Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

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Customers Shop in a Chinatown General Store

The Sam Hop Company, a general store on Clay Street in San Francisco, sold a wide assortment of Chinese imported goods. Merchants were the economic and political leaders of Chinatown. They worked with American contractors to bring workers from China and to regulate them once they arrived. Chinese women in the United States, like the one here behind the counter, often helped their husbands run small businesses. General stores carried imported dried and canned foods from China, as well as clothing, toys, pans, and other necessities.  

Source | "Sam Hop Co., 815 Clay St. S.F., Feb. 5 1908," photograph, California Historical Society FN-04899; available from Calisphere,
Creator | Unknown
Rights | Used by permission of the California Historical Society.
Item Type | Photograph
Cite This document | Unknown, “Customers Shop in a Chinatown General Store,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 23, 2023,

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