Exploring a Historic Panorama

Dinah Cardin

Kung Tai Studio. Photographic panorama of the Shanghai Bund. Shanghai, China, 1882. Albumen prints. Gift of Mrs. Beverley R. Robinson, 1950. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Image credit: Walter Silver.

The world’s second tallest tower is soon to officially open in Shanghai, and with it, a sky-bound branch of China’s Guanfu Museum. To celebrate, several departments at PEM have been working together to make available online a panorama from PEM’s significant collection of 19th-century photographs of China. The museum’s 11-foot photographic panorama of the Shanghai Bund from 1882 was made by Kung Tai Studio and consists of 13 prints joined to form a sweeping view of the Shanghai waterfront. Read more

More than Lobster and Lighthouses


Haskell Island, Casco Bay, Maine, photo by H. S. Follansbee, July 1927

The Pingree family has been involved in shaping the landscape of Maine since shortly after it became a state in 1820.  David Pingree (1795-1863) started buying land in the 1830s and 1840s.  Through the processing of the Pingree papers, I have been able to discover that land in Maine wasn’t just an investment for the family, but a place that brought them personal joy. Read more

Treasures of Charles Frederick Gammon’s Photographs of China Recently Discovered in Phillips Library’s Ward Collection

Tingting Xu

Gammon holding his camera at Shan-hai-kwan, the eastern end of the Great Wall. Sept 1908.

Thirty-nine boxes of photographs of China in the Phillips Library’s Ward Collection, with a total of 1,475 black-and-white silver gelatin prints (3.25 x 5 inches) are now identified as the work of Charles Frederick Gammon (1870-1926), the Superintendent of Colportage for the American Bible Society, in northern China at the beginning of the twentieth century. When I was assigned the work of providing an inventory of the photographs in these boxes, that were basically untouched materials buried in the huge Ward Collection of Chinese books and photographs, I had no idea that they were the work of one person. Nor would I imagine that I would be able find Hannah Warren, the great-grand daughter of Gammon at the end of my research work.

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