Yangtszepoo Dock advertising

All Shanghai artefacts come in many forms and shapes. One of the interesting type is advertising objects, as they offer a real window in what people used and consumed at the time. I recently came across an interesting item, a advertising for Yangtzepoo Docks.

The paper is actually a blotter, the kind of thick paper designed to absorb the overflow of ink while writing with a fountain pen. Blotters have disappeared along with fountain pens, but they were very useful and popular in the time of Old Shanghai, including as advertising objects. I was first attracted by the picture, as it is a really nice painting. The image of finely dressed ladies in the wind helps to date the item. From the fashion, including men’s hats I would date it from early to mid 1930s.

Yangtszepoo dock advertising

The topic of the image used for the ad, has nothing to do with the services promoted, i.e. Shipbuilding and repair. It also has no specific link to Shanghai, not even in the background, though it must have been representative of western fashion at that time in Shanghai, as well as in England. Since the document was written in English only, one can assumed that it was sent to shipping lines and related businesses, both in Shanghai, the UK and other countries sending ships to Shanghai.

The Yangtszepoo dock was located on Yangtszepoo Road (today Yangshupu lu) and shown on below picture. One of its known engineer was Archie M Kerr. The Yangtszepoo dock was famous for its 584 feet (178 m dry docks). According to the 1928 “Port Directory of the Principal Foreign Ports” from the US Navy, it was the second longest dry docks in Shanghai.

The dock was used by local ships for construction and repair, and was also used by ships from other location. An article from Old Boston blog, tell the story of the Wyberton a steam trawler that travelled from Boston (England) to Shanghai to be repaired at the Yangtszepoo docks and then sold to a Chinese fishing firm in 1922.

Yangtszepoo docks (1934), source Paul French’s China Rhyming blog

The Yangtszepoo area was the main industrial point of Old Shanghai, with factories, docks and shipyards located along the river. Although this part of the city has been transformed a lot in the recent years, it remained a heavy industry and shipyard area for decades. 90 years later, the 584 feet long dock is still there, along with #2 docks that was officially opened on 21st February 1930.

Interestingly, Yang Chow Road nearby is still called YangZhou Lu, along with PingLian Road that is now Ping Lian Lu. Thorburg Road has been replaced by Tongbei Lu, which is near enough to probably have been the original Chinese name.

More advertising articles for the company were found later. They are displayed on post: advertising-the-new-engineering-shipbuilding-works-ltd/

5 thoughts on “Yangtszepoo Dock advertising”

  1. Thank you for the latest posting most interesting-The Title Yangtzepoo brought back memories why because during WWII, I was interned togther with my Mother and two older brothers at what was Scared Heart Hospital 41 Ningkou Road. The Japanese had occupied the buildings they, left them in an indescribably filthy condition prior internees from Great western Rd., and Yu Yuen Rd, camps taking up residence. The reason I mention these details it that I am writing up the families experiences in Shanghai. My father went out in 1910. Do you know if if the hospital still stands? if not what is in its place, there is a lot to record.
    Best wishes,
    David Grant

  2. Hi, David
    Hi, Hugues
    I am historian researcher based in Shanghai, Let me answer the question if you don’t mind.
    The Scared Heart Hospital still stands there, with almost all the remnants the same way they were, and it still works as a hospital. Your family stories seems to be a common encounter for most of the foreign residents during the Japanese occupation in Shanghai which is worth writing up in my opinion.
    Mr.Martin,forgive my arbitrary comment on this site, I really appreciate all of your works.

  3. I have just found a small folding ruler in amongst family stuff ,it is from this firm of shipbuilders etc at Yangtsepoo Dock My Dad worked most of his life at Taikoo Dockyard in Hong Kong so I imagine this was his

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