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Amazing Photographs Capture Everyday Life Of Old Shanghai during The 1920s And 1930s

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Amazing Photographs Capture Everyday Life of Old Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s

Old Shanghai was a city unlike any other. Notable for its free port, it was where the whole world came to work and play. Disparate Europeans and adventuring Americans rubbed shoulders with Jewish émigrés, Japanese expats and Russians: it was indeed a city with many faces.

In the 1920s, an eighteen year old Frenchman called Louis-Philippe Messelier set forth for the city of Shanghai to partake in the buzzing wool trade there. Based in the French concession of Shanghai, he juggled his business career with taking photographs as a journalist for the French Journal of Shanghai.

Louis-Philippe Messelier was everywhere: down the streets to see the ritual processions, the acrobats and the snake charmers; at the races with the local aristocracy; inside film studios; on the top of roof taking aerial views; in the countryside admiring the beauty of antic remains or fishermen’s cottages. He captured everything in a sincere and singular manner.


Snake charmer, Shanghai, 1929


Japanese ladies in Shanghai's harbor, 1930


Shanghai, the Bund, 1929


Crowd and boats on the bund N°1, Shanghai, 1929


Crowd and boats on the bund N°2, Shanghai, 1929


Young Acrobats N°1 French concession, Shanghai, 1930


Street Theater, 1928, Shanghai


Making a movie N°1, circa 1930


Religious dignitary, Shanghai, circa 1930


Japanese itinerant Kumosu monk, Shanghai, circa 1932


Playong Mahjong


Fuzhou street, French concession, Shanghai, circa 1930


Junks on the Huang-Pu river, Shanghai, 1930


At the Racecourse


Old man eating noodles in his shop, bird in a cage, Shanghai, 1923




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