Chee Hsin (Qixin in pinyin; 中文版) was initially founded by Tang Jingxing in 1889 in Tangshan, an industrial city one hundred miles west of Beijing. It folded four years later due to costly materials, corruption, and mismanagement.
In the spring of 1900, Zhou Xuexi, the general manager at the Kaiping Mines, tried to revive the company. However, the Boxer Uprising swept through Northern China, and the revolt decimated the Kaiping Mines. Herbert Clark Hoover, future U.S. President, was the mine’s chief engineer. He would later be involved in the selling of the mines, and subsequently get sued for it.
Both books are sold on Amazon.
In 1906, Zhou, China’s first Captain of Industry, saw the opportunity in producing and selling mortar while founding Luanzhou Mining Co. But the Europeans tried to grab the defunct cement plant from him. After a hard-fought victory, he finally got the cement company off the ground. He named it Qixin (Chee Hsin), which translates to ‘Start Anew’.
Zhou Xuexi was often credited as the father of northern Chinese industry. and Qixin was the cornerstone of his empire (a list of his ventures). For more info, please check out my book, Chee Hsin 130 Years, which is sold on Amazon.
Chee Hsin (Qixin) Pottery and its tiles.
For more photos, see my trip to Qixin Museum in 2019.
Before the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), eight cement companies in China followed 1:
1 Cement Industry 水泥工业 Dec 1947.
a Yuan 国币元 in ‘000.
b max. annual output in metric ton
c never shipped 从未出货.
A few medals of Chee Hsin:
- A bronze medal from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Expo, also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. 1904年美国圣路易斯赛会铜质奖章
- A gold medal from the Panama-Pacific International Expo held in San Francisco in 1915. The award • 奖状. 1915年旧金山举行的巴拿马赛会头等奖.
- A special award of Tianjin Domestic Products Fair in 1929. 1929年天津特别市国货展览会特等奖章.
Chee Hsin Pottery‘s QX #108 or #158 cement tiles are seen on a front porch in the popular TV series I’ll Find You a Better Home. The leading man Luo Jin (light shirt) and the leading lady, his fellow realtor played by Sun Li, are showing an old Shanghai villa to a perspective buyer. The TV show premiered in the spring of 2020, while the coronavirus ravaged China and the rest of the world.
The actors are exiting the foyer which is also paved with QX #108 tiles, as is the balcony above the front porch.
⇐ ⇓ Photo courtesy of Shehouse • 照片来源昔舍.
The villa was built in 1912 for a Citibank director. His grandson mentioned that it was purchased with 300 gold bars. 福布斯生活 He sold it to an architect in 2015, who spent two years painstakingly renovating the house. It’s now a B&B.
《安家》是由安建执导,孙俪,罗晋. 照片许可来源于昔舍. 这座750平方米的洋房坐落在愚园路 532弄.为一花旗银行董事建于1912年.现在是一个民宿.
L to R: front porch, second floor balcony above the front porch and the foyer.
The colors of tile were made to order. They measured 77/8 square, 1″ in depth and weighted 3.85 pound:
No. 108 & No. 158, central tiles 心砖
No. 111 & No. 161, border tiles 边砖
No. 112 & No. 162, corner tiles 角砖
More photos of this set of tiles:
This photo was taken by Hu Ping on May 11, 2020 at the same B&B. It was at the edge of the four steps leading into the front porch, according to him.
It’s interesting to note that this portion retained the old border while the tiles in the foyer did not.
Guanfang Hutong, Beijing
This QX cement tile, measured in 77/8″ square was popular and found in many homes.
(L to R): Mei Lanfang, Grandaunt Lily,
Guanfang Hutong, Beijing, 2014
This Qixin cement tile was from Lily’s siheyuan.
Gifts from Mr. Huang
These Qixin ceramic tiles were also named clinker in their Sample Book. The measurement of #1071 (hexagon) was 53/4 in厂 height and width, and of #1704 on the right was 53/4 by 53/4 inch.
这些启新瓷砖也叫缸砖. 六角砖 #1071 和 方砖#1704 都是 53/4 英寸.
Qixin Museum, Tangshan, 2019
The power plant was equipped by AEG and Siemens, with their own square and hexagon ceramic tiles.
Mei Lanfang’s Memorial, Beijing
This border Qixin cement tile was found at Mei Lanfang‘s Memorial in Beijing.
Xisi, Beijing, 2012
This Qixin cement tiles were most familiar to me. They had two numbers on the Sample Book: #109 / #159.
More projects and collections.
Chee Hsin (Qixin) Pottery, a subsidiary of Chee Hsin Cement Co., Ltd, was formed in 1914. The headquarters was located on Ocean Avenue in Tianjin. It produced cement and ceramic tiles for indoor and outdoor use. This was one of Zhou Xuexi‘s many ventures.
唐山启新磁厂是启新水泥有限公司的子公司,成立于1914年. 总部位于天津市海大道. 它生产室内和室外的水泥和瓷砖. 这是周学熙众多实业之一。
Their three factories were located in • 三个工厂分别坐落于
~Tangshan 唐山厂 @ 直隶
~Daye (湖北) 大冶厂 黄石港, and
~Shanghai 上海花砖厂 @ 南市王家码头
… and their four general wholesale offices were • 四个总批发所
~East – Fengtian 奉天 西关大什子街北东路
~South – Shanghai @ Beijing Road 北京路
~West – Hankow
~North – Tianjin @ French concession, 26 14th Street 法租界十四路26号
Chee Hsin Tiles in Beijing • 启新砖在北京
Chee Hsin Tiles in Shanghai • 启新砖在上海
Chee Hsin Tiles in Tianjin • 启新砖在天津
Chee Hsin Tiles in Tangshan • 启新砖在唐山