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Chinese Coolies on the Streets of Tien-Tsin, China

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Chinese Coolies on the Streets of Tien-Tsin, China Possibly 1900
Coolie is a historical term for manual labourers or slaves from Asia, particularly China, India, and the Philippines during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. This photograph was taken in Tien-Tsin, China. Situated in northern China, now called Tianjin, it is one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. At the end of the first part of the Second Opium War (1856 to 1860) the Treaties of Tianjin were signed, which opened Tianjin to foreign trade. The treaties were ratified by the Emperor of China in 1860, and Tianjin was formally opened to trading with Great Britain and France, and consequently the outside world.

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The Keystone View Company

The Keystone View Company was a major distributor of stereographic images, and was located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The company was started by B.L. Singley, who previously was a salesman for Underwood & Underwood, an American company who was an early producer and distributor of stereoscopic and other photographic images, and later was a pioneer in the field of news-bureau photography. From 1892 through to1963 Keystone produced and distributed both educational and comic or sentimental stereoviews, and stereoscopes. By 1905 it was the world's largest stereographic company.

The Keystone View Company


  • Acc. No. PGP R 1142.2
  • Medium Stereoscopic albumen
  • Size 7.80 x 7.70 cm (each image); 8.80 x 17.80 cm (overall)
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell, 1985