Early 20th century photos of Shanghai show a city in transition. As one of the ports opened by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, Shanghai quickly grew into a center of trade between West and East. These photos show life during the turbulent time between opening and the Japanese occupation in 1937.

The shadow of future chaos hangs over these photos. Shanghai later suffered a brutal occupation by the Japanese, and was thrown into chaos during the Cultural Revolution. Only in the past 30 years has it grown into the international center of commerce that once seemed like its destiny.