Fabulous Historic Photos Show Everyday Life In San Francisco’s Chinatown In The 1950s


Chinese immigration to the United States dates back to the middle of 19th century, The Chinese arriving in San Francisco, who came primarily from the Taishan and Zhongshan regions as well as Guangdong province of mainland China, did so at the height of the CaliforniaGold Rush, and many worked in the mines scattered throughout the northern part of the state.

Have a look at these historic photos that show everyday life of Chinatown in San Francisco in the mid-20th century. Also check New York’s Chinatown in 1980s

#1 Two children goof around on their way to school.

Two children goof around on their way to school.

#2 A woman samples a small portion of rice.

 A woman samples a small portion of rice.

#3 The intersection of East and West.

The intersection of East and West.

#4 Chorus girls at Forbidden City show off their stuff.

Chorus girls at Forbidden City show off their stuff.

#5 Two chorus girls at the Forbidden City nightclub prepare for their act.

Two chorus girls at the Forbidden City nightclub prepare for their act.

#6 A customer receives her order from the butcher at Ying Fat Lung’s Chinese shop.

 A customer receives her order from the butcher at Ying Fat Lung’s Chinese shop.

#7 Chinese dancers perform an elaborate floor show.

 Chinese dancers perform an elaborate floor show.

#8 Two Chinese-American women come to have their fortunes told at the Chinese temple on Pine Street.

Two Chinese-American women come to have their fortunes told at the Chinese temple on Pine Street.

#9 Grant Avenue is lit up by the string lights and neon signs of restaurants.

 Grant Avenue is lit up by the string lights and neon signs of restaurants.

#10 A vendor slices off a chunk of lotus root for a customer.

 A vendor slices off a chunk of lotus root for a customer.

#11 Cars driving through Chinatown at night.

 Cars driving through Chinatown at night.

#12 Cable cars take commuters to work.

Cable cars take commuters to work.

#13 A little girl practices her written Chinese in a character-writing class.

A little girl practices her written Chinese in a character-writing class.

#14 A lampost in the traditional Chinese style signals that you’ve arrived.

 A lampost in the traditional Chinese style signals that you’ve arrived.

#15 A chorus girl at the Forbidden City nightclub adds the finishing touches to her makeup.

A chorus girl at the Forbidden City nightclub adds the finishing touches to her makeup.

#16 A little girl reads aloud from the blackboard.

A little girl reads aloud from the blackboard.A little girl reads aloud from the blackboard.

#17 A banner on Grant Street, San Francisco, welcomes visitors to Chinatown.

A banner on Grant Street, San Francisco, welcomes visitors to Chinatown.

#18 A bookseller waits for customers to arrive.

A bookseller waits for customers to arrive.

#19 The cutest little boy ever listening enthusiastically in class.

The cutest little boy ever listening enthusiastically in class.

#20 A movie theater showing Chinese movies.

A movie theater showing Chinese movies.

#21 A little boy at the Commodore Stockton School practices writing on the blackboard.

A little boy at the Commodore Stockton School practices writing on the blackboard.

#22 A shop assistant at the Tai Ping Company boutique on Grant Avenue demonstrates a giant Chinese fan to an interested customer.

 A shop assistant at the Tai Ping Company boutique on Grant Avenue demonstrates a giant Chinese fan to an interested customer.

#23 Two women sample food at Johnny Kan’s restaurant.

 Two women sample food at Johnny Kan’s restaurant.

#24 Five women dressed in traditional Chinese clothing read the day’s headlines.

Five women dressed in traditional Chinese clothing read the day’s headlines.

#25 A butcher prepares meat for a young boy.

A butcher prepares meat for a young boy.

#26 Parents greet their children after they finish school for the day.

Parents greet their children after they finish school for the day.

#27 Nationalist Chinese and American flags wave side by side.

Nationalist Chinese and American flags wave side by side.


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Sophia Charlotte
I am a Photographer, retoucher, writer and mother of beautiful daughter. I also colorize old photographs to give them new life.

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