Plan of the Jiangnan General Manufacturing Bureau


Shown here is the plan of the Jiangnan General Machinery Manufacturing Bureau located in Shanghai, with the title on the top, Jiangnan zhi zao zong ju ping mian tu (Plan of the Jiangnan General Manufacturing Bureau). The abbreviated names of the bureau were Jiangnan zhi zao ju (Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau) and Jiangnan zhi zao zong ju (Jiangnan General Manufacturing Bureau). It was also known as Shanghai ji qi ju (Shanghai Machinery Bureau). Established to produce military equipment during the Westernization movement of the Qing dynasty, the bureau was the most important Chinese military arsenal in the late Qing. It was a modern military establishment of the largest scale, established by the Westernization group in the Qing government. The arsenal was also one of the earliest modern manufacturing installations among the bureau’s factories. It was planned by Zeng Guofan (1811−72), the eminent vice president of the Board of War, and opened on September 20, 1865. The politician, diplomat, and general Li Hongzhang (1823−1901) later took charge of the arsenal. This was Li Hongzhang’s largest Westernization enterprise in Shanghai. The scale of the plan shown here was one-eighth of an inch to ten feet (3.17 millimeters to 3.05 meters). The plan was drawn by a member of the Lei family, eight generations of whom made records of architectural designs for the imperial family, especially of the Summer Palace.

Last updated: March 4, 2015