On the River, Canton, China

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
About one hundred miles from Hongkong on the delta of the Pearl or Canton River is the great city of Canton, the port of outlet for southern China, and one of the largest cities of China. This is one of the most thickly populated parts of the world, and stretching back from the river are miles and miles of fertile fields in which the industrious Chinese raise three crops a year. The city itself is built very closely. Throngs of people crowd the streets, which are incredibly dirty and so narrow that only a strip of sky can be seen overhead. On the river are boats of every description, modern steamers, Chinese junks, sampans (sm´pns), and houseboats. More than a hundred thousand people live in these boats, which are sometimes seventy-five feet long by fifteen feet wide. Such a boat usually has three rooms-a hallroom, a living room, and a sleeping room. These rooms can be broken up easily into additional rooms by the use of screens. The cooking and washing are done in the stern of the boat outside the house proper. Sometimes a family may have a flock of ducks or geese. These are put into the water in the morning and taken on board in the evening. The waters have many fish so the family usually have fish or rice for their food. The houseboats are pushed along by long poles or heavy oars. Sometimes you see little children playing about these houseboats fastened by ropes tied about their waists or with little barrels on their backs which, in case of their falling overboard, will keep them afloat until they are rescued by father or mother. Canton used to be a treaty port. What does that mean? Are all the Chinese seaports now open for trade? Keystone ID: 14559 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.