Gamble, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1890-1968Alternative names
Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968) was a pre-eminent China scholar, an economist, sociologist, and an avid amateur photographer. He visited China four times between 1908 and 1932 to collect data for socio-economic surveys, and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside.
From the description of Sidney D. Gamble photographs, 1906-2007. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 369383203
Sociologist, renowned China scholar, and amateur photographer Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968) visited China four times between 1908 and 1932 to collect data for socio-economic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. Gamble published four influential studies of Chinese life: Peking: A Social Survey, 1921; How Chinese Families Live in Peiping, 1933; Ting Hsien: A North China Rural Community, 1954; and North China Villages: Social, Political, and Economic Activities Before 1933, 1963.
Born on July 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to David Berry and Mary Huggins Gamble; grandson of James Gamble, who, with William Proctor, founded Proctor & Gamble in 1837.
1896- 1907: Attended Miss Sattler's School and University School on Cincinnati, and Thacher School in Ojai, California.
First sojourn in China. Traveled with parents to Hangzhou by way of Honolulu, Japan, and Korea.
Graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Literature degree; elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
1913- 1914: Served as secretary and treasurer of Escondido Land and Town Company, San Diego, California.
1914- 1916: Worked part-time for the California State Commission on Immigration and Housing while studying for a Master of Arts degree in economics at the University of California at Berkeley. Awarded fellowship in 1915 which involved a six-month residence at the Preston School of Industry in Ione, California.
1916- 1917: Taught in the economics department, University of California at Berkeley.
1916- 1917: Arrived in China in May for second sojourn. Together with Robert Fitch and J.H. Arthur, traveled up the Yangzi River, from Zheijiang province deep into Sichuan province, taking numerous photographs.
Visited flood relief camps in Tianjin and traveled to Beijing. Traveled with G. Sherwood Eddy to Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Hong Kong, and Manila. Joined the international staff of the YMCA in Beijing and became a member of Princeton University Center in China (Princeton Court).
Visited Beidaihe and Bei Niu Ding (Hebei).
Conducted field-work for a social survey of Beijing with John Stewart Burgess while teaching elementary economics and the principles of philanthropic and institutional work at Yenching University.
Visited Baoding and Kaifeng during Spring Festival, and Taishan, Jinan, and Qufu in March.
Worked on survey materials at Beidaihe.
Traveled to Hangzhou.
Returned to Pasadena, California, in December, with negatives of some 2,500 photographs taken during second sojourn.
Published first book, Peking: A Social Survey, with the assistance of J. Stewart Burgess. Traveled as member of a commission headed by G. Sherwood Eddy to study the labor movement in England and relief work in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.
1922- 1923: Prepared for third sojourn in China at New York Union Theological Seminary, New York School of Social Work, and Columbia University.
Married Elizabeth Pritchard Lowe, daughter of Dr. Walter I. Lowe and Catherine Caskey Lowe of Hamilton, New York, on January 18. Arrived in Beijing on March 13 to resume post as secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA. Began studying Chinese at the North China Union Language School and conducting socio-economic surveys of Chinese family life. First trip to Miao Feng Shan in April, a popular pilgrimage site northwest of Beijing.
Traveled to Chengde, Lanxian, Tangshan, And Tianjin.
Traveled to Shanghai in January to meet a commission on social and economic research, and returned to Beijing by way of Qinhuangdao and Tianjin. Second trip to Miao Feng Shan with Arthur W. Hummel, Franklin C.H. Lee, and L. Carrington Goodrich in April.
Taught at Yenching University, Union Medical College, and the American Women's College Club.
Traveled to Japan to join Dr. and Mrs. Lowe, and accompanied them to Beijing, Beidaihe, and Shanhaiguan.
Conducted research on prices, wages, and the standard of living in Beijing. Gamble's first child born on March 21st.
Traveled for three weeks in the Soviet Union with G. Sherwood Eddy and 25 Americans, including brother Dr. Clarence Gamble.
Accompanied wife and daughter back to the United States on November 11, and stayed in Pasadena until early 1927.
Sailed for China on February 26, arriving in Shanghai on March 25; then traveled to Beijing by way of Qingdao and Tianjin. Took film footage of pilgrimage activities on a third trip to Miao Feng Shan in April.
Visited Dingxian where the National Association for the Mass Education Movement, led by Dr. James Yen, was based.
Returned to the United States.
Elected President of Princeton-Yenching Foundation.
Returned to China for fourth and last sojourn, following a second trip to the Soviet Union. Became involved in the administration of Yenching University.
Moved Dingxian to serve as research secretary of the National Association for the Mass Education Movement, and carried out surveys of village life in northern China.
Departed Shanghai for the United States on February 23.
Published How Chinese Families Live in Peiping.
1934- 1968: Continued to publish books and articles on aspects of Chinese village and family life. Elected member of the National Council of the YMCA. Became Treasurer, Vice Chairman, Chairman, and President Emeritus of Church World Service; Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation; President and Honorary Chairman of Princeton-in-Asia.
Died in New York on March 29 at the age of 78, survived by his widow and four children; Catherine, Louise, David, and Anne.
Taken from Sidney Gamble's China Revisited (2004).
In 1984, Sidney Gamble's daughter, Catherine Gamble Curran, discovered in the attic of the family home 5,000 black and white negatives, 600 hand-colored glass slides, and 21 rolls of 16mm film documenting her father's travels in China. In 1986, Curran helped found the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies to preserve, catalog, reproduce, and publicly exhibit the extensive collection of photographs and hand-colored slides taken by Sidney Gamble in China. The foundation has sponsored several exhibitions of Gamble's photography including Turbulent Years: Sidney D. Gamble's Photographs of China, a traveling exhibition in China, and China Between Revolutions, an exhibition at several universities and art museums throughout the United States. The foundation also coordinated publication of Sidney D. Gamble's China, 1917-1932: Photographs of the Land and its People (1988), China Between Revolutions: Photographs by Sidney D. Gamble, 1917-1927 (1989), and Sidney Gamble's China Revisited: Photographs by Sidney D. Gamble from 1917 to 1931 (2004).
From the guide to the Sidney D. Gamble Photographs, 1906-2007, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- Documentary photography
- Japan (as recorded)
- United States (as recorded)
- China (as recorded)
- Korea (as recorded)