Gathering: Herbalist Calendar

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Arthur M. Tom Sr., herbalist calendar, 1940. Courtesy of Chinese American Museum of Northern California. Learn more here: www.chineseamericanmuseum.com.
Arthur M. Tom Sr., herbalist calendar, 1940. Courtesy of Chinese American Museum of Northern California. Learn more here: www.chineseamericanmuseum.com.

This calendar was used by Arthur M. Tom Sr. (Tom Shew Hing) to advertise his Chinese herbal practice. He maintained his practice in Marysville from 1928 to 1949. He was born there in 1903. In his generation, it was well known in the Chinese American community that the best work for a Chinese man was to be a Chinese doctor or to own a gambling hall. He decided to become a Chinese doctor. In 1920, at the age of 17, Tom went to China to his home village in Toisan to study Chinese medicine. At that time, Toisan was one of the wealthiest villages in China. As a result, it attracted a number of exceptionally qualified professionals. Tom was a student of Chan Way Hing, a doctor who was highly regarded in the Guangdong province.

In 1928, he returned to Marysville to begin his practice. He may have been the only Chinese doctor born in America who went to China for his medical education. Almost all Chinese doctors in America at that time were born in China. He soon acquired a large following.

This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.

Place(s): Marysville, CA
Year: 1940

– Chinese American Museum of Northern California

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant