Chinese Telephone Excahgne, San Francisco, USA


Interior Chinese Telephone Excahgne, Chinatown, San Francisco, Calif.
On the back:
CHINATOWN’S TELEPHNE EXCHANGE BUILDING
San Franciscos’s quaint Chinatown Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. building was erected in 1909 to conform with Chinese architectural traditions. It hours what is believe to be the only Chinese Telephone exchange outside of China itself.
1940s
Publisher: Stanley A. Plitz Company, San Francisco (1930s-1950s)

Google Street View.

In 1891, the first public telephone pay station was installed in Chinatown. In 1894, a small switchboard was set up to serve subscribers to the telephone system. Since people were often asked for by name rather than by number, telephone operators memorized and knew each subscriber by name. This made telephone numbers unnecessary. The Chinatown community felt it was rude to refer to people by numbers. Operators also knew the address and occupations of subscribers so they could distinguish between two people with the same name. In addition, they had to speak five Chinese dialects and English.

Although the offices of the exchange were destroyed by the 1906 earthquake, they were rebuilt afterwards, and remained in operation until 1949. The exchange was closed in 1949, when technology changed from switchboard-operator system to rotary-dial telephones. The Bank of Canton bought and restored the building in 1960.
Chinatown, San Franciso

One of the most Interesting features of the rebuilding of San Francisco’s famed Chinatown is the new telephone exchange building to handle’ tho largo -number of calls from that quarter. Tho building is designed on Oriental lines, and when completed will be ornamented with dragons and other symbolical Chinese characters. The Chinese are great users of the telephone. and their language is cumbersome, and they would rather talk over the phone than write letters. The. operators will be Chinese boys, Chinese girls being at a premium.
[Sydney] Sunday Times, 26 September 1909

The telephone exchange in Chinatown, San Francisco, is unique, being strikingly Oriental in both its exterior and interior details, and operated wholly by Chinese. The building has three pagodas, giving it the appearance of the hone of Chinaman of rank, and aside from the sign above the door and the telephone apparatus within, is entirely Chinese. The manager of the exchange is an American-born Chinaman and the switchboard operators are chine boys and girls. The exchanges now take care of 800 subscribers’ lines. The Chinese part of the San Francisco telephone directory is arranged by names of streets, instead of by numbers, and a caller gives the name of the firm or individual he wishes to reach.
[Sydney] Globe, 11 January 1913

Just around the corner from Grant at Washington was the venerable Chinese Telephone Exchange at 743 Washington (map). It opened in 1901 at which time, pre dialling, the operators had to know all of the Chinatown customers by name and address because it was considered rude to refer to a person by number. Each operator also had to speak the many dialects of Chinese spoken by the residents. It was no surprise perhaps that the original male operators were soon replaced by women, on account of their “good temper”.
Reel SF (has more pictures)

Hotel Rainbow, Great Falls, Montana


The Palm Room at the Hotel Rainbow, Great Falls, Mont.
On back:
This beautiful room must be seen to be appreciated. The management had the Palm Room built on the ground floor.
Postmarked 1913
Publisher: Chas. E. Morris Co., Green Falls

Architects George Shanley and John Kent designed the 1911 Rainbow Hotel for the Great Falls Townsite Company. The Townsite Company’s board included two of the most powerful men in America: Anaconda Company president John D. Ryan and Great Northern Railway president James J. Hill. The five-story hotel expressed their belief in Great Falls’ future—as an industrial center and hub for a large, prosperous agricultural district. As Ryan explained, they did not design the Rainbow for Great Falls as it existed, but for the much larger city they expected it to become. Decorated with terra cotta, the luxurious brick building cost $400,000 to construct and furnish, making it the most expensive establishment in the state. The hotel boasted a café, buffet, banquet hall, sample rooms, and 150 sleeping rooms, 120 of which connected to their own bathrooms. Finished in white marble, ivory, and copper, the lobby exuded elegance. So, too, did the Palm Room, which the Tribune complimented as “the most pretentious public room in a hotel between the Twin Cities and the Pacific coast.”
The Montana National Register Sign Program

Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

These three postcards are photographs taken of existing photographs and then printed as postcards. They have no publisher details. Given the bare surroundings, I assume the original photos were taken when Heliopolis was being developed (1910s).

