Although taken in the firm's studio, with the woman posing upright, one can from this portrait and the wooden beam infer the literally backbreaking work hillstation workers endured.
Among the more interesting postcards are those showing Indians abroad, in this case serving as police officers in Hong Kong, then also a British possession.
[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]
A rather unusual portrait of "coolie" women. While popular postcard subjects, often shown with their baskets, this studio portrait features one woman with her back to the viewer, and another looking straight into her (invisible) eyes.
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
Like the backs of many Dhurandhar cards, this one bears the blind stamp and price ["A.H.W. Rs. 0-1-0," e.g. 1 anna] of A.H. Wheeler & Co., at 47 Hornby Road, the bookstall chain and contractor for advertising on Indian Railways.
[Original caption] Calcutta Coolies. The Coolies of Calcutta, otherwise porters or carriers, are men of fine physique, and are able to carry exceptionally heavy weights supported on their heads.
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