Johnston & Hoffmann

The "Baboo" Cyclist.

The "Baboo" Cyclist.

A satirical postcard showing a "Baboo," which Hobson-Jobson defined as used in Kolkata "with a slight savour of disparagement, as characterizing a superficially cultivated, but too often effeminate, Bengali," pulling ahead on the most modern of

The Bhistie

The Bhistie

A contemporary artist's rendering of one of the most popular postcard subjects, the all important "bhistie" who brought water in an animal skin to the thirsty.

The Postman

The Postman

While an exchange of written messages has been part of history for a long time, the concept of a regular postal service seems to have arisen in Europe during the 15th century when French students were requesting so many goods, a regular service was

Native Constable

Native Constable

The Indian Councils Act of 1861 was the foundation for the Indian Police Service, one whose fine exemplars was this Calcutta Policeman, which the emblem on his belt so proudly proclaims. His instrument of choice is the lathi, from the Bengali word

Dancing Girls

Dancing Girls

Professional dancing girls were among the most popular early postcard subjects. These two dancing girls are probably from Lucknow as the painting in the studio background on the left recalls the Chutter Manzil in Lucknow.

Simla, Annandale

Simla, Annandale

"There is possibly no name connected with Simla which to thousands of Anglo-Indians, past and present, can revive more memories of a pleasant nature than that of Annandale." writes Edward Buck, the longtime resident and master chronicler of the

A Hill Coolie Girl

A Hill Coolie Girl

Although a coolie – "a hired labourer, or burden-carrier"(Hobson-Jobson, p. 249) – were at the bottom of the social ladder, and the word is said to originally come from Kolis, a hill-people in the Western Ghats, "whose savagery, filth and general

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