The Magazine

Linglong (Elegance/La Petite) 玲瓏 magazine, or Linloon, as it called itself in English, was a pocket-sized weekly, some 13 centimeters high. The journal was published by San Ho Publishing company, located on Nanjing Road in Shanghai. Its first issue appeared on March 18, 1931, the last on August 11, 1937, making some 298 issues in total. A few figures, both male and female, formed the editing group of the journal: Lin Zecang 林澤蒼 (1903-1961, male) served as chief editor, Chen Zhenling 陳珍玲 (female) as copy editor. She also took over the editorship for the column “Women/Funü” eventually. Lin Zemin 林澤民 (?-1938, male, Lin Zecang’s brother) served as editor of photography, Lin Zeren 林澤人 (male, Lin Zecang’s brother), as editor responsible for the column “Common Knowledge/Changshi 常識”), Zhou Shixun 周世勳 (male), as editor of “Entertainment/ Yule 娛樂”, and—during a short interlude—artist Ye Qianyu 葉淺予 (1907-1995, male), as editor for “Fine Arts/meishu 美術.” In addition, Liang Xinxi 梁心璽 (1908-?, female) also worked as copy editor for the journal from 1932.

Born and raised in a prominent faithful Christian family from Gutian, Fujian Province, Lin Zecang (1903-1961) went to study at Saint John’s University in 1921, one of the most prestigious (church) universities in Shanghai and China at the time. After the May Thirtieth Movement in 1925, he followed other patriotic teachers and fellow students to continue his study at the newly founded Kwang Hua University and received his “Bachelor of Commerce” in 1926.  He was a master in many fields, described by his fellow students as ‘Jack of All Trades,’ skilful in almost everything and active at the same time as author, musician, athlete, inventor, editor, manager, and photo specialist.

In January 1922, Lin founded San Ho Company (三和公司) which sold table tennis equipment, photos of movie stars (電影明星照片) and photographic equipment. San Ho Company extended its business to publishing in 1925 when the “China Photographic Society” (中國攝影學會) also came into being. Combining his photographic hobby and his interests in the print media, Lin Zecang founded Pictorial Weekly (1925-1937). This formed the beginning of a “publishing empire” as it was followed by a whole series of illustrated newspapers and magazines, among them Changshi 常識 ("Common Knowledge," 1928-), Linglong 玲瓏 (1931-1937), Diansheng ribao 電聲日報 ("Radio Movie News," 1932-1933), Diansheng Zhoukan 電聲週刊 ("Movie Tone," 1934-1941).

Barbara Mittler, Liying Sun