The former sites of Datonghua and Huafeng cotton mills were constructed in 1919 and 1921, respectively. Located in Shanghai’s Baoshan district at No. 258, Songxing West Road (The gate at the No. 921, Songpu Road location has been closed), the sites occupy 80,000 square meters, or 8.1 hectares, with the mills themselves occupying 75,432 square meters. To this day, of variety of architectural styles from different historical periods have been relatively well preserved within the factory.
Dazhonghua mill was planned for construction in 1919. The initial offer of 1,000 shares was made by the brothers Nie Qijie and Nie Qikun, two local merchant tycoons, with an investment of 110,000 pounds sterling (approximately 1,400,000 renminbi in today’s currency). A 10 hectare plot of land was purchased north of Yunzao creek and east of Sitang river, and production began officially in 1922. In its day, the facility housed 100,000 spindles, with 40,000 spindles running during at any given time, and had the largest production capacity of any factory in the Shanghai textile industry.
Huafeng mill’s construction was planned for the year 1920. Mercantile magnates Wang Zhengting and Zhang Yingfu scraped together 1,000,000 renminbi and began building in Wusong to the east of Dazhonghua mill on a 6.7 hectare plot of land. Production began in June of 1921. The facility housed 100 spinning cars and 25,600 spindles with over 1,000 workers operating the mill day and night.
In 1958, the two factories were merged and renamed as Shanghai Eighth Cotton Textile Mill. As of 2007, the mill was the property of Shanghai Shenda Fenghuang Allied Co. In 2008, it underwent comprehensive remodeling with investments from Shanghai Fangzhi Konggu Co. and Shanghai Hongfang Cultural Development Limited Co. To date, the architecture within the has been well preserved and is still intact.
In the study of the history and development of China’s textile industry, Dazhonghua mill and Huafeng mill are relics of considerable value.