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Pekin, Walls Of The Tartar City [c1894-1896] William H. Jackson [RESTORED]. | by ralphrepo
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Pekin, Walls Of The Tartar City [c1894-1896] William H. Jackson [RESTORED].

Entitled: Pekin, Walls of the Tartar City [c1894-1896] By WH Jackson [RESTORED]. The photograph was pretty faded and needed extensive contrast adjustment to make more details visible. The bottom left corner was repaired, and a large spot of mold (?) on the upper right corner of the original, was retouched out. I then added a sepia tone.


William Henry Jackson was most famous as one of the last US Civil War soldiers to pass on, living to a ripe old age of 99 years. While he was alive though, he didn't just sit on his laurels. He was also well known for his extensive and remarkable photographic records of the American west when it was still wild and full of Indians that took scalps (natives that killed you and then took your hair as a trophy). While working for the government, he was tasked to travel with the World Transportation Commission, and had journeyed to China between 1894-1896. In that short period, he was able to take some excellent photographs that still fills a viewer with awe. His extensive collection, including photos from his Asian and Pacific tour, resides at the William Henry Jackson Collection at the Historical Photograph Archives of Brigham Young University.


The photograph above conveys a majesty that is rarely seen, even by today's standards. The huge tower and extensive wall, receding as far as they eye can see, somehow belied the fact that the imperial government was really just a shadow of its former self. In a few short years, the Qing dynasty, despite those powerful walls, would literally cease to exist. China would choose to dispose of its monarchy and become a republic.

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Taken on November 3, 2009