Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai

By Robert Bickers | Go to book overview

Note on Currency

‘Travellers will find two kinds of money used in Shanghai and the treaty ports – taels and cash, dollars and cents; the former Chinese, the latter introduced by foreigners … The tael (Tl.) is the commercial currency of the port… it is not a coin, but a weight of silver, in the form of a shoe. It is seldom seen: where one does see it, it is in paper.… The most universally used coin in the Settlements is the Mexican dollar ($), a handsome piece of silver; it weighs just about 1 oz. There are nominally 100 copper cents to the dollar. The actual number varies from 100 to 140…. All the leading banks issue notes for one, five, ten dollars and upwards…. The tael is roughly one third more than the dollar … Let the newcomer always remember to take account of exchange’ (Revd C. E. Darwent, Shanghai: A Handbook for Travellers and Residents, 2nd edn. (Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1920), pp. v-vi).

Salaries and rents were expressed in taels, but everyday expenditure was made in and priced in dollars. In 1935 the tael was replaced by the Fabi, a national, uniform currency, commonly referred to as the dollar. After 1935 all transactions were quoted in and paid in ‘dollars’.

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Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • I - The Empire World 1
  • 2 - Before Shanghai 18
  • 3 - Shanghai 1919 39
  • 4 - The Shanghai Municipal Police 64
  • 5 - Shanghai Detective 95
  • 6 - ‘Learning to Be a Man’ 130
  • 7 - The End of the ‘Good Old China’ 163
  • 8 - What We Can’t Know 202
  • 9 - Adrift in the Empire World 223
  • 10 - Empire’s Civil Dead 252
  • 11 - Aftermath 290
  • 12 - We Are the Dead 328
  • Acknowledgements 343
  • Ranks in the Shanghai Municipal Police, Foreign Branch 346
  • Note on Currency 347
  • Romanization of Chinese Words and Names 348
  • Illustrations 349
  • Notes 352
  • Unpublished and Archival Sources 390
  • Index 395
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