The Qinhuangdao Port Museum was renovated out of the Senior Staff Club of Qinhuangdao Kailuan Mining Bureau. Located at No. 13 Nanshan Street, Haigang District, it is the first port theme museum in Hebei Province with an area of more than 4,000 square meters. It was officially opened to the public in June 2013.
Qinhuangdao port opened in 1898. During its construction and development over 100 years, many industrial heritages have been kept intact. The modern architectural complex of Qinhuangdao Port, composed of 21 modern industrial and heritage buildings, was listed among the 7th batch of national key cultural relic protection units on May 3, 2013. The Senior Staff Club of Qinhuangdao Kailuan Mining Bureau which was built in 1911, is an important part of the modern building complex in Qinhuangdao Port, with a history of more than 100 years. In 2012, on the basis of maintaining the original architectural style and pattern, Hebei Port Group transformed it into a port museum based on the local conditions in a simple style.
The museum is divided into an indoor exhibition hall and an outdoor exhibition area. There are five indoor exhibition halls, including the port origin, ancient Jieshi Port, modern self-opening port, and modern hub port. The hall comprehensively introduces the long history and culture as well as the great changes of the Qinhuangdao Port through text descriptions, picture displays, cultural relics exhibitions, model demonstrations, three-dimensional animations, and scene reproductions, showing the brilliant achievements of the rapid rise of the century port since the reform and opening up.
I.Exhibiton Hall No.1
This hall mainly introduces the origin of the port, the ancient Jieshi Port, and the modern self-opening port.
1.Origin of the Port
The port has undergone three stages: a natural state, a semi-natural and semi-social humanistic state, and a social humanity state. The port originated as just a docking place for boats in the natural state. With the development of economy, it gradually became a distribution center for goods, and took on the shape of port, later called berth or wharf.
There are more than 18,000 kilometers long of coastline and more than 5,000 islands in China, and the marine resources are very rich. China is one of the first outstanding nations in the world to use marine resources and build maritime traffic. Our ancestors created the long-standing marine culture of our Chinese nation, and gave birth to a splendid blue oriental civilization.
2. Ancient Jieishi Port
Qinhuangdao was called Jieshi in ancient times, and the port was called Jieshi Port for more than 2,700 years. Boats gathered here in the Xia and Shang Dynasties, and it has been an important trading gateway since the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, and gradually developed into a major trading port, a key place for coastal defense, and a strategic military fortress along the coast of China’s ancient Bohai Sea.
In 215 BC, Qin Shi Huang made his eastern tour to this place, sent people to the sea to seek for immortality, and engraved the Poetry of Jieshimen, which is the origin of Qinhuangdao. In 110 BC, after worshipping heaven and earth on Mount Taishan, Emperor Wu Liu Che of the Han Dynasty proceeded northward from Yantai along the sea to Jieshi, and built the “Hanwutai (Tower of Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty)” on Lianpengshan Hill in Beidaihe. In 207 AD, Emperor Wu Cao Cao of the Wei Dynasty wrote his famous Guan Cang Hai (Watching the Sea) in Jieshi when he defeated northern barbarian tribe Wuhuan. In 645 AD, Emperor Taizong Li Shimin engraved his poem Chun Ri Wang Hai (Watching the Sea in Spring) to express his aspirations when he returned from the war against Korea.
3. Self-opening Port in Modern Times
The Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1894. The government of the Qing Dynasty signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, thus China’s sovereignty over the coastal port was almost lost. Therefore, the Qing government wanted to open up a proper port. Qinhuangdao became the best choice for the port construction due to the calm and deep water, warmer climate, and flat sand beach.
On March 26, 1898, Emperor Guangxu approved the construction of a port in Qinhuangdao, which became the only sovereign port on the Chinese coast at that time. The Kaiping Mining Bureau was responsible for supervising the construction of Qinhuangdao Port. At that time, Zhang Yi, the general manager of the Kaiping Mining Bureau, signed a “borrowing contract” with the British Molin Company to secure the entire industry of the Kaiping Mining Bureau and borrowed 200,000 pounds from the Molin Company to build the docks. Hoover (later the 31st president of the United States), the representative of the British Molin Company, was the chief miner of the Kaiping Mining Bureau.
After the outbreak of the Boxers Movement in 1900, the British took the opportunity to change the port to Qinhuangdao Office of Kaiping Mining Co., Ltd., and the sovereignty of the Kaiping Mining Bureau and the port was taken by the British.
In 1931, the Japanese army launched the war of aggression against China. The British took advantage of the Japanese military to maintain the production and transportation of the mining areas and the port. When the Pacific War broke out in 1942, the Japanese army ousted the British administrators, took over the Qinhuangdao port and imposed military control on the port.
After Japan surrendered in 1945, the KMT government colluded with the United States and Japan to obstruct the Eighth Route Army from taking over the port and mines, and returned the Kailuan Mining Bureau and Qinhuangdao Port to the British.