Heliopolis was a suburb outside Cairo, Egypt, which has since merged with Cairo as a district of the city and is one of the more affluent areas of Cairo. It was established in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company headed by the Belgian industrialist Édouard Empain and by Boghos Nubar, son of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nubar Pasha.
. . .
In 1905, Empain established the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, which bought a large stretch of desert some distance to the northeast of Cairo at a low price from the British occupation government. His efforts culminated in 1907 with the building of the new town of Heliopolis, in the Sahara desert ten kilometers from the center of Cairo. The new city represented the first large-scale attempt to promote its own architecture, known now as the Heliopolis style. It was designed as a “city of luxury and leisure”, with broad avenues and equipped with all conveniences and infrastructure: water, drains, electricity, hotel facilities, such as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel and Heliopolis House, and recreational amenities including a golf course, racetrack and park. In addition, there was housing for rent, offered in a range of innovative designs targeting specific social classes with detached and terraced villas, apartment buildings, tenement blocks with balcony access and workers’ bungalows.
Wikipedia.

 

Sultana Melek Palace

Google Maps.

Belgian engineer Baron Empain built the palace as a gift to Sultan Hussein Kamel. Following Kamel’s death, the palace’s ownership transferred to the Heliopolis Company for Housing & Development which leased it to Hussein’s second wife Sultana Melek Tourhan. The palace then became a school during the 1960s, and was later recorded on the list of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in 2000.
Egypt Independent: Egypt begins restoring Sultana Melek Palace in Heliopolis

Sultan Hussein Kamel’s palace in Heliopolis dates back to the year 1908. Sultan Hussein Kamel took power in a dangerous period in the history of Egypt between 1914 and 1917, when Britain had imposed martial law on Egypt during the First World War. The palace, located opposite to Baron Empain’s palace, was built before Hussein Kamel assumed power. It was then gifted to Sultana Malak, his second wife of Circassian origin, whom he married in 1886.

The palace of Sultan Hussein Kamel is among the first buildings of Heliopolis. It was designed by French architect Alexander Marcel in 1908 and was implemented with clear Moroccan influences to revive Islamic architecture.
Egypt Today

 

Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral

Google Street View.

Our Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral, also known as the Latin Cathedral of Our Lady of Heliopolis, or the Basilica of the Holy Virgin, is a Roman Catholic church building, located on Al-Ahram Square in the Heliopolis neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt. Alexandre Marcel designed the cathedral in a Byzantine Revival style, based on the Hagia Sophia. It was completed in 1913. A crypt within the cathedral houses the remains of its financer, Édouard Empain, and his family.
Wikipedia.

 

Heliopolis Palace Hotel

Google Maps.

The Heliopolis Palace Hotel was built in the open desert from 1908–1910, while development of the new suburb began around it, by the Heliopolis Oases Company. It was opened as Africa’s most luxurious hotel on December 1, 1910. The landmark hotel was designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar. He introduced the local Heliopolis style of architecture, a synthesis of Persian, Moorish Revival, Islamic, and European Neoclassical architecture. It was built by the contracting firms Leon Rolin & Co. and Padova, Dentamaro & Ferro, the two largest civil contractors in Egypt then. Siemens & Schuepert of Berlin fitted the hotel’s web of electric cables and installations. The utilities were to the most modern standards of their day. The hotel operations were under French administered management. The Heliopolis architectural style, responsible for many wonderful original buildings in Heliopolis, was exceptionally expressed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel’s exterior and interior design. The hotel had 400 rooms, including 55 private apartments. Beyond the Moorish Revival reception hall two public rooms were lavishly decorated in the Louis XIV and the Louis XV styles. Beyond those was the Central Hall, the primary public dining space with a classic symmetrical and elegant beauty.
. . .
In 1958, the hotel was purchased by the government and closed to guests.[3] It was then used to house the offices of government departments. In January 1972, the building became the headquarters of the Federation of Arab Republics, the short-lived political union between Egypt, Libya and Syria, which gave it the current Arabic name of قصر الاتحادية Kasr Al Ittihadia (“Federation Palace”). In the 1980s, after extensive renovation and restoration efforts, the building became an Egyptian presidential palace and the headquarters of the administration of the new president, Hosni Mubarak.
Wikipedia.

The First Australian General Hospital was to be placed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel at Heliopolis. . . . Some description is required, however, of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. This, as the photograph shows, is a huge hotel de luxe, consisting of a basement and four stories. It was arranged that the kitchens, stores, and accommodation for rank and file should be placed in the basement. The first floor was allotted to offices and officers’ quarters; a wing of the third floor provided accommodation for nurses, and the only portions of the building used at first for patients were the large restaurant and dining-room, and the billiard recesses, i.e. the Rotundas and Great Hall.
The Australian Army Medical Corps in Egypt, 1918 (Project Gutenberg) (includes floor plan)

Ubudiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsar, Malaysia


The Ubad Aiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsa
1930s

Google Street View.

