Chinese railroad workers in US remembered in show

By Wang Kaihao | | Updated: 2019-08-06 16:12
Old photo of a sign in Utah marking a new record that Chinese workers built 10 miles of railways within one day.[Photo provided to]

An exhibition commemorating Chinese workers’ great contributions to the construction of the transcontinental Pacific Railway in the United States kicked off at the Overseas Chinese Museum of China in Beijing on Aug 6.

Gold Spike: The Exhibition on Chinese Workers Along American Railways showcases dozens of old pictures and cultural relics related to that history, transporting visitors back one and a half centuries ago. Old photos documented the working environment at construction sites, as well as the lives of workers after the project.

Qi Degui, director of the Overseas Chinese Museum of China, said the exhibition aims to fully display the strong spirit of overseas Chinese as well as encourage them to make constant contributions to the prosperity of their residential countries and build a community with a shared future for humankind.

Construction of the 3,000-kilometer-long Pacific Railway, widely acclaimed as one of industrial wonders of the world, completed in 1869, seven years earlier than originally planned.

About 23,000 Chinese laborers from Guangdong province, nearly 85 percent of the total number of construction workers, participated in the project. While building the railway, they had to withstand the tough natural environments of deserts and mountains. But unfortunately, around 1,300 of them died in the United States during the construction.

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