Long Shuihu shopping

 

 

The origination of Longshui Hardware can be traced back to the late Tang Dynasty. At the end of Tang Dynasty, the county magistrate of Changyuan County (now known as Rongchang County), Wei Junjing integrated voluntary army, built camping sites and recruited station troops in Dazu, and then was promoted as provincial governor of Changzhou and military commissioner of Jingnan confederate for established achievements. Wei Junjing started off as a voluntary serviceman, prepared military supplies himself and obtained no weapons from the imperial court, which facilitated the rise of weapon industry. Wei Junjing Monument at Beishan recorded that there were 100 military titles that could be accompanied by one’s name including low-level and high-ranking military officials, of which over ten weapon-making military officials might have something to do with self-sufficiency in weapons. Among those above-mentioned officials, Zheng Jieshi of Longshui voluntary army and Longshui Zhenjiang indicated that Longshui was one of the most strategic garrison positions at that time. According to New History of the Tang Dynasty: Geography Cal Chronicle, in the infinity of Yongchuang and Bachuan (now known as Tongliang) there were ample materials to produce iron. From Liangshu to Song Dynasty, just as the sentence, “Buddhism thrives and tonsure ceremonies are held every half a month,” in the book, Xingshichao indicated that monks and priests gathered here. In addition, carving arts were in a period of great prosperity. All those promoted the development of hardware tools including razors. According to the 60th niche statue of carving stones at North Tower, "a blacksmith, Liu Jie who lives besides Yuxi well in Dazu County gave an iron cable weighting 30 Jin, and persuaded another iron maker to give three cables for free.”

 

Longshui iron at Yuan and Ming Dynasty has not been recorded. It was reported that in late Ming Longshui people surnamed Zheng avoided chaos in Zunyi and in early Qing Dynasty, they returned home to restart their old trade. In the Mid Qing Dynasty, iron industry at Yulong was well developed. During the Reign of Daoguang, a Wanggu man left for Yulong to learn how to make irons and the returned home to become a trade-man as a blacksmith. After the end of the Qing Dynasty, the military was in chaos and Longshui became one of 10 gun bases in Sichuan and civil iron nearly died away. During the war against Japanese, Chongqing became an assistant capital, sales increased and leftover materials were recycled as a new source of raw materials. Accordingly, the development of Longshui iron rebounded, some famous brands constantly strove for perfection and boycott Japanese goods. At the late period of the war, puling able-bodied man led to the turnover of more than 300 blacksmiths who left for Guizhou, Yunnan, which meant the arts and techniques could not be passed down well for lack of apprentices or masters. Until victory of the war against Japan, markets were expanded and the industry peaked up. The number of people who deals with iron-making reached more than 3000 people, accounted for one fifth of Sichuan. Then inflation happened and a dilemma appeared again.

In Republic Period, Longshui iron, Chongqing iron and Chengdu iron were in a tripartite balance.

After liberation Longshui iron was renowned as "small hardware” and gained strong support from the government. In 1951, nearly a thousand hardware production households, adopted a joint venture and integrated in 1-8 Plant. In this year Joint Public- Private Iron Pilot Factory was established on the basis of sponsorship of more than 40,000 Jin rice and the integration with private organizations. To focus on the development of new hardware products, the provincial government sent experts to Longshui. A documentary-shooting was planned for promotion but canceled for lack of reference compiling information. In 1954, according to statistical classification “Longshui small hardware” replaced “small hardware”, and the new fame spread around. Around 1956 public-private small-hardware enterprises were implemented including People's Appliance Iron Factory (after the joint venture known as People's Appliance Factory), Xinmin Joint-venture Factory 5 (renamed as Xinmin Foreign-style Knife Factory), Yonghe Tobacco Cutter Factory (renamed as Yonghe Ironware Factory) and Changxing Pot Spade Factory, Xieli Pot Spade Factory and Qunyi Pot Spade Factory (the three combined into a plant, named as Changxing Pot Spade Factory. Handicraft production cooperatives included Longshui 1-8 Cooperatives, Chengguan Metal Farming Tools Cooperatives and Wangu Hardware Cooperatives. Longshui small hardware was the first to implement public-private partnerships and cooperatives in Sichuan. Ten volumes of promotion material of handcraft cooperation compiled by the provincial government mostly came from Longshui Lake.

