A mailbox with the words¡°Chinese Imperial Post¡±and a dragon on
it. This kind of mailbox was used in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Leave the traditional guided walks behind and strike out at your
own pace with a tour guide to 10 science museums in Shanghai. You are about to
embark on an exciting journey of Shanghai Postal Museum. This guide is presented
by Shanghai Daily and supervised by the Shanghai Science and Technology
Are you interested in the origins and development of the postal service? Do
you want to see various precious stamps? Then please follow us to visit the
Shanghai Postal Museum at 250 North Suzhou Road. Here you will get a closer look
at the past, present and future of the postal system.
Shanghai Postal Museum is in the Shanghai Post Building, which is one of
China¡¯s most outstanding contemporary buildings. Listed as a key national
historical site, Shanghai Post Building has been viewed as one of the symbolic
buildings of the postal service. Therefore, please do remember to take a close
look at this building before you set foot in the museum.
Now, let¡¯s enter the exhibition area on the second floor.
We first visit the Origins and Development Zone.
The showcase on your left displays the inscriptions on tortoise shells
recording ancient people beating drums to convey military information. Next to
it is the sealing clay used on official documents to maintain secrecy and a
brick bearing the portrait of a messenger on horse back who sent messages in the
Wei and Jin Dynasty (220 AD¨C317 AD).
In front of the brick, you can view a small multimedia show which recreates a
scene of people passing on urgent messages by lighting signal fires in ancient
times. Beacon towers are military fortresses used to relay information from one
place to another in cases of emergency. Now we press the button to see what will
happen. Immediately, the background lights disappear, creating a night
atmosphere. Then the beacon towers light up one by one and heavy smoke and big
fire can be seen. A splendid multimedia show!
In this section, you can see the message suggesting the founding of the
Chinese Imperial Post that was sent for the approval of Emperor Guangxu on March
20th, 1896. Later, that day became the commemorative day signifying the official
birth of the modern postal service in China. Not far from the memorial, there is
a mailbox with the word¡°Chinese Imperial Post¡±and a dragon on it.
A 1:100 scale replica of Shanghai Post Building completed in 1924 is also on
Next to the building replica is the Post Commissioner¡¯s office where the post
director made of wax is inspecting the arrival of mail on the banks of Huangpu
River using a telescope.
Let¡¯s continue our visit to the second section -- Network and Technology.
Entering this section, you will notice a huge diagram illustrating the
network of downtown post offices. In 1911, there were altogether thirty postal
outlets in Shanghai. Through rapid development, the number increased to 584 in
2003 and there are now 600 post offices across the city.
Go ahead, a huge artifical snow mountain is in front of us, reminding us of
the two poles. Did you know that the Shanghai Postal service once reached such
remote areas as the South Pole and the North Pole?
Here are some valuable exhibits such as the commemorative postcards of the
establishment of¡°Snow Dragon¡±post office.
A RFID mail sorting mock machine, the application of modern technology,
displays the process of mail sorting. Traditionally, the sorting and dispatching
were done by hand, but now, mechanical and automatic mailing processing and
sorting equipment is widely used. It can sort 100,000 items of mail per day.
We can also see various kinds of postage scales such as the 2-kilogram letter
scale and the electronic mailing machine in this section. Beside them are
distinctive American blue mailboxes and the Australian red mailbox.
On the left side is an intelligent mailbox which is different from the
ordinary mailbox. Its speciality lies in that it supplies users with many
practical functions which traditional ones can not provide. For example, users
open the mailbox with a cipher code and it closes automatically after letters
have been taken out. It¡¯s large enough to hold several books.
Now, let¡¯s enter the third zone -- Service and Culture.
This zone showcases the letters of some celebrities as well as the photos
depicting newspapers and magazine distribution services, postal savings and
Before visiting the fourth zone, visitors can put on special glasses and
watch a small film about the developments and changes within the postal service
from the earliest post stations to modern post offices.
Have a rest. Then we come to the Stamp and Stamp Collection zone.
From the TV screen on your right side, you can see a puppet telling the story
of the birth of the world¡¯s first postage stamp -- Penny Black. The showcase
beside it exhibits the Penny Black and the Large Dragon Issue, China¡¯s first set
of postage stamps issued in 1878. These two showcases use concave mirror
technology and optical theory, so that we can see virtual image of the stamps
exactly like the real ones.
Next to them, a table lists the basic information about the first set of
stamps of 50 foreign countries and regions, involving their issuing time and
issuing countries or regions and their face value.
Walking forward, there are various special stamps of the world. Specially
shaped stamps include France¡¯s heart-shaped stamp and China¡¯s triangle stamp.
Poland¡¯s silk stamp and Switzerland¡¯s wooden stamp belong to the collection
featuring stamps made of special materials.
In this section, we can also see postage stamps of the Customs post of the
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that includes some precious stamps like the Small
Dragon Issue and Empress Dowager Issue, China¡¯s first set of commemorative
stamps, Chinese postal service stamps and postage stamps of liberated areas.
At the end of this section is Treasure Stamps Hall with a series of precious
stamps. Some are linked with great historical events and some are well-known for
their rarity because of their short issuing period or natural destruction and
accidents. The stamp,¡°Red Revenue Small 2-ct Surcharge in Green¡±in the first
showcase can be called the most valuable treasure of Shanghai Postal Museum. Its
price has surged to the highest among all the Chinese stamps in this century.
After visiting the four zones, let¡¯s come to the courtyard on the ground
Entering the ample and bright courtyard of the post museum, we are attracted
by the exhibits here. Replicas of mail vehicles, such as the carriage used in
the Qing Dynasty, the first mail car purchased in 1917, the first regular air
mail plane and post train vividly depict the development of postal services.
The Future Cinema, located at the exit of the courtyard, depicts the future
postal world. If you like, you can let the Future Cinema make your image blend
with the film frame via digital combing technology. Then, you will have a role
in this film. Don¡¯t hesitate to have that exciting experience!
Now, let¡¯s have a rest in the roof garden on the top of Shanghai Post
In the roof garden, there is a clock tower of Baroque style, featuring two
groups of sculptures. The sculpture at the top of the clock tower with three
people respectively holding the models of the early-stage locomotive, steamer
and telecommunication cable symbolizes the development of transportation and
telecommunication. The other sculpture with Hermes in the Greek mythology in the
middle and Eros on the left and right side symbolizes that post is a bridge
linking people in every corner of the world and conveying people¡¯s feelings.
If you want to get closer to the post¡¯s yesterday, today and tomorrow, please
visit Shanghai Postal Museum.
Opening time: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Its address is 250 North Suzhou Road, Houkou District.
You can take bus No.14, No.17, No.19, No.21, No.25, No.65, No.66, No.220,
No.928, No.939 or Travel 10 line.
For details, please call 6362-9898.