This collection of photographs was taken by Thomas Childs, who arrived in Beijing in 1870 and became a British employee of the Qing court customs. In his spare time, he traveled the streets of Beijing with his photographic equipment, recording through his lens the historical monuments and street scenes of the ancient capital of Beijing 150 years ago.
Chongwenmen was originally one of the eleven gates of the Yuan capital, originally called Wenmingmen, which is also customarily called Hade Gate and Haidaimen. This is the scene seen outside Chongwenmen 150 years ago, the city tower, the arrow tower, as well as the gate tower and the urn gate cave on the west moon wall are all intact outside the city wall is a regular building.
Deshengmen was one of the nine gates in the inner city of Beijing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and its existence predated the construction of Beijing during the Ming Dynasty, hence the saying "First there was Deshengmen, then there was Beijing". This photo, taken from the southeast of the archway, shows houses covered under the archway at that time, and before the houses is an iced moat with a man sitting on an ice cart.
This image shows a section of a muddy street in the city of Beijing. In front of the store in the close-up are three "pillars in the sky", folk call them "feng shui pillars", and many businessmen believe that the higher the pillars are, the greater the chance of getting rich with the help of heaven. Right next to it is a pastry store with an elaborate exterior, and the pastry chef is standing in front of the store looking in the direction of the photographer.
This is a mobile stall selling children's toys, which is why it attracts six small children around, a young man squatting down to select toys with the children, standing on the right is the goods man.
Such carriages could be seen until the 1930s and 1940s. The carriage in the picture was high-class for its time, with a carriage at the back and a cloth shed tied at the front. Note the jagged wheels, which are very well made and perfect for walking on ice in the winter in Beijing.
This photo was taken inside a hutong in Beijing,. The sedan chair in the picture is hitched to the backs of two mules, which are the best choice for carrying sedan chairs because they are stronger than donkeys in terms of physical strength, docile nature and better endurance.
There are not many photos of sedan chairs in the late Qing Dynasty, but a sedan chair with such elaborate and luxurious decoration as the one in the picture is very rare, and it may be the special sedan chair of a high official's wife or gege. Next to the sedan chair stands a man wearing the popular dress of the time.
Compared with the previous picture, the structure of this sedan chair is much simpler, but nevertheless, it is not the sedan chair that ordinary people ride, this sedan chair not only has four bearers carrying, and there is a special sedan head with the side.
Biyun Temple is located at the eastern foot of Xiangshan Mountain and was founded in 1331, the second year of the Zhishun era. This is a view of the entrance of Vajra Throne Pagoda from the bridge, with a man leaning on it by the railing of the bridge.
The Qingyan Boat is a boat made of stone at the foot of Wanshou Mountain in the Summer Palace . There was originally a Chinese style cabin on this boat, which was burned down when the British and French invaded. The Western-style cabin that we see now was rebuilt in 1893 according to the intention of Cixi.
Lengen Hall is the ground building of Zhu Di's tomb in the Thirteen Tombs, with a wide face of nine rooms, situated on a three-story Chinese white jade Sumeru throne, the whole hall is supported by sixty large pillars of golden-wood, very luxurious. In front of the hall on the grass sits a man, he is surrounded by small buildings called the burning palace furnace, left and right there is one, is specifically used to burn sacrificial objects.
The Summer Palace's Wanshou Hill in 1870, a scene of disrepair. In the foreground of the picture is the ruined site of the Great Retribution Yanshou Temple, a fine architectural complex that was also destroyed at the hands of the British and French allies. The stone pedestal in the distance is empty, with a direct view of the Sea of Wisdom, where the original Buddha Fragrance Pavilion was also burned down by the British and French bandits in one fire. The Buddhist incense pavilion we see today was rebuilt in 1891 according to its original form.
A very interesting photo, sitting in the middle of the old man wrapped in small feet, next to the girl wearing horseshoe sole shoes. Generally speaking, only Han Chinese people wrapped their feet during the late Qing Dynasty, and only Manchu girls wore horseshoe sole shoes (flag shoes). This wonderful family combination should be the result of Manchu-Chinese intermarriage.
Several camels stand resting in front of a fine old building, a roadside or perhaps a courtyard, all with cargo hitched to their backs. As early as the 13th century, camels participated in Kublai's construction of the Yuan Capital City, and since then the crisp camel bells have not been broken inside and outside of Beijing until the 1950s, when camels were completely withdrawn from Beijing's transportation industry for nearly seven hundred years.