A study of western influence on Chinese building tools in chinese treaty ports in the early 20th century
This article looks at building tools and the significant evidence for the transition from craftsmanship and the mixing of Chinese and foreign working methods in the early 20th century. Although a number of Western scholars and Chinese researchers have studied traditional Chinese traditional tools, the transformation of tools from their traditional forms to modern ones in China has not been properly investigated. This article provides the first discussion of the introduction of Western tools and machinery and their effects on the building industry in Chinese Treaty Ports in the early 20th century. It highlights how the contemporary Western standards and expectations distorted Western perceptions of Chinese tools, and how European traders promoted Western hand tools and machines in China. It also shows how the Chinese fascination with Western machinery in turn blinded them from appreciating their traditional heritage in the eyes of some Westerners.