New upload: Four Months of War (1937)

Four Months of War (1937)

"A pen and picture record of the hostilities between Japan and China in and around Shanghai from August 9th till December 1937, from the press of the North-China Daily News." Printed and published by the North-China Daily News & Herald Limited, Shanghai.

"The book covers the events from August 9 to December 19, 1937, beginning with the Oyama Incident and ending with Shanghai's capture by the Japanese. The Chinese retreat from Shanghai shattered Chiang Kai Shek's attempt to modernise China's armed forces, and ended the first major engagement in China's brutal war against Japan. This book's illustrations depict the bloody consequences of an air war fought over a densely populated city: bombed-out buildings, civilians strafed with machine gun fire, massive fires burning through the heart of the city, and tens of thousands of refugees displaced." (Description from here)
Illustrated by dozens of NCDN photographs, and 13 hand-drawn illustrations by Sapajou (Georgii Sapojnikoff).

Damaged foreign homes on Hungjao Road.

Related uploads to Internet Archive.

Shanghai's Zikawei Library also has Five Months of War (1937); it used to be on the open access shelf in the public reading room

Villa Bayankara and other hidden landmarks off West Nanjing Road

Historic plaque on the wall of Villa Bayankara, at 44 Qinghai Road. Bayankara (Bayan Har) is a mountain range in Qinghai Province. Image: 高参88.

Among the archival photos and artworks illustrating the Shanghai virtual walk on Metromod, there are exterior and interior views of the Café Europe. It was located at 15 Love Lane, in a modernist building with a distinct rounded corner. It was designed by Emmanuel Gran as part of a residential and commercial complex for the real estate tycoon Zhou Xiangyun 周湘云. Somewhat changed, all four buildings still stand, incorporated into the Yueyang Hospital.

[Read more...]

The architect's drawing shows the side view of prospective developement, as if looking west from Chinhai (Qinghai) Road:

The building with the Café Europe later housed Mayflower restaurant (Cantonese cuisine), from which it takes its present name, the Mayflower Business Center 五月花商务中心, with the address 15 Wujiang Road 吴江路15号. It has undergone many rounds of cladding, painting and glazing. At six floors of height, it also taller than the one on Gran's drawing. But the footprint has not changed since the pre-1949 era, so perhaps it is the same building.

This photo from around 2000 shows the Mayflower building at the bottom:


Zhou's residence, named Villa Bayankara, is now at 44 Qinghai Road 青海路44号; the narrow building wedged between it and Mayflower has also survived:

Gran was only person responsible for this project (as well as all other projects of Davies, Brooke and Gran). Davies had died in 1933, and Brooke was in London. Read more about Villa Bayankara and see its photos on Building Russian Shanghai.

The former entertainment building, in the south part of the lot, looked better in 2015 than it does now:

The entire developement on the southwest corner of Love Lane and Chinhai Road, in 1948:

So... is it +4 for the Russians? Read more on Building Russian Shanghai.

Old Italian Club on Great Western Road

This shot from 1995 shows the old Italian Club in the center (238 West Yan’an Road 延安西路238号), the Hudec-designed autidorium behind it (demolished) and the Italian-owned New Royal Hotel in the background, right, (2004 West Nanjing Road 南京西路2004号).

Xinmin Wanbao Wechat post, in Chinese, profiles the old Italian Club, on Great Western Road, illustrating it with historic photos culled from PastVu. It also shows glamour shots of the recently renovated building. I've still not translated my essay about Italian haunts in old Shanghai, so here's the blog link to the article in Russian.

Over 4,100 historic images of Shanghai mapped on PastVu

Highlights of this project appear on the Facebook page Mapping Old Shanghai. Here is a selection of some locations from the latest hundred:

A residence at 471 Rue Lafayette, which became a site of a murder, in June 1932:

A fireman’s funeral at Bubbling Well Cemetery:

[See more images...]
A drawing of the Union Insurance Society building on the Bund, designed in 1913 by Palmer & Turner:

The parade of the Russian regiment of the SVC along Bubbling Well Road, in 1932:

Visitors at the Sino-Soviet Friendship Palace, in the late 1950s:

Wayland W. Magee in the crowd outside Deyilou teahouse, in the old city, in 1909:

Anti-inflation parade on Middle Huaihai Road, going past the former Grand Garage Français, in 1948:

Olga Edney buying flowers in the Hongkew Market on Woosung (Wusong) Road, in 1947:

Agnes Smedley, George Bernard Shaw, Song Qingling, Cai Yuanpei, Harold Isaacs, Lin Yutang & Lu Xun, in Sun Yat-sen's house on Rue Moliere, in 1933:

Grave of Paul Feiwel Weinstein (1896–1944), at the Jewish Cemetery on Baikal Road, photographed in 1945:

Busy street outside the gate of the Commercial Press, on Paoshan (Baoshan) Road, c. 1910:

Stores run by Austrian and German refugees, on East Seward Road, in the 1940s:

Japanese army on East Broadway, about to cross Hongkew Creek, in 1939:

Other historic images can be found in the PastVu gallery.

