Shanghai Volunteer Corps plan of Shanghai

Shanghai and Environs 1924 Photographically reduced from S.V.C. Map.This map is compiled from surveys by the Shanghai Municipal Council, the French Municipal Council, the Whangpoo Conservancy Board, the Chinese Maritime Customs, the Woosung Port Development Administration, the Chapei and Nantao Authorities.

Asia China
  • Publication place: Southampton
  • Publisher: The Ordnance Survey
  • Publication date: 1926.
  • Physical description: Folding photolithograph map, mounted on linen.
  • Dimensions: 940 by 810mm. (37 by 32 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2151


Detailed plan of Shanghai.

The map was reduced from one produced by the Shanghai Volunteer Corps (S.V.C.). The S.V.C. was the part time military unit of the International Settlement in Shanghai, from 1853 to 1942.

During the 1920s and 30s Shanghai had become the most important port in Asia, with tea, silks and porcelain being exported to Europe and America, and a great deal of opium being imported. The city was home to some 3 million inhabitants, of which 70,000 were foreigners. Although small in number, the foreigners (mainly British, French, American, Russian and Japanese), due to land concessions – which are clearly delineated on the map – controlled almost half the city and much of the import and export trade. What is not marked on the plan, however, are the city’s notorious opium dens and whorehouses; with such earthly temptations well catered for and no passports or visas required, Shanghai became an infamous and exotic port of call.