Artifact of the Week: Chinese Hair Pin

Archaeologists recovered this Chinese bone hair pin from Downtown San Diego. The site housed a working class population during the late Victorian period (c.1880-1915).

This hair pin was used to hold the traditional Chinese male topknot hairstyle. This artifact shows that at least some of the laundrymen maintained the traditional dress of their homeland. In a search for prosperity, they settled into a new life on Block 112, yet they maintained connections to their own heritage.

Date: Post-Contact Period (300 ya – present)
Material Class: Bone

Want to learn more? Visit the exhibit Block 112: The Untold Story of San Diego’s Working Class in the 1800s currently on view at the Center.