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ID16
TitleEastern China Advertising Company, Proposed Standard Type of Highway Electric Clock for International Concession in Shanghai (1931)
Year1931-1932
DateMonday 7 September 1931
Estimated dateSeptember 1931, 7-July 4, 1932
Estimated period1930-1937
LocationShanghai IS
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Proposed Standard Type of Highway Electric Clock for International Concession in Shanghai

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Erection in Settlement Streets of Standards Clocks for Advertising Purposes - Eastern China Advertising Company & Ningpo Residents' Guild. 1931-1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0313-0381).
Electric clocks (2) - Eastern China Advertising Co. vs. Communicatus Advertising Co. 1931-1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-14-3257 (2278-2315).

Letter from Eastern China Company to Secretary requesting permission of erecting standards clocks for advertising purpose as well as public utility. Shanghai, September 7, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0329).

We beg to submit for your approval a scheme, which whilst being a commercial proposition, will be one of public utility in view of the rapid growth of Shanghai. This idea will bring this city of ours more into line with the large cities of foreign countries. The basis of the scheme is as follows:
(1) The Eastern China Advertising Company are to erect in certain streets fifteen public standard time keepers and utilize the whole of the standards for commercial advertising purposes.
(2) The time keepers will be run by electricity.
(3) Coas of erection, repairs, etc, to be borne by the Eastern China Advertising Company.
(4) Erection of the said timekepers to be carried out by the Public Works Department, Shanghai Council.
(5) Electrical installation and supply of electricity by the Shanghai Power Company on application of Shanghai Municipal Council on behalf of Eastern China Advertising Company.
(6) Cost of electricity consumed for commercial advertising pruposes to be borne by Eastern China Advertising Company.
(7) Cost of electricity consumed by timekeepers to be borne by Shanghai Municipal Council.
(8) The sole advertising rights for the standards to be grenated to Eastern China Advertising Company by Shanghai Municipal Council.
(9) The Shanghai Municipal Council are requested to agree to prevent any other person or company from erecting any time keeper of a similar nature in Shanghai.
(10) This contract to cover a period of ten years from date of erection.
(11) In consideration of the foregoging the Shanghai Municipal Council are requested to exemplt the Eastern China Advertising Company from all rentals and taxes in respect of the said standards and in return the Eastern China Advertising Company offer to the Shanghai Municipal Council, gratis, possession of the standards, including the advertising rights at the termination of the 10 year contract. After the above period should the Shanghai Municipal Council issue tenders for the advertising space on the standards the Eastern China Advertising Company are to be given preference, i.e. the first offer.
(12) In case the Shanghai Municipal council collect, fees, rentals and taxes for the timekeepers and special rates for the advertisements from the Eastern China Advertising Company, the offer made in paragraph
(11) above is rescinded, i.e. the timekeepers are to remain in the possession of the Eastern China ADvertising Company.
(13) If proposal is accepted under article
(12) the Eastern China Advertising Company have the right of selling, transferring, removing or freely giving to others at their own option and at any time either prior to or after termination of the ten years contract on account of decline in business; the responsibility of paying fees, rentals and taxes, of land and special advertising rates in respect of the standards not be held by the Eastern China Advertising Company after the date of selling, transferring, removing or giving such standards to others.
(14) The proposal is to erect fifteen timekeepers. This number may be increased if necessary with the approval of the Shanghai Council. The proposed locations are as follows (...).
(15) Provided erection of the standards is approved the Shanghai Municipal Council are to invite a representative of the Eastern China Advertising Company to decide upon the final positions of such standards.
(16) As circumstances may necessitate the removal of the timekeepers the Eastern China Advertising Company may petition the Shanghai Municipal Council to allow removal of same.
(17) The Eastern China Advertising Company are not to be held to a fixed number of timekeepers.
(18) Plans for erection and form of said timekeepers are to be presented to the Shanghai Municipal Council for approval.

We hope that the above proposition and the alternative articles may invite your kind attention and we also beg you to accept and consider them at your earliest convenience.
The petition is written in Chinese which is considered as formal and essential, translation in English being made for easy understanding and reference.  

Commissioner of Public Works to Acting Secretary. "Advertising Standards on Footpaths". Letter from the Eastern China Advertising Company, dated September 7th, 1931. Shanghai, September 9, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0329).
 
(reminding the rejection of a similar application (Art Picture Advertising Company?)

