This path was created by Nathaniel Isaacson. The last update was by Kandra Polatis.
Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
12020-07-17T13:00:06-04:00Nathaniel Isaacson9a313a8f88ba8c43c463465ac9070fc9a3b505393524Path discussing global media circulationimage_header48402021-04-30T13:04:12-04:00Dianshizhai huabaoGezhi huibianKandra Polatis4decfc04157f6073c75cc53dcab9d25e87c02133Whether they depicted trains and railroads foreign or domestic, the images featured in Dianshizhai huabao are a reflection of how local print media was imbricated in the global circulation of print media. Images of coal smoke signaling the presence of the steam engine speak to an emerging aesthetics of development, and a subconscious attention to the role of fossil fuels in transforming the modern landscape. Foreign science news circulating from English into Chinese evinces a process of recycling and repurposing that regularly challenged the boundaries between science fact and science fiction. Descriptions of trains and steam technology appearing in venues like John Fryer's missionary journal, Gezhi huibian 格致汇编 (The Chinese Scientific Magazine) providing more detailed and technically accurate depictions of these technologies, offer an interesting counterpoint to the artisitic license and allusive language used in Dianshizhai. Finally, in the pages of Dianshizhai, we also see Chinese iterations of the 19th century theme of the train as a threat to human health and the landscape.
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12019-11-18T15:49:55-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fTrains in Late Qing Print CultureNathaniel Isaacson61Nathaniel Isaacsonimage_header48972021-10-15T10:41:51-04:0031.2222, 121.4581Shanghai51.5142, -0.0931London39.3829, 118.5027Xugezhuang39.6333, 118.1833Tangshan39.3333, 117.3333Tianjin39.92284, 116.40120Beijing53.4000, -3.0000Liverpool48.8667, 2.3333Paris1884-1898MIT Visualizing Cultures. https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/home/vis_menu.htmlReed, Christopher A. Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876-1937. Hong Kong University Press, 2004.Wu Youru 吳友如 (Zunyange zhuren 尊聞閣主人, ed.). 申江勝景圖 Shenjiang shengjing tu. Beijing : Quan guo tu shu guan wen xian suo wei fu zhi zhong xin, 2005．Wu Youru 吳友如 (Zunwenge zhuzhu. 尊聞閣主署, ed.). Dianshizhai huabao 點石齋畫報 Dianshizhai: 1884-1898. 24 Volumes.Wu Youru 吳友如. Dianshizhai huabao 點石齋畫報 (Wenchunguan comp., 問淳館主人署) 4 volumes.Public DomainNathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoNathaniel Isaacson9a313a8f88ba8c43c463465ac9070fc9a3b50539
Contents of this path:
12019-11-18T15:49:55-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fAestheticizing Smoke and Motion33Discussion of How Late Qing Pictorials Depict the Newplain2021-09-29T16:17:06-04:00Nathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoGezhi huibianWu YouruKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
12019-11-18T15:49:57-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fNews Flows23Discussion of How News From Foreign Sources Circulated in Late Qingplain2021-09-29T16:55:47-04:0031.2222, 121.4581Shanghai51.5142, -0.0931London1876-1881Nathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoThe New EraWusong RailwayTianjin RailwayHuatu xinbaoGezhi huibianKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
12020-09-14T09:44:52-04:00Nathaniel Isaacson9a313a8f88ba8c43c463465ac9070fc9a3b50539Trains in the Popular Science Press15Discussion of Technical Information on Trains in Gezhi Huibianplain2021-09-29T16:57:15-04:0031.2222, 121.4581Shanghai1868-1892Nathaniel IsaacsonGezhi huibianJohn FryerW.A.P. MartinGewu rumenDianshizhai huabaoGezhui huibianKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
12019-11-18T15:49:58-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fTrains as Threat25Discussion of Opposition to Trains and Railwaysplain2021-09-29T16:59:25-04:001895Fyfe, Paul. "Illustrating the Accident: Railways and the Catastrophic Picturesque in "The Illustrated London News"." Victorian Periodicals Review 46, no. 1 (2013): 61-91.Nathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoHarper's WeeklyKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
