This old stereographic card is titled "Manchurian Small Boy Orphans." It is dated 1905 and was copyrighted by T.W. Ingersoll.1
The text on the back states:
These two Manchurian boys, photographed near Port Arthur, have been driven from their home by Russian shells that killed their father and mother, and are now tramping from one Japanese camp to another selling eggs.
This sad scene is from the Russo-Japanese War, which lasted for 18 months in 1904 and 1905 and resulted in at least 150,000 deaths.2 The battle over Port Arthur, now known as Lüshunkou District in the People's Republic of China, was one of the focal points of the war, which was waged between the Russian Empire (1721–1917) and the Empire of Japan (1868–1947).
These boys' parents would have been among the approximately 20,000 civilian deaths suffered in China.
I have three other Ingersoll stereographic cards from this series, titled:
- No. 11. Japanese Water Guard Protecting Camp Supply.
- No. 58. Scene in the Japanese Trenches.
- No. 60. Gen. Tsuchiyas' Private Mess Camp.
If you want to see more from this series right now, check out this page on BaxleyStamps.com.
1. The Yellowstone Stereoview Page has this comprehensive article about Truman Ward Ingersoll. It states: "It is no understatement to proclaim T. W. Ingersoll as one of the three most important Yellowstone stereoviewers ever. Only William Henry Jackson and F. Jay Haynes have had more overall importance."
2. That very rough total includes both military and civilian deaths. Read more here.