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Claude Kinder Papers

Date range: 1846-1916

Medium: Archive

Papers of Claude William Kinder (1952-1936), railway engineer. Kinder was an important figure in the development of the Chinese railway system in the late nineteenth century.

In 1878, Kinder was appointed engineer to the Chinese Engineering and Mining Co., located in Tangshan, Hubei province. Here in 1881 he built the "Rocket of China", considered to be China's first domestically-built steam engine, which worked the Kaiphing Tramway. During the 1880s and 1890s he helped develop further rail lines in northern China for the Kaiphing Railway Co., which later became Imperial Railways of North China. He retired as general manager and chief engineer of this company in 1909.

Kinder's papers include letter and document books relating to his work for Imperial Railways of North China, reports, photographs and maps. Perhaps the most interesting part of the archive are Kinder's diaries (1889-1909) which provide details of contemporary political events such as the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the Boxer Uprising (1899-1901) as well as his business activities.

Further information:

Outline catalogue available via Special Collections reading rooms.


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