Mumbai grew from the 1860s through the 1890s largely because of the international cotton trade, which went from exporting cotton to textile manufacturing mills dotting the city.
This is a hand-painted postcard from around 1905, rather rare in India compared to, say, China where at the time numerous hand-painted postcards were being sent abroad.
An early court-sized card made from an albumen photograph with the studio inscribed in the glass negative at the bottom.
Hobson-Jobson defines "AYAH, s. A native lady's-maid or nurse-maid.
A postcard that celebrates the arrival of a new machine at the Kolar gold fields, 160 miles west of Madras (Chennai). The mill was already described as being powered by electricity in 1902. This postcard by Wiele & Klein in Madras shows how the
Labor-intensive road rolling helped to create smoother and less permeable roads. The early history of road rolling in Europe can be traced to the 18th century when roads became militarily important.
A very evocative studio portrait of three – instead of the usual single - ayah which, intentionally or not, hints at something of the pathos of their work.
One of those postcards which remind you what an exceptional artist M.V. Dhurandhar was. In the midst of a harvest, with giant sheaves of the crop as if pulled apart like curtains, stands a woman in red with sickle in hand.
A popular figure specific to early South Indian postcards is the toddy drawer. Palm wine was made from sap collected from trees in little pouches.
A very early India-printed postcard signed by the chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press, Paul Gerhardt. Gerhardt was probably aware of Ravi Varma's prize-winning painting that year, Water Bearer, and we know from Raja Varma's diaries - the great
Hobson Jobson (1903) the great dictionary of Indian words in English, defines "Dhoby, Dobie s. A washerman; H. dhobi [from dhona, Skt. [Sanskrit] dhav, 'to wash.'] In colloquial Anglo-Indian use all over India. A common H. [Hindustani] proverb runs: