Menu

Guide to the Frederick B. Nightingale stereographs of China, 1920-1921

Summary

Collection of 143 stereographic images of areas in southeastern China, taken by an amateur photographer and American lighting engineer Frederick B. Nightingale from 1920 to 1921, while he traveled on business as a representative of General Electric. Nightingale's photographs are of value not only for the image content, which includes street scenes, vendors, modes of transportation, shrines, temples, pagodas, monasteries, towers, and landscapes, but also for his lengthy contextual commentary written on the back of each card. The majority of the images were taken in Hangzhou (referred to as Hangchow), Suzhou (Soochow), Mount Putuo island (Pu-tu), and Shanghai, China, but there are also a few images from other cities (Ningbo, Chang'an, and Harinen?), and a set of 11 images were taken in Japan. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.10984
Title
Frederick B. Nightingale stereographs of China
Date
1920-1921
Extent
0.2 Linear Feet, 1 box
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection of 143 stereographic images of areas in southeastern China, taken by amateur photographer and American lighting engineer Frederick B. (F.B.) Nightingale from 1920 to 1921 while he traveled on business as a representative of General Electric. Nightingale's collection is of value not only for the image content, which includes many street scenes with individuals in addition to well-known sites and landscapes, but also for his lengthy captions on the back of each card, commenting on food customs, architecture, folklore, commerce, and religious beliefs and practices, as seen from a Westerner's perspective.

The majority of the images were taken in Suzhou (referred to in captions as Soochow, 55 images), Hangzhou (Hangchow, 44), Mount Putuo Island (Pu-tu, 14), and Shanghai, China (13), but there are also a few photographs from other cities (Chang'an, Ningbo, Harinen?), and a set of 11 images taken in Japan. There is also one photograph of overgrown land on Nightingale's Pasadena, California property called "Palawoo." Several images feature Nightingale, and one shows the porter carrying his camera equipment. The majority of the images are crisp with little fading. A few are stamped with small identification numbers.

Subjects include numerous temples, pagodas, monasteries, monuments, tombs, and other historic sites, some of which no longer exist. Nightingale was able to capture some images of temple interiors, and he often noted which religious sites allowed entry to women. There are many photos of street life, river traffic, modes of transportation, and Chinese vendors and pedestrians going about their daily business.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

The stereograph cards are organized by geographic location in alphabetical order, according to places indicated in original captions.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Frederick B. Nightingale stereographs of China, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Changan [Xi'an]

2 items
The Post Boat, 1920
Box 1
Aboard the Post Boat, 1920
Box 1
"The Bore" No. 2, 1920
Box 1
"The Bore" No. 4, 1920
Box 1
"The Bore" No. 6, 1920
Box 1
Canal Life, 1920
Box 1
Monastery of Buddha's Image (Ta-Hsiang Szu), 1921
Box 1
Typical Canal scene, 1921
Box 1
Entrance to "Cave of the Morning Mist and Sunset Glow", 1921
Box 1
Typical scene at a City Gate, 1921
Box 1
Dragon Well Valley "Lung-Ching", 1921
Box 1
Drying Rice, 1920
Box 1
The Gem Spring of the Dancing Fish, 1920
Box 1
Island of the Three Pools and Moon's Reflection, 1920
Box 1
The Mahommedan Mosque, 1921
Box 1
Arch-way, 1921
Box 1
Stairway to the Monastery of Buddhas Image, 1921
Box 1
Cave of the Morning Mist and Sunset Glow, 1921
Box 1
Within the Monastery of Buddhas Image (Ta-Hsiang Szu), 1921
Box 1
Mulberry Trees, 1920
Box 1
Native Method of Well Drilling, 1921
Box 1
Across the rice fields to the Hills at Za-kow, 1921
Box 1
Looking Out - "Cave of the Morning Mist and Sunset Glow", 1921
Box 1
Stone House Cave (Shih-Wu-Tung), 1921
Box 1
A Temple Shrine - City Hill, 1921
Box 1
The Temple of North High Peak (Pei-Kao-Feng), 1921
Box 1
Six Harmony Pagoda at Za-Kou, 1921
Box 1
Image 820
Six Harmony Pagoda at Za-Kou, 1921
Box 1
Six Harmony Pagoda (Liu-Ho-T'a) at Za-Kou, 1921
Box 1
Image 819
Looking Over the Chien T'ang River, 1921
Box 1
Within a Way-side Shrine (Tao Kuang), 1921
Box 1
Monastery of Concentrated Light, 1921
Box 1
Monastery of Ling Yin, 1920
Box 1
At Ling Yin, 1921
Box 1
Pilgrims Arriving at Ling Yin, 1921
Box 1
Another View of the 500 Hohan - at Ling Yin Monastery, 1921
Box 1
A Name-less Temple, 1921
Box 1
Within the "Monastery of Precious Completion" (Pao-Cheng Szu), 1921
Box 1
Looking to the Valley - from "Monastery of Concentrated Light", 1921
Box 1
Entrance - "Monastery of the Rule of Peace" (Li-An-Szu), 1921
Box 1
Monastery of Ling Yin "The Spirits Retreat", 1921
Box 1
Image 796
Monastery of Ling Yin - "The Spirits Retreat", 1921

