"The San Francisco Police Department’s notorious Chinatown Squad, formed to combat opium dens, gambling halls, brothels, etc. Note the sledgehammers! (1895)"

"The San Francisco Police Department’s notorious Chinatown Squad, formed to combat opium dens, gambling halls, brothels, etc. Note the sledgehammers! (1895)"

Rare photo of an opium user preparing an opium "pill" before smoking it in a pipe. The detailed description of Will preparing the opium at the backroom hop joint in "Still Life with Murder" reveal author P. B. (Patricia) Ryan's meticulous research for evoking Victorian Boston in the Nell Sweeney mystery series.

Rare photo of an opium user preparing an opium "pill" before smoking it in a pipe. The detailed description of Will preparing the opium at the backroom hop joint in "Still Life with Murder" reveal author P. B. (Patricia) Ryan's meticulous research for evoking Victorian Boston in the Nell Sweeney mystery series.

A customer leaving an opium den. Photograph by George Lacks. Mukden, China, March 1946.

A customer leaving an opium den. Photograph by George Lacks. Mukden, China, March 1946.

This photograph of a Chinese man smoking opium with his cat in San Francisco became a best-selling souvenir postcard of that city.

This photograph of a Chinese man smoking opium with his cat in San Francisco became a best-selling souvenir postcard of that city.

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