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Throwback Thursday: What The Shanghai Bund Looked Like in 1930

Where: Shanghai, China
March 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

When next you're in Shanghai, standing on The Bund and staring out into the Huangpu River with its parade of digital billboard barges and the backdrop of the soaring skyscrapers of Pudong, close your eyes and, for a moment, imagine it all as it was in this postcard from 1930.

For several months at the start of 1930, the Hamburg-American line ship S.S. Resolute sailed an around-the-world itinerary, placing a great focus on Asian ports of call. Instead of placing the responsibility of mailing postcards onto each passenger, the ship offered a service whereby they would mail postcards for you, at each port. The messages were the same, only the neatly typed addresses differed. By the end of the voyage, your friends back home would have amassed a stack of exotic postcards without your having lifted a pen.

This particular postcard is from the ship's call in Shanghai, and the notes describe what sounds like quite a bland day, save for cocktails!

April 1, 1930
The "Resolute" is reported by radiogram as, after a smooth passage, arriving early this morning at Woo-sung, the anchorage place for Shanghai, near the mouth of the Yang-tse-Kiang. On the way from Formosa there were Lectures and Travel Talks and a Concert.

After an early breakfast the passengers went by local river steamer fourteen miles up the Whang-po to Shanghai. There your friends are experiencing a surprised admiration for the architectural solidity of the International-Settlement—especially along the Bund—and enjoying a ride out Bubbling Well Road.

Shanghai is a commercial port of importance because of its position as gateway to the great Yang-tse Valley. Its interest for the tourist, however, is exhausted in a morning's drive and the cocktail hour at the Astor House.

It is the first of our cities of jinrikishas and gin-rickeys.

[Scan: Jaunted]

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