On November 27, 1948, Qinhuangdao was liberated and the port gradually returned to the hands of the people. Qinhuangdao Port has successively experienced the management of the Kailuan Mining Bureau, the Central Fuel Department, the Ministry of Transportation, the Central Working Committee of Large-scale Enterprises, and the direct management of the Hebei Provincial Government.
Exhibition Hall No.2
This exhibition hall mainly introduces the development stages of the port after the establishment of the new China, when the port staff worked hard through their own efforts to carry out technical transformation of the old port, and greatly enhanced port throughput.
1.The Stage of Manual Labors
In the early 1950s, port loading and unloading relied mainly on manual labors using tools such as crow bars, shovels, pickaxes, and baskets. These simple and crude tools are very similar to the Arabic numerals “1970”, so these “stevedores” were called “1970 troops.” When the workers were loading and unloading goods, they had to walk on a slab that was several meters high above the water, and less than 2 feet wide. They had to be very careful to avoid falling to their death. As the saying goes: “The stevedores get paid with their lives as the cost”, which is a true portrayal of the dockers’ life.
The rolling loading and unloading machinery was adopted in 1955, and the scraper unloading technology was introduced in 1959, the port’s loading and unloading production entered the semi-mechanization stage.
3. Mechanization Stage
From 1957 to 1965, the port staff carried out a technical transformation of the No. 7 berth, and designed and built the first mechanized berth for coal unloading and loading. In 1965, the No. 7 berth realized the “six-machine joint operation” of the screw unloading machine, the transverse belt conveyor, the aisle belt conveyor, the relay belt conveyor, the overhead belt conveyor, and the position-closing machine. Thus, Qinhuangdao Port initially realized the mechanization of port production. The reconstructed No. 7 berth became the main berth of Qinhuangdao Port from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. The annual transportation volume increased from 440,000 tons in 1962 to 2.31 million tons in 1970, which was responsible for 60% of coal transportation, and made a historic contribution to the completion of the production tasks of the port.
Exhibition Hall No.3
This exhibition hall introduces the technical innovation of Qinhuangdao Port, the working competition, the construction of the B dock, the technical reconstruction of the No. 9 berth, and the “three-year construction plan of the port” responding to the call by Premier Zhou Enlai.
1. Technological Innovation and Working Competition
In the historical development of Qinhuangdao Port of over 100 years, the pace of independent research and development and independent innovation has never stopped. Qinhuangdao Port has implemented technical innovation and rationalization proposals since 1953, and extensively carried out working competitions. It has been equipped with rail cranes, loaders, buckets, and battery vehicles, and independently researched and manufactured automatic picking hooks, crab buckets, and bulk grain funnels, effectively promoting the improvement of port throughput. In 1956, the first five-year plan of the port was completed one year ahead of schedule. In 1957, it was listed among the top 6 ports along the coast throughout the country.
1.Construction of the B Dock and Technical Reconstruction of the No. 9 Berth
In 1959, Qinhuangdao Port started construction of the B dock, which met initial production capacity in 1965. In the mid-1960s, the No. 9 berth was transformed into a large coal-based berth, with the function of loading and unloading the mixed coal, and had become the model for the technical transformation in the national transportation system, as well as the main berth for the North-to-South Coal Transfer.
3. Three-year Construction Plan of the Port
In the early 1970s, China's diplomatic policy made a major breakthrough, but the transportation capacity of coastal ports, especially in the aspects of traffic and cargo delivering, severely restricted the development of foreign trade. In 1973, Premier Zhou Enlai called for “changing the port in three years.” Responding to the call of Premier Zhou, the port began mass production and construction. Since then, Qinhuangdao Port has gradually reversed the backwardness of loading and unloading, and has begun to change from a single coal transportation port to a comprehensive port.
Exhibition Hall No.4
This exhibition area shows the process of Qinhuangdao Port developing from a famous natural non-freezing port in northern China into the biggest energy export port and dry bulk port in the world, and becoming a modern comprehensive port through animation and dynamic models.
1.The Main Hub Port of “North-to-South Coal Transfer”
Since 1978, Qinhuangdao Port has risen rapidly, and its port throughput has ranked No. 2 in the national coastal ports for many years, securing its position as the main hub port of “North-to-South Coal Transfer”. In 2007, the 5th coal dock was built and put into operation, with a coal throughput capacity of 193 million tons. Qinhuangdao Port played an important role in the coal supply for the “eight provinces and one city” on the southeast coast. The coal volume once reached 50% of the total water shipments in China. Qinhuangdao Port is the main hub port of China’s “North-to-South Coal Transfer”, playing the role as the national “coal price stabilizer” and the “reservoir of the North-to-South Coal Transfer”, and was hailed as the “barometer of the national economy” by Premier Wen Jiabao.
