Stereoviews of China, circa 1900-1905

Here are three stereoviews of China, taken in the first half-decade of the 20th century. These were produced by Keystone and Underwood & Underwood, two of the biggest producers of stereoviews. They both churned out thousands of these cards as fast as they could be supplied with new images of exotic locales, exotic being very broadly defined. This was foreign travel on the cheap, when it was not only more expensive but more time-consuming and more dangerous. The stereoview both broadened the horizons of their consumer and reinforced existing stereotypes of the day – note that the crowd on the steps in the rice paddy is “jeering natives” – they’re probably all wondering what that idiot gweiloh (white man) is doing putting his head under a blanket on the back of that funny box on the hill across the way.

Rice Paddies, Kiangsi
Rice Paddies, Kiangsi
Ningpo Guild Hall
Ningpo Guild Hall
The Great Wall of China, Nankow Pass
The Great Wall of China, Nankow Pass

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