Duplicate of 796 but not marked with image number.

Box 1
Snake Charmers at Ling Yin, 1921
Box 1
The Spirits Retreat [rock carvings with Sanskrit writing], 1920
Box 1
The Spirits Retreat, 1921
Box 1
The Spirits Retreat, 1921
Box 1

3. Harinen (?)

2 items
Native Street Scene, 1920
Box 1
A City Gate, 1920
Box 1

4. Ningpo [Ningbo]

1 item
An Old Doctor at the Temple, 1921
Box 1
The Jungle, 1921
Box 1
Image 41
Out on "Chien-pu" (Thousand Paces) Beach, 1920
Box 1
Pai-hua Mountain, 1920
Box 1
Climbing "Pai-hua" Mountain, 1920
Box 1
The Arch to the Monastery, 1920
Box 1
An Ancient Tomb, 1920
Box 1
A Courtyard in One of the Temples, 1920
Box 1
Lily Sea from "Buddha Top" Mountain, 1920
Box 1
Nan Tien Man (Gate to South Heaven), 1920
Box 1
The Princes Tower, 1920
Box 1
Out for a "Sampan" Ride on the "Lily Sea", 1920
Box 1
A forest at the Base of Pai-hua Mountain, 1920
Box 1
The "Ta Yuan Tung" Temple of the "Pu-chi Monastery", 1920
Box 1
Within the "Ta Yuan Tung" Temple of the "Pu-chi Monastery", 1920
Box 1
A Rest Spot on the way to "Miao Chuang", 1920
Box 1

7. Shanghai

13 items
Off For Work [H.B. Lane and F.B. Nightingale], 1920
Box 1
Sampans, 1920
Box 1
Three Arch Stone Bridge, 1920
Box 1
Chow --!, 1921
Box 1
Half a Sail -- is Better than None, 1921
Box 1
The House Boat "Danica" & its Happy Family, 1921

Names of five individuals listed on back of card: Frances Widner, Dara [Deva?] Shelley, Josephine Rare [Rave?], Mrs. Hubbard, and Hugh Creighton.

Box 1
Native Craft Sailing by, 1921
Box 1
Pumpkins -- Coming to Market, 1920
Box 1
Along Siccawei Creek, 1920
Box 1
A Restful Spot, 1920
Box 1
Chinese Junk, 1920
Box 1
Five Magicians, 1920
Box 1
A Rustic Spot in the French Park, 1920
Box 1