A similar application was received from another concern two years ago and after a sample pillar had been erected on the Bund the proposal was rejected.
In the Acting Commissioner's report dated May 21, 1929, it was stated "that street advertising is undesirable and facilities should not be provided by the Council. The illuminated signs will naturally attract the attention of pedestrians and congestion will result on narrow footpaths.". / The matter was considered at a meeting of the Traffic Committee on June 6th 1929, and the Council's refusal was contained in the Secretary's letter dated June 13th, which stated inter alia that "the Council is unwilling to accord permission for the introduction of the type of pillar proposed on the grounds of the aggravation of the existing congestion on public footways which would ensue".
As the base of the standard now prepared is 3 1/2 inches larger that the one previously under consideration, the objection still obtain to an even grated degree and I recommend the application for refusal. . (p.2/2) It should be noted that the type of standard now proposed is 14' high, 1'6" square at the base and 2'0" square above a height of 7'0".

Translation of Letter to Acting Secretary from Ningpo Residents' Guild Dated 10th Septembre, 1931. "Clock: Proposal to put up". Shanghai, September 10, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0330-0332).

Mr. Yen Pah-ying (a member of the Executive Committee of this Association, has sent in the following letter: "I propose to put up a clock at some busy and important spot in the Settlement for the benefit of the public; the clock will be placed on the top of a pole which will also bear various advertisements to promote trade. The idea is being submitted to the Council in writing in the forme of a petition the Hua Tung Advertising Agency. As the matter concerns the Council, the support of public organizations is necessary for it to be carried out. The question of monopoly (as regards advertisements, translator), being associated with the scheme it calls for due consideration. A copy of the petition to the Council is sent herewith to the Ningpo Residents' Association with the request that the Council be asked to grant its sanction." To install a public clock for the convenience of the public is an important matter as it aids the Council in its administration and the advertisements tend to promote trade. The Secretary is therefore asked to give his consent.

Commissioner of Police to Acting Secretary. "Electric Timekeepers - Advertising - Ref. No. 4784/1 of 7-9-31. Shanghai, September 17, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0333).
 
(recommending the Eastern Advertising Company/Ningpo Residents' Guild's application be rejected because of congested condition of the streets)

 I concur to the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Works that this form of advertising is not desirable owing to the congested condition of the streets of the Settlement and recommend that the Council adhere to its former policy, as already expressed in 1929.

Circular to Traffic Committee with departmental comments "Advertising - Clock Standards on Footpaths". Shanghai, September 19, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0334).
 
Application by the Eastern China Advertising Company supported by the Ningpo Residents' Association, for permission to erect in the streets 15 standards combining clocks and advertisements; with comments thereon by the Commissioner of Works and Police.
 
In 1927 the Council negatived an application for permission to instal Advertising Clocks (combining a clock and advertising matter) in the Settlement streets, it being intended to utilize the poles of te barious public utility companies. Permission was subsequently given for their experimental installation, but there is no record that such permission was availed of.
 
The report of the Commissioner of Public Works attached, attached, relates the Council's attitude to a somewhat analogue case in 1929.
 
It remains to add that the Traffic Commission recorded the recommendation that "unecessary poles on footways should be avoided".
Since the "Traffic" interests would appear to be the paramount consideration, outweighing the advantage of additionel facilities for knowing the time of for trade advertising, and as those interested will not be served by approval of the present applicaiton, it is recommended that the application be negatived.

Acting Secretary to Eastern China Advertising Company. Shanghai, September 29, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0335).

(informing Company that the Council is unwilling to accord permission for introduction of Standards clocks and advertisements on the grounds of the aggravation of the existing congestion on public footways)

I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of September 7, applying for permission to erect in the streets 15 Standards combining clocks and advertisements.
In reply, I am directed to inform you that having carefully considered all the attendant factors, the Council is unwilling to accod permission for the introduction of those Standards, on the grounds of the aggravation of the existing congestion on public footways which would be caused.  

Acting Secretary to Ningpo Residents' Guild. Shanghai, September 29, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0336).

(forwarding the letter sent to Eastern China Advertising Company and informing Company that the Council is unwilling to accord permission for introduction of Standards clocks and advertisements on the grounds of the aggravation of the existing congestion on public footways)

I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of September 10, and in reply, to send you a copy of a letter which has today been addressed to the Eastern China Advertising Company, regarding their application to erect in the streets 15 Standards combining clocks and advertisements.  

Letter from Eastern China Company to Secretary pointing out that a large amount of capital has been expended on the project and requesting further consideration of the project and forwarding photographs. Shanghai, October 24, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0337).

Reference your letter No. 4784/1 dated 29th ult. (September 1931). We beg to point out that it was never our intention to erect the said standards on the footpaths, as is shewn by the accompying photograph. In our Article No.15 we stated that should the Shanghai Municipal Council grant permission to our application, we would expect the Council's representative to meet us to agree upon the exact location in accordance with the Council's wishes.
We further wish to point out that a large amount of capital has been expended on the project and in view of the fact that we do not expect the Council to bear any expense, we would greatly appreciate a more favourable consideraiton of the proposal.
We also wish to draw your attention to the fact that a number of these timekeepers have been erected in Chapei, one of which is at the junction of North Szechuen Road near the Odeon Theater.