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12019-11-18T15:49:56-05:00"Building Railroads" 興辦鐵路61Image and Descriptions of Wusong and Tianjin Railways from Dianshizhaiimage_header2021-09-29T16:10:54-04:00Shanghai31.2222, 121.4581Tianjin39.3333, 117.3333Beijing39.92284, 116.401201882-1884Dianshizhai HuabaoWu Youru 吳友如 (Zunyange zhuren 尊聞閣主人, ed.). 申江勝景圖 Shenjiang shengjing tu. Beijing : Quan guo tu shu guan wen xian suo wei fu zhi zhong xin, 2005．Wu Youru 吳友如 (Zunwenge zhuzhu. 尊聞閣主署, ed.). Dianshizhai huabao 點石齋畫報 Dianshizhai: 1884-1898. 24 Volumes.Li Siyi 李思逸. Tielu xiandai xing 鐵路現代性 (Railway Modernity in China). Taibei: Shibao chubanshe, 2020.Nathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoTianjin Colliery TramwayWusong RailwayTianjin Railway
The Dianshizhai report on the Wusong and Tianjin railways, dating from roughly late 1884, was produced well after the railway had been scrapped and its stock shipped off to Taiwan. The Tianjin Colliery Tramway replaced mule-driven cars with a steam locomotive in 1882, but the railway would not extend beyond its nine kilometer length for another two years. It would appear however, that even a railway that was seven years defunct, or a railway that connected a mine to a canal were still seen as newsworthy. The presentation of both railroads as a single lithographic image freezes them outside of real space and time in order to present them as a spectacle. I examine the potential provenance of the image in the section on mediated worlds, but for now we shall merely note that the train depicted in this image is most likely not based on the actual Wusong or Tianjin railways.
The text of the image reads:
From the moment the Occident established international trade, western ways have been imitated, and this has increased to the present moment. When it comes to previous inventions, not all of them have been completely eliminated, thus new fashions arrive and times change, this is not another case of parochial ignorance of the past. During the Tongzhi reign (1861–75), train construction had already begun in Shanghai. The more than thirty li between Shanghai and Wusong could be covered in less than thirty minutes. Unfortunately, the line was scrapped, the capital to be invested in it, suddenly lost. This year, in the second half of May a report from Tianjin indicated that a railroad was to be constructed, and that the court had given its approval, a test line would go from the Taku forts to Tianjin. Then on June 23rd, the court promulgated a decree tasking Li Xiang with collecting funding for the construction of a railway from Tianjin to Tongzhou (outside Beijing). The train’s layout features a locomotive car at the front. This is followed by some which carry people, and some for transporting goods, it is capable of pulling ten or twenty cars. In the future, it will gradually expand, travelling throughout all the provinces. It will be like the ubiquity of telegraph lines, reliable throughout. I dare not relax my vigilance towards it.
A image and description of the railway also appeared in Wu Youru's illustrated guide to Shanghai, the Shenjiang shengjing tu (1884).
Wu Youru's series of rhyming couplets reads:
Only the strength of vehicles separates China from the barbarians. Manpower and horsepower both have their purposes. Since establishing connections with the Occident, its wonders have stood out. The speed of the electric locomotive is difficult to surpass. Swift as lightning, it moves with the speed of many steeds. It rides on the wind and signals with whistles. At stops along the way the whistle sounds out. For avoiding accidents, flags are employed. A great succession of containers one after another wind back and forth coming and going. When they have passed by the road is empty, a parallel track that meanders along. I have included a picture to facilitate discussion.
Notably, while the author of the Dianshizhai piece counsels vigilance towards the dangers of trains and railroads, there is little evidence here of cosmological suspicions of railways (which would surface later during the Boxer Rebellion). For those who scrapped the Wusong Railroad and the authors of these pieces, the primary concern would appear to be who built and owned the railroad, not superstitious beliefs about damage to local fengshui.