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.
From an unusual lithographic series, a marvelous rendition of a type still very active throughout the subcontinent and restaurants abroad.
[Original caption] Indian Workers in Silver and Gold. Unaided by mechanical invention, the handwork of these craftsmen is as near perfection as is possible.
Mela Ram was a photographer who might have warmly welcomed the advent of the real-photograph as a way for his art to take precedence over the vagaries of publishing in collotype or halftone using hand-tinted color to enhance images (there are few
[Original caption] A Malingerer. The picture shows a bullock fallen on the road. The coolies in attendance, believing the animal to be a malingerer, would coerce him into activity by throwing red pepper into his eyes. [end]
The word "mali" apparently comes from the Sanskrit "mala" or garland via Hindi. Malis seem to be generally shown crouching on postcards.
[Verso, handwritten] "Upper Burma, May 8/18 My dear Annie, I am pleased to hear from Mother that you got some
[Original caption] A Native Bullock Cart, Northern India. This most popular means of conveyance throughout India is the bullock cart.
Initialed "MD" in the right corner, Dhurandhar deftly captures early Bombay life. The labourer on the cart nearly falls backwards as he pulls the box up. A pretty tree separates the bullocks from the cart.
The growth of a city like Bombay was largely dependent on the work of laborers who carried bricks and building materials on wicker baskets on construction sites, much like they do today, which must be part of the reason why they were such common