Frederick B. Nightingale stereographs of China, 1920-1921 0.2 Linear Feet — 1 box
Collection of 143 stereographic images of areas in southeastern China, taken by amateur photographer and American lighting engineer Frederick B. (F.B.) Nightingale from 1920 to 1921 while he traveled on business as a representative of General Electric. Nightingale's collection is of value not only for the image content, which includes many street scenes with individuals in addition to well-known sites and landscapes, but also for his lengthy captions on the back of each card, commenting on food customs, architecture, folklore, commerce, and religious beliefs and practices, as seen from a Westerner's perspective.
The majority of the images were taken in Suzhou (referred to in captions as Soochow, 55 images), Hangzhou (Hangchow, 44), Mount Putuo Island (Pu-tu, 14), and Shanghai, China (13), but there are also a few photographs from other cities (Chang'an, Ningbo, Harinen?), and a set of 11 images taken in Japan. There is also one photograph of overgrown land on Nightingale's Pasadena, California property called "Palawoo." Several images feature Nightingale, and one shows the porter carrying his camera equipment. The majority of the images are crisp with little fading. A few are stamped with small identification numbers.
Subjects include numerous temples, pagodas, monasteries, monuments, tombs, and other historic sites, some of which no longer exist. Nightingale was able to capture some images of temple interiors, and he often noted which religious sites allowed entry to women. There are many photos of street life, river traffic, modes of transportation, and Chinese vendors and pedestrians going about their daily business.
Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.