“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

ChungCheng Road, Shanghai, late 1940s

Posted: March 29th, 2021 | No Comments »

A couple of days ago i posted on the Shanghai Senior Vacuum Flask Company who’s HQ in the late 1940s was on ChungCheng Raod. Today here’s an advert for Marco’s Restaurant and Nighclub, also from the late 1940s and also on Chungcheng Road. Chungcheng Road was a short-lived road name in old Shanghai and therein lies a tale….There has not just been one major change of road names in Shanghai – after 1949 from the old concession names, but rather several changes….During the Japanese occupation Wang Jing-wei’s puppet collaborationist regime changed the names of nearly 400 roads in the Settlement and Frenchtown. Then in 1946 with the foreigners, the Japanese and Wang gone, Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government set about changing names again.

You’ll note that the address for Marco’s is “Chungcheng Road (Edw. VII)”. What was Chungcheng Road is now Yanan’ Lu. As is well known this road, now mostly raised expressway, was the boundary line between the International Settlement and Frenctown. From the Bund to Chengtu (Chengdu) Road the street was named Avenue Edward VII (aka the Avenue Eddy). West from Chengdu Lu it was in the French Concession and known as Avenue Foch. The Nationalist authorities in Shanghai canged the entire street name to Chungcheng Road. Higher numbers on the street, such as The Shanghai Senior Vacuum Flask Company at No.315, were on the former Avenue Foch. Others, like Marco’s, to the eastern end of the street were on the former Avenue Edward VII. Obviously someone at Marco’s thought all this name changing might be a bit confusing and so hedged their bets and included the (Edw. VII).

Of course Chungcheng was the name chosen for a major thoroughfare in the now entirely Nationalist-controlled Shanghai, and many other Chinese towns and cities, as they were named after Chiang Chung-cheng, the preferred given name of Chiang Kai-shek at the time.

So now you know….

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