Commissioner of Police to Acting Secretary. Ref. No. 4784/1 of October 27, 1931. Shanghai, November 7, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0338).
(maintaining his refusal).

I still adhere to the opinion expressed in this office No.C5069 of September 17, 1931. The four photographs are returned herewith.  

Commissioner of Public Works to Acting Secretary. "Advertising Signs on Public Roads". Letter from the Eastern China Advertising Company dated October 24th 1931. Advertising Signs on Public Roads. Shanghai, November 10, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0339).

(maintaining his refusal)

I am still of the opinion that advertising standards should not be permitted on public road. The one erected off North Szechuen Road in the Chapei area, is unsightly and if the provision of public clocks is considered desirable in public roads they ca be erected without being surmounted on large advertising pedestals.

Acting Secretary to Eastern China Advertising Company informing Company maintaining the Council's unwillingness to accord permission for introduction of Standards clocks and advertisements on the grounds of the aggravation of the existing congestion on public footways. Shanghai, November 11, 1931. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0344).

In reply to your letter of October 2, I am directed to inform you that the ojection against the erction of Standards combining clocks and advertisements on the public footpaths applies, to an even greater degree, to their erection in the public roadway. / I regret, therefore, that the Council is unable to accord permission for the introduction of these Standards on either the public footpaths or roadways.

Clock Wanted - Translation of Letter to Council from Ningpo Residents' Guild Dated 19th January 1932. Shanghai, January 19, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0345-0346).

Clock wanted. The following joint letter has been received from Ching Sung-ch'ing, Tung Tze-hsing, Sze Zeng-Yao, Ching Zeu-piao, Vung Kuei-yung, Sung Veng-kong, Ho Neu-zao, Wong Yu-seng, Ling Nyiang-tsei, Zeng Yien-ling, Tsang Ling-kuei, Yu San-fu, Zeng Hsi-tong, Ling Tong-seng, Wong Zeu-pang, Zao Sz-hsing, Tsong Pao-nyu, Zeng Pei-chieh, Ku Hang-zi, Zeng Yoh-kong, Kung Seu-yoh, Ho-Zeng,zei, Tung I-hsing, Zeng Tsz-tsing, Seng Veng-yung, Tseu Peng-tzu, and Tzu Ying-tsong, members of this Association.

With reference to the invitation of the Ratepayers' Association for expression of views on Municipal adminisrtation, as reported in the press inthe middle of November, 1931, questions have been set by the Association. Answers to the questions are to be sent to the Shanghai Municipal Council for consideration and upon approval, to be forwarded to Dr. Wu, advisor to the Council, to be used as material for the compilation of a report. Dr. Wu considered the questions very important and that the members of the Ratepayers' Association must be asked to express their views. Accordingly, he requested the Chinese Ratepayers' Association to write separated letter to invite all its member sto voice their opinions. From this, it is evident that the Council has decided to improve Municipal Administration and we rejoice very much indeed. As we are residents in the International Settlement, we share in the responsibility of improving Municipal Administration. We have our views on the subject and should not refrain from expressing them. Clocks have been set up on busy thoroughfares in Chapei and Nantao, Chinese territory, for the conveniences of the public. Time-pieces in Chinese territory are thus regulated and industrialists, merchants and other residents are benefitted by the plan. Some householders fo not posess time-pieces, and occasionally fail to keep appointments. Workmen cannot afford to provide themselves with time-pieces, and are themselves liable to got to work after the fixed hour. Although some shops have clocks, their time is not always correct. If santadard clocks are set up in the Settlement all time-pieces can naturally be adjusted. Those who possess no time-pieces will observe the time of these clocks and will not fall into error. The benefit will be widespread. The Municipal COuncil must ignore the mesure proposed. Although we are residents of the Interational Settlement, we are not members of the Ratepayer's Association and therefore fin it inexpedient to write direct to that Association. The Ningpo Residents' Guild is asked to write to request the Shanghai Municipal Council to adopt the plan suggested so as to improve Municipal Administration."
In September 1931, a suggestion to the same effect was made by Mr. Yen Pah-ying, an executive member of the Ningpo Residents' Guild. Mr Yen has formulated a plan and submitted it to the Council for approval. The Ningpo Residents' Guild has also written to the Council to request that the plan be adopted. According to the foregoing letter, it is necessary to provide the public with standard clocks. It is urged that Mr Yen's plan be carried out. The Council will gain much gratitude for a small outlay. We trust that the plan will meet with the Council's approval. The Council is asked to note the above letter and to quickly carry out the plan suggested. Reply solicited.