8. Soochow [Suzhou]

55 items
One Way to Travel, 1920
Box 1
Water Way - In a Poor Section, 1921
Box 1
Arch Bridge, 1921
Box 1
A Beggar-man on a Bridge, 1920
Box 1
Acrobats and Fencers - City Temple Grounds, 1921
Box 1
Frying Rice Cakes, 1920
Box 1
The Twin Pagodas, 1921
Box 1
The Ink Pagoda, 1921
Box 1
The Methusela - Old South Gate Pagoda, 1921
Box 1
Twin Pagodas, 1921
Box 1
The Ink Pagoda, 1921
Box 1
Twin Pagodas, 1921
Box 1
The Great Pagoda, 1920
Box 1
An Ancestral Tablet, 1920
Box 1
The Twin Pagodas, 1921
Box 1
City Temple, 1921
Box 1
A Canal Bridge, 1921
Box 1
A City Water Gate, 1921
Box 1
Along a Canal, 1921
Box 1
Stone Map of Soochow, Confucian Temple, 1921
Box 1
Stone Carving, 1920
Box 1
South Gate Pagoda, 1920
Box 1
Three Arch Bridge - Confucian Temple, 1921
Box 1
Astronomical Tablet - Confucian Temple, 1921
Box 1
Confucian Temple Gateway, 1921
Box 1
The Confucian Temple, 1920
Box 1
The Confucian Temple, 1920
Box 1
The Great Pagoda, 1920
Box 1
A Shrine Within the Great Pagoda, 1920
Box 1
Soochow China, 1920
Box 1
Stone Carving - Close View, 1920
Box 1
A Tablet in the Imperial Gardens, 1920
Box 1
A Central Shrine in the Temple, 1921
Box 1
Stone House Cave (Shih-Wu-Tung), 1921
Box 1
Along the Canal, 1921
Box 1
Liu Yuen Gardens, 1921
Box 1
Liu Yuen Gardens, 1921
Box 1
A Lotus Pool - "Liu Yuen", 1920
Box 1
Through a Window at Liu Yuen Gardens, 1921
Box 1
A Doorway - Liu Gardens, 1920
Box 1
The Imperial Gardens, 1920
Box 1
A Pavilion - Imperial Gardens, 1920
Box 1
Imperial Garden, 1920
Box 1
Water Scene Imperial Gardens, 1920
Box 1
Pavilion & Walks at Liu Yuen, 1920
Box 1
Railway Hotel, 1920
Box 1
A Corner of the Railway Hotel, 1920
Box 1
A Rockery at West Gardens, 1920
Box 1
A "Love Boat" on the Grand Canal, 1920
Box 1
The Thousand Arm Buddha, 1921
Box 1
Archway and Temple Entrance, 1921
Box 1
A Isle of Idols, 1921
Box 1
Out-side the City Wall, 1921
Box 1
City Temple Grounds, 1921
Box 1
Nodding Rock on Tiger Hill, 1920
Box 1

9. Japan

11 items
The Temple of Gongen, 1921
Box 1
Image 134
Pilgrims who Came to Worship at the Shrine, 1921
Box 1
Image 150
Yomeimon Gate, 1921
Box 1
Image 152
The Inner "Holy of Holies", 1921
Box 1
Image 158
A Silent Pool in the Forest at Nikko, 1921
Box 1
Image 168
Another View in the Park at Nikko, 1921
Box 1
Image 170
Garden and Bridge at the Fugi Hotel, 1921
Box 1
Image 139
In the Forest of Cryptomeria Trees, 1921
Box 1
Image 172
High Tension and Slow Speed, 1921

"A high-voltage transformer being drawn by bull & cart in Tokyo."

Box 1
Image 192
A View in the Park at Tokyo, 1921
Box 1
Image 251
Feeding the Doves at Maruyama Park, 1921
Box 1
Image 209
 

Historical Note

Frederick B. Nightingale (F.B.) was born in 1885 and died in the 1950s. He worked in sales for General Electric until the 1940s, when he founded his own lighting company, Kim Lighting, and became a local celebrity in 1928 when he erected the giant "Star of Palawoo" above his Pasadena property in the Altadena hills in California.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The F. B. Nightingale stereographs of China were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in February 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by: Leslie Hayes, January 2015

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2014-0032