1925 on the Nanjing road Shanghai, Bicyles, natty dressers, revolution

Nanjing road, 1 June 1925, Armstrong collection, ar04-178

Another from Shanghai detective chief William Armstron’s albums. This is probably 1 June 1925, and it’s a view along the Nanjing road in Shanghai towards the Wing On department store. The crowd at the junction ahead are gathered around a fire-truck which has been stoned by demonstrators. An earlier shot also caught the scene, and another the demonstrators outside the store. It’s two days after Sikh and Chinese contables of the Shanghai Municipal Police, led by Briton Inspector E.W. Everson, shot and killed a dozen demonstrators outside the Louza Police Station further along Nanjing road. This was one of the single most important events in the 1920s that galvanised nationalist, and communist, sentiment and activism across China.

The photographer has caught the stillling of the city traffic, the tension and uncertainty of people on the street, and two very smartly dressed men blithely strolling away.

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