Standard Clocks - Letter from the Ningpo Residents' Guild dated January 19th 1932 - Commissioner of Public Works to Secretary opposing the petition. Shanghai, January 25, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0352).

The letter refers to the necessity for the provision of standard clocks but in the last paragraph reference is made to the proposal submitted by Mr. Yenn in September 1931. / The petition is apparently an attempt to obtain permission of the erection of advertising standards and I am opposed to this as stated in my report dated November 10, 1931.

Standard Clocks - Letter from the Ningpo Residents' Guild dated January 19 1932 - Assistant Secretary to Secretary opposing the petition. Shanghai, January 26, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0353).

This is a further attempt on the part of Yen Pei-ying and Wong Shu-yen to obtain the Council's permission of the erection of standard clocks for advertising purposes. / I suggest that a reply be given in the same sens as that of the Council's letter dated September 29, 1931.

Secretary to Ningpo Residents' Guild regretting the Council cannot approve their proposal on the grounds that the same suggestion made by Mr. Yen Pah-ying on November 1931 had been rejected. Shanghai,  January 27, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0354).

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 19 requesting the Council to consider the erection of public clocks in the Settlement.
The last paragraph of your letter refers to a suggestion made by Mr. Yen Pah-ying which amounted to a request for a permit for the erection of advertising standards. The Council replied to Mr. Yen's suggestion on November 11 stating its objection to any form of trade advertising in connection with the clock standards, and poiting out that any advantages to be gained through the use of clocks would be considerably outweighed by traffic inconvenience. It is therefore regretted that the Council cannot approve your proposal.  

Translation of petition to Secretary from Eastern China Company to Secretary Dated 4th July, 1932. Shanghai, July 4, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0355-0356).

Commissioner of Police to Secretary. Letter (in English and Chinese) from Eastern China Company to Secretary requesting permission of erecting standards clocks for advertising purpose as well as public utility Ref. No. 4784/1 of July 12. Shanghai, July 15, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0373).

I am of opinion that the roads in the International Settlement are unsuitable for this form of advertisement and with the continuous increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic the necessity for prohibiting anything that may tend to cause obstruction of congestion is more apparent than before. I suggest a reply in the terms of your No. 4784/1 of September 29, 1931.


Letter from the Communicatus Advertising Co. - to Assistant Commissioner - PWD. Shanghai, July 8, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-14-3257 (2306).  

In view of the successful experiment made by the Municipality of Greater Shanghai in introducing the use of electrically operated Master Clock with numberous Secondary Clocks placed at important road crossings, and in consideration of the fact that such centrally controlled and operated clocks, giving always the correct standard time, are becoming a daily necessity in large cities, the undersigned company beg in propose to the Council through your medium to instal in the International Settlement a Central Master Clock to give the local standard time, with secondary clocks similar to these now in popular use in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Greated Shanghai.

These Secondary Clocks, as shown tentatively in the accompaying sketch, are to be connected to and operated by the Master Clock. The former will be mounted on top of an ornamental stnadard of substantial construction, measuring about 12 ft. in height and to be planted to the ground just like an ordinary lamp post. A limited portion of the standard will be designed and shaped in such a way that it may inoffensively and pertinently carry advertising posters.

Should your Department and the Council consider such a plan feasible, we will submit our detailed proposal for your further consideration. Awaiting your valuable instruction.  

Advertising Signs on Public Roads - Letter from the Eastern China Advertising Company - dated 4/7/1932 - Ref. No.4784/1 - Commissioner of Public Works to Secretary stating that he sees no reason why the Council's decision should be reversed whil the previous application from this Company was refused on November 11, 1931. Shanghai, July 18, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0374).

The previous application from this Company was refused (vide your letter to them dated 11/11/1931) and I see no reason why the Council's decision should be reversed. The blue print is returned herewith.  

Deputy Secretary to Eastern China Advertising Company informing the company that the Council has consistently refused to sanction the erection of clocks and illuminated bus stops on Municipal roads or footpaths on the grounds that they would add obstruction to the increasing volume of traffic. Shanghai, July 21, 1932. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3381 (0381).

I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 4, renewing your application for permission to erect standard electric timekeepers on certain roads in the Settlement. In reply thereto, I am directed to inform you that the Council has consistently refuse to sanction the erection of clocks and illuminated bus stops on Municipal roads or footpaths, on the grounds that any advantage which the public might derive from these conveniences would be far outweighed by the added obstruction of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It is regretted therefore, that your application cannot be favourable entertained.

Keyword(s) [en]SK_015, standard, highway, electric clock, Eastern China Advertising Company, engineering, public, resident, guild
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