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Road ConstructionPhotograph of Chinese women breaking rock by hand to make gravel for road construction. They are sitting barefoot in the hot sun, earning pennies a day. Here in this moment in time it may seem that nothing changes. Clang two rocks together to make more little rocks. Over and over. But the world is changing around them.

It is 1931 and as hard as their lives are now, in a few years the Japanese will sweep through here. If they survived the brutal Japanese occupation, then they would still face the Communist Revolution and the even harsher Cultural Revolution in which millions of Chinese starved or were killed as reactionary enemies of the state.

I wonder what happened to these women and to the road that they helped build.

This post was last updated on May 1, 2021 by adding a header photo to the article.

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Jerry Moore

Jerry Moore

Jerry Moore is your guide into the past. An enthusiastic collector of vintage and rare old photographs, Jerry writes about these frozen moments in time and the world that used to be.