In 1956, according to the statement issued by Provincial Bureau of Handicraft Administration, provincial gross output value of systematic metal processing was 65,280,000 Yuan. According to the classification based on designated cities, Chongqing city ranked in the first place accounting for 15.24%; Jiangjin District got a second with 11.13%; Chengdu City, accounting for 9.51% came in the third place. The systematic handcrafts processing in Jiangjin District mainly lied in Longshui Lake whose small hardware played a pivotal role in the province.

The proactive promotion of Patriotic Health Campaign in autumn of 1958 made Longshui Lake as a sanitary town. The colonel of Central Health Inspection Authority check and vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, Wu Jinhang made an inspection of the town. Before leaving he was entrusted to bring a greeting letter, a folding scissor and two pieces of silk cloth   to Chairman Mao. Soon an answering letter from CPC Central Office arrived saying the letter and gifts had been received by Chairman Mao. It also mentioned that Longshui Lake should maintain and consolidate food performance to live up to the good achievement in Patriotic Health Campaign and the renowned fame of hardware products. In this winter, the director of the National Bureau of Handicraft Industry, Director Chen and Provincial Bureau of Handicraft Industry, Director Zhou visited Longshui for an investigation about the history and development of small hardware. Director Zhou said the government attached great importance to Longshui small hardware and the focuses of the central government included Wang Mazi in the North, Zhang Xiaoquan in the South and Longshui small hardware in southwest region. Therefore, Longshui was the central focus of both provincial and central government.

In the winter of 1958, the production direction of small hardware changed: it mainly served for agricultural mechanization and mass production of iron and steel and the amount for civilian products decreased a lot. System adjustment was initiated in 1961 to restore the use for civilian products. In this year, Dazu attended national seminars about the supply of small hardware and made meetings with 26 key producing areas most of which were medium and large cities including Chongqing city and Chengdu city in Sichuan Province. Following the demand to restore the production of folding scissors from the public in 1962, the production of folding scissors and nail-clippers and so on was restored and Sichuan Paper constantly published articles such as the Rebirth of Folding Scissors and the Associations between the Rebirth of Folding Scissors and nail-clippers. In this year, a woman furnace employee of Longshui Red-light Planner Tools Factory attended the provincial industrial and agricultural workers congress.

In 1963 Longshui Lake built a 50-kilowatt power plant which characterized the beginning of Longshui hardware mechanization. In 1971, power was provided by southern Sichuan Power Grid and mechanical equipment increased. Later electroplating process was adopted and it overcame the traditional limitations such as crassitude, cumbersomeness and darkness. Wangu kitchen knife were allowed to export; four state-owned small hardware factories switched to the production of mechanical products, the hardware factory cooperatives increased outdoor technical inspection activities to accelerate mechanization. In 1979, according to the provincial instruction, the system of unified purchase and sale system over the years was overturned production should be organized on the basis of market needs. In the 1980s, Longshui followed urban factories and research units to introduce technology, develop new products and launch stainless steel products, tourism products and export-oriented products. Longshui Hardware Association was founded in 1984 which could carry out various service activities about production and sales of small hardware. Built in 1985 the only Longshui Hardware Specialized market in southwest region was set up. The gross output of scissor for the whole county was 17,460,000 (including township and village enterprises).

After liberation, Dazu, known as the land of hardware enjoyed the same fame with Wang Mazi in Beijing and in Zhang Xiaoquan in Hangzhou. Wang Mazi scissors. Longshui small hardware is characteristic of making waste profitable, practical with multifunction, durable with unique process and so on and it has won flavor from the public. Especially many products are suitable for the habits of people in rural areas and border and the minority. Such products as folding scissors and stainless cookware and tableware are also popular with urban and traveling people. Traditional varieties, specifications and grades have been improved showing a refreshing production trend.

 

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