Photos of Formosa from LIFE

The Only Redhead in Taiwan had a post with photos of Taiwan from a new archive of photos from LIFE magazine hosted by Google. The collection is fascinating and contains photos of important historical events as well as more everyday shots. I searched for Formosa and found some interesting photos. I have linked the images back to the page where they are hosted at Google.

Taipei Railway Station c. 1950.

I guess these terraced rice fields are in Sanzhi (三芝), on the north coast of Taiwan.

A line up of rickshaws.

And some tricycle rickshaws in action.

This looks like the harbour at Keelung (基隆).

A couple on motorcycle pass by the Presbyterian Church on Zhongshan South Road, Taipei.

All these images are dated 1 January 1950 except for the color photo which is from 1959. There is also an extensive collection of historical photos of Taiwan at Vintage Formosa.

5 thoughts on “Photos of Formosa from LIFE

  1. Referring to the last picture:

    Look, they’re not wearing helmets! Ah, those were the days. (^_^)

  2. I am also impressed at all of the high-resolution images available through google, and from Life in particular.

    The photographer’s name I saw on all of the 1950 photos is Carl Mydans. Seems he took quite a few of the most famous Life photos all around the world. Looks like he enjoyed taking photos from the roofs of buildings. Those are my favorites.

    from the first page I saw (, I clicked on “advanced search”, then in the “related to any of the words” box I put formosa taiwan taipei taipeh

    etc., any place name or person’s name.

    in the “related to the exact phrase” box, I put: Madame Chiang

    Some very interesting photos of Madame CKS’s 1943 PR mission to the USA, including a lot of movie stars, and shots of welcoming parades in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

  3. Scott, thanks for the information. I am sure there are many amazing photos to be discovered there.

    R Cheers, thanks. While everybody in Taipei wears helmets these days it’s not the case in the rest of Taiwan.

  4. David, I reckon that you are referring to the countryside where police rounds are very few. I miss those days when helmets were not mandatory.

    I do still see some heedless people who go out on scooters without their helmets on. It’s not uncommon to see them even in the metrop. These are mostly young men who ride through town at top speed, with their motors grating loudly, snaking in and out of traffic and annoying most everyone along the way.

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