Industrial museums along Suzhou Creek

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/27 19:23:40

As a birthplace of China's modern industry, Putuo district has a swathe of museums, art exhibitions and historic sites for tourists and residents to visit during the Chinese New Year.

Many of the old industrial factories and warehouses lining Suzhou Creek have been converted into museums.

The Suzhou Creek Industrial Civilization Museum, for instance, restores the former glories of the riverside region, where the early national industry was concentrated.

In its heydays, there were more than 1,900 companies in what was known as Huxi industrial district.

The museum on 2689 Guangfu Road West was converted from the former site of the Shanghai Glasses Factory in the Changfeng Ecological Business District. The museum has both indoor and outdoor displays showcasing artifacts and historical archives.

Some large machines dating back to early last century are being exhibited outside the museum. Fufengli, a former workers neighborhood in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), has been restored to showcase the working and living environment of China's earliest working class.

The Fufengli Residential Ward door, at the entrance to the exhibition hall, was recreated according to the residential dormitory for the workers, built by the first Chinese flour mill. The two wood boards hanging on the door are originals.

The first floor of the indoor exhibition hall features recreated scenes from the industrial period, with large oil paintings and multimedia clips.

The second floor traces the development of the industrial civilization along the creek. The four sections give a chronological path marking the achievements of Shanghai, from port opening to the present through 200 items with text and graphic files.

Inside a glass house on the grassland behind the museum is a century-old hydrogen compressor purchased by Wu Yunchu (1891-1953), the famous modern industrialist, chemist and the father of monosodium glutamate. The compressor was manufactured by Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation from the US. Wu bought the ammonia synthesis production unit in 1932 for the company he founded.

Also displayed outdoors is a British-made cotton cleaner head, made in 1920, that once belonged to a textile factory by Suzhou Creek. It was manufactured by The Platt Brothers & Co. The giant cotton cleaner, more than 10 meters long, was used to process raw materials.

One of the highlights of the exhibit is the coin-making machine provided by the Shanghai Banknote Printing and Minting Co. It was manufactured in 1978 and was used to produce one, two and five-cent coins until 2000.

The textile museum's exhibitions include old spinning wheels, early machinery and recreated scenes from factories. It covers the history of textiles and the textile industry in Shanghai.

This story was based on a press release by the municipal government.


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