2. The Modern Comprehensive Port
The cargo throughput of the Qinhuangdao Port was only 227,000 tons in 1949, but exceeded 50 million tons in 1987, and 100 million tons in 2001. It successfully reached 200 million tons in 2006, and made a record high of 279.45 million tons in 2011. In the 21st century, eastern and western port areas were built. While maintaining the status of the main hub port of “North-to-South Coal Transfer”, it has continuously expanded its business scope, and the cargo volume of groceries, oil products and containers continued to rise. With shipments to more than 100 countries and regions, it has become the world's leading public coal port and the biggest dry bulk port in the world, gradually becoming an important modern and comprehensive international trade port in China.
3. Ecological Port
Qinhuangdao Port adheres to the environmental protection concept of “building a green hub and sharing the clear sea and blue sky”, pursuing a green growth model and building a green port. The biggest windbreaker network in Asia was built, and a water treatment plant was constructed, which took the lead in supplying the industrial water with industrial wastewater, urban sewage, and seawater in the coastal ports throughout the country. More than 1 billion yuan was invested to build dust-proof forest belts, green port areas, and environmental management to share the clear sea and blue sky with the Qinhuangdao people. It has been awarded “National Advanced Unit for Environmental Protection” by the State Environmental Protection Administration.
4. Xigang Garden
The Xigang Garden covers an area of about 1,200 mu, consisting of Grand Dock, A Dock, B Dock and South Warehouse, which were closed in 2013. The main landscapes have been redesigned on the basis of the abandoned facilities of the port. Among them, the Oath Garden is a wedding culture industrial park with the theme of love and marriage, which is a perfect place for weddings. “Kaibudi Station” is the train station nearest to the sea in China, where you can take the “Qinlv Shanhai” tourist train for a “tour of oath” to the Banchangyu and Zushan Scenic Spots, and enjoy the mountains, sea, the Great Wall, forests and other landscapes along the way.
5. International Cruise Port
Qinhuangdao Port is well located. Shugang Road is connected to the Jing-Shen Expressway, the Yanhai Expressway, the Qin-Cheng Expressway and National Highways 102 and 205. The goods from the Jingha, Jinshan and Daqin railways can be directly delivered to the port, forming a three-dimensional distribution network of railways, highways and aviation. In recent years, Qinhuangdao Port has actively implemented deployments of the provincial party committee and the provincial government and integrated into the national strategy, focusing on the development of groceries, containers and cruise transportation, and striving to build a well-known international tourist port and a modern comprehensive trade port in accordance with the concept of the “first-class international tourist city” and “establishing the city with the port.”
2. Outdoor Exhibition Area
The outdoor exhibition area mainly focuses on steam locomotives and theme sculptures with the characteristics of the port.
This “upstream No. 1115” steam locomotive was the main locomotive for delivering goods in Qinhuangdao Port in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1899, the first railway of 4.8 kilometers long was built from the dock to Tanghe Railway Station. In the mid-1990s, steam locomotives were replaced by diesel locomotives due to the upgrading of the port equipment. At present, there are only two locomotives in the Qinhuangdao area, which are now used only for exhibition.
Kuailuan Clinker Tiles
This is a kind of fire mud tile produced by the Kailuan General Administration of Mines with a history of 100 years. It is commonly known as the Kuailuan Clinker Tile, which used to be a symbol of quality and credibility, and was exported to Southeast Asia and Latin America. The lettering KMA on the tile is the English abbreviation of the Kailuan Mining Administration, which is both a trademark and an anti-counterfeiting mark.
Cement Table and Chair
In June 1915, when Lady Walsham, a member of the parliament of Florence, Italy, visited Qinhuangdao Port, she lived in the Nanshan Hotel, built a cement table and chair in front of the hotel and engraved words on them as a souvenir.
“Technical Training” Sculptures
In the early 1980s, the activity of “learning and practicing skills” was launched in Qinhuangdao Port. This group of sculptures of young workers learning and practicing skills reproduces a vivid scene of the port construction and development in that year.
White Marble Sculpture
In 207 AD, Cao Cao, Emperor Wu of the Wei Dynasty, wrote his famous Guan Cang Hai (Watching the Sea) in Jieshi when he defeated northern barbarian tribe Wuhuan. Fan Zeng, a calligraphy master, wrote it for Qinhuangdao Port in 1988, and it was embossed on the white marble.
Chun Ri Wang Hai (Watching the Sea in Spring),written by Emperor Taizong Li Shimin, and Qindao Yuge (Qinhuangdao Fisherman’s Song), written by Lu Kaitai, a poet of the Qing Dynasty were embossed on the either side.
These sculptures reproduce the scenes of the work and life of the dock workers in the old Qinhuangao Port. The “Guo Huo” means workers eat together from the same pot, working and living under the control of the contractor. At that time, the workers were mainly farmers from Hebei, Shandong, and Henan who rushed to the northeast China and stayed here. They came to the docks alone, and ended up being lonely, because their poor pay couldn’t support their families, and they had to go to the “Guo Huo” for accommodation.
Take bus No. 8 and get off at Xigang Garden (The Frontier Inspection Station).
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