Canton pictures prior to 1960s?

Submitted by RedPanda on Wed, 09/07/2022 - 20:27

Bit of a longshot, but does anyone have any old images of Canton (Guangzhou)? My grandmother was born in Canton in 1940 and lived there until she fled to Hong Kong aged 20. She described her family home and her grandmother's home. The latter in particular sounds amazing! So spacious. Her grandmother (born in the 1880s) had plenty of land and money before the Second Sino-Japanese War, WW2 and communism destroyed their lives. The entire family ended up living in poverty. My Nana watched several family members die of starvation. My Nana was an incredibly sickly child due to starvation. Due to my Nana being the youngest sibling by many years and then my mother also being the youngest sibling by many years, I am not in contact with many of my Chinese family members. The closest relatives have been dead a long time and distant relatives have since moved to HK, Macao and abroad.

I would love to show my grandmother some images of old Canton. I have a detailed description of the layout of her grandmother's house, but I am still struggling to picture it in my mind! I'm in the UK so I cannot easily go to China.

I would really appreciate it if anyone could help me :)

Hi RedPanda, I think your grandma is like me,  we wish to see the place where we grew up then and now, and her school(s).  I would start with the address.   Google maps may show a street, but in my search, the air photos and streets do not match; and there are no street views like they have for Hong Kong, so its utility is limited.

Still,the internet is a good place to start.  I would search for old photos of public places, government buildings (hope they still exist), bridges and parks, pagodas, ferry piers and train station which she used, tricycle ricksaws, panoramic photos of rooftops and hills some of the landmarks  may refresh her memory.  Regards, Peter

Oh God! Another treasure trough of photos that survived all these wars and turmoils besides typhoons famine flood etc. Now I can look for the "Boys school" that was "built" by great grandfather on a knoll somewhere in the 1920s-1930s Canton China!!! Thanks for the link! I need not sleep now but just glue to the internet to search for the rest of my life time! Time is running out!!! There should be a Sincere Dept. Store (branch) in Canton besides the "Mother company" on De Veoux(sp?) Rd. on Hong Kong side in Hong Kong B.C.C.! And a four stories one in ShangHai China where 3 Americans were killed by the Aug. 1937 bombing/air raide by the Japanese if not friendly fire of the Flying Tigers out of Fort Ord or perhaps that came later....???