Memorial Museum for 'Iron Man' Wang of Daqing
Address: 2 Zhongyuan Road, Ranghulu district, Daqing, Heilongjiang province
Hours: 8:30 - 16:00
9:00-15:30 (on national holidays)
Closed Mondays (except for national holidays)
General admission: Free (passport required for entry)
Wang Jinxi (1923-1970), known as "Iron Man" Wang, a petroleum worker on the Daqing Oilfield in Northeast China, is honored as a national hero for his contributions to the country's petroleum industry. Born into an extremely poor family in Yumen, Gansu province in 1923, he went begging at 6, herded cattle for landlords at 10 and became a cooly in the Yumen Oil Deposit at 15 until Yumen was liberated in 1949. He was recruited as a petroleum worker after the founding of the People's Republic of China. Hard-work was his middle name. As a drilling team leader in Daqing Oilfield he once jumped into a tank to stir cement with his legs for two hours when no mixing equipment was available to stop a blowout, earning his nickname of "Iron Man". Wang died of stomach cancer at the age of 47.
A memorial was founded in 1971 to commemorate Wang Jixin. On October 8, 2003, the 80th anniversary of his birth, a new building was constructed. On August 10, 2006, then Premier Wen Jiabao inscribed the name of the Museum when inspecting the Daqing Oilfield. The new Museum opened on September 26, 2006, the 47th anniversary of the discovery of the Daqing Oilfield. The main building is 47m high, and there are 47 steps to the main entrance, symbolizing the extraordinary 47 year life of Iron Man.
It’s the first memorial museum of a worker in China and holds about 5,324 artifacts including more than 200 precious historical photographs and 300 rare objects. Based on the life story of Wang Jinxi and the development history of Daqing Oilfield, the exhibition shows Wang's life experience and achievements, the spirit he embodied in his career, and the spirit of Daqing. With long-lasting and painstaking efforts, Wang led the No. 1205 team in drilling the first oil well in Daqing at a world record pace of 100,000 meters per year.
On the square in front of the main building of the Memorial Hall, between two lawns, there stands a large granite sculpture of Wang Jinxi holding a brake handle. The largest stone figure in Northeast China, it stands 6.5 meters high and weighs more than 60 tons.
In the Memorial Hall, there is a unique commemorative opportunity: visitors can wear oil industry work clothes from the agricultural cultivation period, including the helmet, walk onto the drilling rig, and personally operate the same type of Beiwu 40 drilling machine used by Iron Man.