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.
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:
A postmarked version in India from August 16, 1905 of Dhobi Washerman and sent to Mr. u [sp?], 16 Mt. Ararat Rd., Richmond, Surrey [England]." The writing is hard to make out exactly, but it seems to say: "This is Mr. Dierius' Your card Dhobi.
Another evocative card by M.V. Dhurandhar injects personality into the roving washerman. In the background is an edifice of the "new" Bombay while in the foreground we see the age-old profession of washermen cleaning the resident's laundry.
One of Fred Bremner's most popular postcards, also titled Specimens of Walnut and Copper Carving, Kashmir. The density of the collotype deepends ones appreciation of the woodworker's lifework.
Postmarked Rawalpindi, 21 Oct.
Shell cutters usually use saws and other blade instruments to cut raw shells into different shapes to create jewelry, bangles, drinking vessels and other accessories.
This finely lithographed card by Clifton & Co. was one of the their most popular images, and produced in multiple black and white formats. Originally from a photograph, this colored version would have required multiple print runs.
Toddy or palm wine as made from sap collected by climbers like this one in little pouches; fermentation was so fast in the humid air that a mildly alcoholic drink could be had in a few hours.
The bhistee or water carrier was a critical support to urban life before running water became widespread and reliable, and is one of the most frequent postcard subjects.