Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

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Pupils Study in San Francisco's Chinatown

This photograph shows a schoolroom scene from San Francisco's Chinese Public School, circa late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The Chinese immigrant students are taught by a middle-class white woman. Note the students' traditional dress and pigtails, a remnant of life under the Manchu Dynasty. The Manchus mandated that Han Chinese wear pigtails as a sign of subservience; after the Manchu Dynasty fell in 1911, Chinese men no longer wore the style. The students' hairstyles help date the photograph to before 1911.

Source | "[school room scene]," before 1910, California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library, from Calisphere,
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | Photograph
Cite This document | Unknown, “Pupils Study in San Francisco's Chinatown,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 22, 2023,

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