What Was Shanghai Like Centuries Ago?

What was Shanghai like 167 years ago? From a special English-version map, we can see the old city’s look in its former days. “Shanghai Yearbook (1852)” (English version) will be released in June in Shanghai, and it includes the first English-version map of that year.


General view of the Bund (1900)


1843 was the first time Shanghai established a foreign trade port. Municipal construction started in 1912, removing the city wall of shanghai. Shanghai’s modern structure was basically formed by 1931. In 1958, ten counties in Jiangsu were put under Shanghai’s administration. As a result, Shanghai’s municipal area expanded to ten times the original. After 20 years of development from reform and opening up, the whole city has totally changed its appearance.


View of the Huangpu River and Public Garden 1880


“Shanghai City” can still be seen clearly, as well as the city wall. The names of places are all labeled both in English and Chinese, however, 90 percent of the places are in Puxi, only Bailianjin and Lujiazui are named as representatives of Pudong.


Bund View (1930)


What’s more, it includes average meteorological observations of Shanghai foreign trade port from 1840-1850 and a summary of meteorological survey records. It’s the first continuous and systematic meteorological statistics ever in the history of Shanghai. It also includes some articles about historical places like Xuguangqi that the author personally inspected. It includes Xuguangqi’s former residence and dinning room, and it describes Shaungyuan where he lived in his later years and his previous dwelling in Xujiahui. The author also tells us some basic information about the later generations of Xu based on interviews and local books. It’s really precious because some of the historical information about inscriptions and tombs has not been put down in any other books.



View of the Astor House Hotel from Suzhou Creek (1908)


Source: Eastday

Editor: Zhu Yan