life did not include the title of “Photographer” or “Artist” nor did she leave behind any other photographic work, the many works in this album of photographs, when placed together, are equal to the work of masters of the same period like Bresson and Marc Riboud (my personal opinion). The photographs in this album are many, and also very old, so allow me to slowly organize and scan them for everyone to learn and share…posting these nearly 100-year-old photographs is my repayment of to an old friend, ensuring that her photographs were not taken in vain and not lost to history.

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[Click images to enlarge]





















Who was it that said: “He who does not visit the Great Wall is not a good Chinese/man?” Mary went visited the Great Wall too!
This is a plane ticket to the Great Wall from that time period, there were planes going to the Great Wall in 1932!


Back of the plane ticket.


Comments from Sina:


Good pictures…thanks for sharing.




Precious record of history~!


Treasures worth saving/downloading, hehe.
The past, none of the post-70s generation know.


These photographs allow us to revisit history once again!


Seeing these photos is like learning about history. They are worth examining.


That photo without clothes is an art or nude photo?!


Classic images capturing the 1932 era, worth saving/downloading.


Extremely precious photographs, helping us see the old Shanghai and old Beijing.


This group of photographs are not just good, but extremely good. They are a group of extremely precious historical material, an extremely realistic recording of a part of China, recording China’s real conditions, and because they are from a tourist’s hand, they are even more realistic.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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