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Robert Henry Chandless Photographs of China, 1898-1908

Chinese Servant
Chinese Servant

Robert Henry Chandless was born in 1880 in Germantown, Philadelphia to Henry and Anna. Henry was born in London in 1853 and arrived in New York on April 28, 1876 onboard the S.S. Periere. He married Anna Jungkurth, probably in 1878. According to his son's passport applications, he spent much of his life in New York. Robert Chandless married Effie M. Ragsdale August 2, 1910. Effie (born 1887) was the daughter of James W. Ragsdale, American Consul in Tientsin, China. Robert and Effie's daughter Florence was born July 20, 1912 in Tientsin. Florence later married John Stenhouse in Tientsin on October 31, 1934.

Robert Chandless arrived in Shanghai from New York around 1900 to join the British import-export firm of Poole Lauder. He later went to Tientsin to join a different firm, which failed in 1906. The following year he joined with Mr. Batouieff, a Russian, and established the firm of Chandless Batouieff & Co. After Mr. Batouieff's death, the firm became Chandless & Co., which continued to do business under that name until 1939.

Although little is known about him, his collection of photographs represent a fascinating travelogue of images of China in the early 1900s. These include candid scenes and tourist views of Peking and Tientsin; foreign legations and private residences of American, British and other diplomatic personnel; the wool industry in Tientsin; and contemporary views of the Boxer Rebellion (1900) including images of the international relief force of soldiers and sailors that came to the aid of the besieged foreign delegations in Peking and elsewhere.

About the Database

Information for Robert Henry Chandless Photographs was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division and Cataloging staff in 2001. Not all the images from the original collection of over 1400 photographs were included in this database. 536 photographs in the Chandless Collection were chosen to be digitized. The images were scanned in grayscale using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the images was done to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Content program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Robert Henry Chandless Collection no. 214.

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