The most beautiful mosque in Perak is situated besides the Bukit Chandan Royal Mausoleum, Kuala Kangsar. The mosque was built at the royal command of Sultan Idris Murshidul Azam Shah, the 28th Sultan Perak (1887 – 1916) to fulfil his Royal Highness’ religious vow. Perak Government then instructed Colonel Huxley from the Public Services Office in Kuala Lumpur to design the plan for the mosque. The responsibility fell to Hubbeclk, a civil architect, and the building of the mosque was the responsibility of Caulfield who was Perak chief engineer at that time. On Friday, 26 September 1913, Sultan Idris Murshidul Azam Shah, set the foundation stone for the mosque. The building activity was interrupted for a few years due to the damage to the marbles caused by two elephants belonging to Sultan Idris and Raja Chulan.
The order of the marbles from Italy was interrupted caused by the World War I. In 1917, the most beautiful mosque in Perak was officially opened by Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasaruddin Shah, who replaced Sultan Idris who passed away in 1916. The cost of building the mosque at that time was estimated at RM200,000.

Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council

The mosque was built during the reign of the 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Murshidul Adzam Shah I Ibni Almarhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar Teja, who commission its construction as thanksgiving for his recovery from an illness that plagued him in his later years. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 26 September 1913. The construction of the mosque was interrupted several times, once when two elephants belonging to the sultan’s and Raja Chulan fought, ran over and damaged the Italian marble tiles. The outbreak of the first world war also affected its construction. The mosque was finally completed in late 1917 at a total cost of $24,000 or RM200,000 – a considerable sum at that time. It was officially declared open by Sultan Abdul Jalil Karamtullah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Adzam Shah I Rahmatullah, successor to Sultan Idris who had died during its construction.
Wikipedia.

The Ubudiah Mosque was the brainchild of the 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah (1887-1916). Legend has it that following his return from England in 1911 (His Highness went to England to witness the coronation of King George V), His Highness the Sultan fell ill. He chose to stay in Port Dickson for respite. Whilst convalescing in Port Dickson, he made a vow to build a mosque in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, if he fully recuperated as thanksgiving. After his return to Kuala Kangsar when his health greatly improved, His Highness commanded Colonel Huxley of the Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur, to design a mosque which he wanted to build.
Heritage Buildings of Malaysia

Nara Hotel, Nara, Japan


Main Entrance (Photograph by Yamashita. Osaka.)
On back:
Cable Add. “Hotel” Tel. Nos. 153 & 166
Nara Hotel
Nara, Japan
Under Direct Management of Japanese Government Railways
Superior Accommodation. Quiet Surroundings.

Google Street View

Wikipedia.

1909 – Hotel begins operations. Run by Japan Hotels Corporation on land then owned by the Japanese Government Railways.
Nara Hotel: timeline

Old Tokyo: Nara Hotel, Nara, c. 1910. (pictures of inside of hotel c.1920)

Allentown Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA


4443 JUDGES STAND, ALLENTOWN, PA. FAIR.
COPYRIGHT 1905, SHAFERS BOOK STORE, ALLENTOWN, PA

Google Maps

The Lehigh County Agricultural Society held the first fair from October 6 to October 8, 1852, on Livingston’s Lawn, a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot located east of Fourth Street, between Walnut and Union Streets, in Allentown. The initial fair was so successful that in 1853 the Society undertook the purchase of a larger plot of land, north of Liberty Street and between Fifth and Sixth Streets, on which ticket offices and a two-story exhibition hall were built.

Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, the popularity of the Allentown Fair continued to grow. However, increased attendance led to dissatisfaction regarding the fairground’s size, facilities, short race track and small grandstand. In 1889, the Lehigh County Agricultural Society purchased a plot of land on Seventeenth Street, between Chew and Liberty Streets, to serve as the new fairgrounds.One of the primary features of the new location was a new half-mile race track, with grandstands capable of seating 2,500.

From its earliest days, horse racing was a popular event at the Allentown Fair. In 1902, the fair’s half-mile track was regarded as “one of the finest in the country.” In 1905, racehorse Dan Patch set a record of 2:01 on the half-mile track. In 1908, a new grandstand was built at the Allentown Fairgrounds that increased seating capacity from 2,500 to 10,000. As of 2009, this structure remains in use as the Fairgrounds’ grandstand.

Wikipedia

1900 Advertisement for fair, showing track

Official site

Kermel Market, Dakar, Senegal


Afrique Occidentale (Sénégal) – DAKAR. – Le Marché

Published: Edmond Fortier, 1920s
Postmark: possibly 1925

Street view.

