These 14 images, with their original captions, were the first glass plate negatives by Arnold Arboretum plant explorer Ernest Henry Wilson to be digitized through a grant from Harvard University. The Arboretum holds more than 4,500 photographs that document the flora, landscapes, culture of eastern Asia, now cataloged on VIA, Harvard’s Visual Image Catalog.
The photographs below link to their corresponding holdings records in VIA, which include large interactive image files.
Ficus lacor Hamilton. Wan Hsien, Yangtsze River, China. Height 50 ft. Circumference 15 ft. Head 90 ft. through.
April 1, 1908
Ficus lacor Hamilton. Near Feng-tu Hsein, Yangtsze River, Western Szechuan, China. Height 40 ft. Circumference 12 ft. Head 60 ft. through. With wayside shrine and opium poppy.
April 6, 1908
|China – N.E. of Tachien-lu
View of snow-clad peaks (21,000 ft. or more), of the Ta-p’ao-shan range from the foot of pass. N.E. of Tachien-lu. Altitude 13,500 ft.
July 7, 1908
|China – Tachien-lu river
Western Szechuan. View in ravine of the Tachien-lu river. This stream falls 4,000 ft. in less than 20 miles! Altitude 6,000 ft.
July 30, 1908
|China – Tea Carriers
Western Szechuan. Men laden with “Brick Tea” for Thibet. One man’s load weighs 317 lbs. avoird. the other’s 298 lbs. avoird.! Men carry this tea as far as Tachien-lu accomplishing about six miles per day over vile roads. Altitude 5,000 ft.
July 30, 1908
Diospyrus lotus Linn. Foot of Fei-Yueh-ling, ching Chi Hsien, W. Szechuan, China. Height 80 ft. Circum. 12 ft. Altitude 5000 ft.
August 3, 1908
|China – “Pai-lu” memorial arch
Western Szechuan. “Pai-lu” memorial arch to the memory of a virtuous widow—a common wayside feature in the west. Near Kuing-Chou. Altitude 2,000 ft.
August 8, 1908
|China – Chentu City Ching Yang Temple
China – Chentu Ching Yang Temple. Pavillion with ornate pillars and trunks of Cypressus funebris Endl. Altitude 1700 ft.
August 18, 1908
|China – Chentu City
China – Chentu Fu. Typical lane in Tartar City. Altitude 1700 ft.
August 22, 1908
Ormosia Hosiei Hemsl. & E.H. Wils. (Hung-tou-shu). Tree 60 ft. X 20 ft. the original tree on which the species is based. Near Chentu City, China. Altitude 1,800 ft.
November 11, 1908
|China – Yungyang Hsien
Eastern Szechuan. “A study in architecture.” Castle of rich family named T’ao. Woods of Pinus Massoniana Lamb. behind. Yungyang Hsien. Altitude 3,000 ft.
July 2, 1910
|China – Pa-chou
Sandstone bridge with Cypress. Bamboo and Pistacia chinensis Bunge. Pa-chou. Altitude 2,100 ft.
July 14, 1910
Pistacia chinensis Bunge. A magnificent wayside specimen 60 ft. high, 18 ft. girth. Note buttressed roots and protuberances. Pao-ning Fu, China.
Altitude 2,000 ft.
July 19, 1910
|China – Shih-chuan Hsien suspension bridge
Western Szechuan. Showing structure of Bamboo suspension bridge, laid on 8 cables each a foot in diameter and suspended from two similar cables on either side. Floor of rough wicker work. Shih-chuan Hsien. Altitude 2,700 ft.
August 12, 1910