Chinese Junks from the Transportation Building, WCE

Models of Chinese ships, currently in the Field Museum, were also exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893. However, they appeared in the Transportation Building, not the Chinese Theater and Joss House.  Although made in China, they were chosen for exhibition by European-Americans and did not have anything directly to do with Chinese in Chicago.


Note: The ancestors of many Chinese-Americans came from the same parts of China as these ships.  18th and 19th century emigrants sailed to Southeast Asia in Fujian and Guangdong junks, and many descendants of those emigrants have moved to the Midwestern U.S. in recent years.  Several Southeast Asian Chinese are members of the Chinatown Museum Foundation.