At one stall in the Kermel, that of Samba Beye, one can find bronze figures ranging from a few inches to several feet high, starting at $10 and climbing to hundreds of dollars. One piece depicted a seated man playing the cora, a stringed instrument made from a calabash, a gourdlike fruit; another was of a man playing a balafon, a xylophone with wooden keys resting on calabashes.

Another booth in the Kermel features paintings on glass (about $7), which are created by etching and then painting on the back of a piece of glass. The images are usually done in soft colors and often depict scenes of village life.

It is also at the Kermel that one finds the basket man, in one of the stalls that surround the central building. The afternoon of my visit, as a young man sat weaving cane, I chose from among hundreds of woven baskets that had an unfamiliar smell of freshness. My purchase – a set of three nesting baskets, a large open basket and a lidded, barrel-shaped basket – came to $11.
Shopper’s World; Dakar’s Markets: Strategies For Buyers (NY Times, 1985)

The covered Marché Kermel, behind Ave Sarraut and within walking distance of Marché Sandaga, sells a mixture of foodstuffs and souvenirs. It’s mainly worth visiting for the beautiful building that shelters its busy stalls. The original 1860 construction burnt down in 1994, but the 1997 reconstruction has been closely modelled on the building’s initial structure and decoration.
Lonely Planet

In 1865, a large shed on Kermel’s square was designed by the Department of Bridges and Roadways (le service des ponts et chaussées) of the colony of Senegal for the protection of commodities from dust, rain and sun. It was a strictly functional structure made of metal pillars and roofing, with no embellishment, intended, inter alia, to reduce the street-stall phenomenon that was condemned by the colonial administration.
The name ’Kermel’ (then Quermel) was probably a distortion of ’Kernel’ (quernel) – referring to the thriving regional commerce in grains and spices. Such functional, simple, and modest structures like Kermel’s first version were perfectly conformed with the initial needs of the colonial authorities, both British and French, especially in West Africa – the poor relative of other colonialisms in regions that were considered as more privileged and worthy of investment.

The transformation of the shed of Kermel into a semi-monumental market in the 1900s was in perfect conformity with these developments. The new version of Kermel was based on prefabricated iron foundation and its architectural design, winner of a competition closed on 31 October 1907, was in line with the form of the polygonal square. The work started in April 1908 and was completed by 1910. It included a prefabricated gallery encircling the main body of the building and a prefabricated metal skeleton that was casted in France. Kermel evokes qualities similar to the great metal markets which were erected in metropolitan France itself and in other European countries by the late nineteenth century.

(Re-)Producing the Marché Kermel

The Prefecture, Algiers, Algeria

S. — ALGER. — La Préfecture

Google Maps

The Prefecture, also known as the Wilaya building, was built in 1904. The building’s architecture is a blend of a multitude of styles. The dominant style is Neo-Moorish colonial. The walls of the Prefecture are snow white, which makes it highly visible. The facade of the building has a variety of splendid engravings and ornaments. The pillars give the Prefecture a very aristocratic look. Architect Henri Petit designed the building.
GPSMyCity

The Palace of the Republic (Presidential Palace), Dakar, Senegal


90. — Afrique Occidentale (Sénégal)
DAKAR
Palais du Gouvernement Général

Western Africa (Senegal) — DAKAR — General Government Palace

Published: Edmond Fortier, 1920s
Postmark: possibly 1925

Street View

The Palace of the Republic, residence of the President of the Republic, is a historic manor located in the Plateau district of Dakar, capital city of Senegal. Built in 1902, the Palace used to be the official residence of the Governor General of French West Africa. The Palace, the construction of which was commissioned in 1902 by Gaston Doumergue, Minister of Colonies at the time, was initially built to accommodate the Governor General of French West Africa (AOF), who was living in Saint-Louis, in the capital. It was designed by Henri Deglane.

After five years of construction, this neoclassical building topped with a tower inspired by the Trocadéro in Paris, was inaugurated on June 28, 1907 as the Palace of the General Government. The Governor General at the time, Ernest Roume, was the first to take up residence in the Palace. He was charged to move the seat of the General Government of the AOF from Saint-Louis to Dakar, and to set up the central administrative structures of this sprawling territorial whole.

The Governors General, then the High Commissioners were designated as heads of the Palace. As architecture and technology evolved over time, the building underwent several renovations giving it its current shape with monumental and understated lines.
Presidency of Senegal


Afrique Occidentale Française — 13 — DAKAR — Le Palais du Gouverneur Général

French Western Africa — DAKAR — Governor-General’s Palace


152.- Afrique Occidentale (Sénégal)
DAKAR. – Palais du Gouvernement vu de l’Anse Bernard

Government palace from the cove.

Published: Edmond Fortier, 1920s
Postmark: possibly 1925