Link to the map

You can use various base maps: Mapnik street map and Google Scheme are good for reading the street names. Yandex Satellite is often sharper than Google Satellite.

To switch from photographs to paintings and graphics, choose the landscape icon on the right of the photo camera. The "outgoing arrow" icon further to the right forces to open a new tab for each clicked image.

Shanghai Street Directory 上海市行號路圖錄 (1940) – Int'l Settlement and French Concession

Shanghai Street Directories 上海市行號路圖錄
for various years are offered for online viewing at the National Library of China 国家图书馆. Anyone can get an account online and start browsing immediately (if the subsequent logins don't work, Wechat login seems to help).

This 666-page Shanghai Street Directory (1940) covers the International Settlement, with the corresponding Business Map of the French Concession (1940) covering the rest of foreign Shanghai. The harsh black-and-white low-res scans do not convey the precision and color variation of the paper original, but they can be useful nonetheless.

National Library version:

Paper version:

The detailed maps from these atlases (atlai?) correspond to the 1939 Foreign Settlements Commercial Guide on the Virtual Shanghai GIS platform:

We also have a downloadable 1947 Street Directory, covering the French Concession and the Chinese City, hosted at the Internet Archive.

Bastille Day in Shanghai in different years

1912: Rue du Consulat decorated for the Bastille Day:

1924: "A happy crowd of spectators watching an acquatic contest in the Verdun Gardens":

1926: "One way of keeping cool on the blazing Fourteenth of July: French firemen's aquatic sports in Koukaza Gardens":

[See the rest of the pictures...]
1927: Illuminated arch erected at the entrance to Koukaza Park:

1928: Decorating Hotel de Ville (the Municipal Administration building):

Also 1928: Giant puppets promenading in the streets of Shanghai:

1931: Itinerant vendors selling French national flags in the French Concessions streets in preparation for the Bastille Day:

1933: Advertisement for the special program at the Hai-Alai Auditorium:

1934: Illuminated arch at Koukaza (French Park), again, with some changes:

1935: The cover of the special issue of Le journal de Shanghai:

1936: Marcel Confectionery and one of their famous cakes – different each year – created for the Bastille Day:

Also 1936: Cover of the special issue of Le journal de Shanghai, showing the War Memorial and the Gutzlaff Tower in the background, at the border of the two foreign settlements:

1937: Cover of the special issue of Shanghai Times, announcing the project of the Messageries Maritimes building, to replace the old one, on the Bund:

1938: French cruiser Primauguet on the Whangpoo:

1939: Qingdao beauty queen Selina Gesu with husband Baron d'Auxion de Ruffe (left) and a friend, solemnly celebrating at the French Club:

Also 1939: Scenes from the celebrations in Shanghai:

1940: Ambassador Cosme (right) toasting at the finale of the "quiet celebrations" which consisted only of the flag-raising ceremony and a reception at the Consulate:

1941: Once again, the celebrations were of subdued nature" – in compliance with the wishes of Marshal Petain – and included the ceremony at the Pahsienjao Cemetery, with the Ambassador Henri Cosme laying the wreath at the Monument des Morts:

1947: The French community celebrating the Bastille Day:

1949: The Consul-General and Madame Bouffanais greeting the guests at the official reception:

1950: The Consul-General Royere greeting the somewhat diminished community of diplomats and municipal officials:

See previous Bastille Day posts.

Shanghai Street Directory 上海市行號路圖錄 (1947)

Here's a little gift: the Shanghai Street Directory 上海市行号路图录/上海市行號路圖錄 (1947), including 118 detailed street maps of the former French Concession 法租界 and the Chinese City 南市. Published by the Free Trading Co. Ltd. 福利营业公司.

I recommend downloading the PDF, because I added a clickable city map (p. 91) and bookmarks for navigation, which are hidden in the online view.

The detailed maps from this atlas correspond to the stitched maps of the French Concession and Walled City, dated 1946, on the Virtual Shanghai GIS platform. The International Settlement is in a separate volume of the atlas, and I presently don't have it.

My other uploads at

Top image: The Type.

Zhang Shuxun’s Art Deco Residence (1932)

张叔驯在霞飞路居所留影 – Art collector Zhang Shuxun (1899–1948) in the sunroom of his new residence on Avenue Joffre.

Zhang Shuxun and his nephew Zhang Congyu commissioned two houses to be built at 1726 Avenue Joffre (Huaihai Road), close to Route Ferguson (Wukang Road). The (unnamed) European architect designed the two matching structures with clean unadorned lines, reflective of the international style. "Their outstanding design and elegant Art Deco interiors and furnishings were greatly admired at the time."

Several decades later, one of the buildings was demolished (I think), and the surviving one is part of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra compound, accessed from Hunan Road.