The Zigong Salt History Museum
The Salt History Museum located in Zigong, Sichuan Province, western China. It is housed in the Xiqin Guildhall, built in 1736 when was the first year of emperor Qianlong. The building is a Major Historical and Cultural Site of China.
This specialized museum of Chinese technological history highly represents Qing Dynasty's architectural achievement in the combination of imperial and civilian styles. Built in 1959, the museum collects historical books, literature and archives about the well-salt development, including 1,322 real objects and tools. Among these items, one significant display is a unique and treasured collection of over 130 different types of ancient Chinese well-salt drilling tools, represented by over 500 individual pieces. This display illustrates, through the different sizes, weights and shapes of tools, what must have been required to deal with the complicated situations faced in well-salt mining. Other displays in the museum show well-salt historical cultural relics. All this is of great value for research on social economy of that era.
The Display of the Well-Salt Production Technological Development re-presents the evolution and development of well-salt production technologies in well drilling, salt collection, natural gas exploitation and salt making, demonstrates the ancient well-salt production techniques with drilling technology as the core, and reflects the wisdom and creative ability of ancient Chinese. Outside the museum, there is the restored Xiaoqiao Well drilled in 1772. Xiqin Guildhall was funded by the Shaanxi salt tradesmen, and used as a meeting place for salt merchants from Shaanxi, the main conduit for the Zigong salt. Another building nearby on the banks of the Fuxi River was the Guild Hall for the salt merchants of Sichuan. The guild hall took sixteen years to build at a great cost.