Old Indian Photos

Oct 25, 2014

The Planting & Manufacture of Indigo in India by French photographer Oscar Mallitte - Allahabad, 1877

Indigo planting in Bengal started around 1777. Indigo planting became more and more commercially profitable due to the demand for blue dye in Europe. It was introduced in large parts of eastern India. The indigo planters mercilessly pursued the peasants to plant indigo instead of food crops. They provided loans, called dadon at a very high interest. Once a farmer took such loans he remained in debt for whole of his life before passing it to his successors. The price paid by the planters was meagre,only 2.5% of the market price. The farmers could make no profit growing indigo. The farmers were totally unprotected from the brutal indigo planters, who resorted to mortgages or destruction of their property if they were unwilling to obey them. Government rules favoured the planters. By an act in 1833, the planters were granted a free hand in oppression. Even the zamindars, money lenders and other influential persons sided with the planters. Out of the severe oppression unleashed on them the farmers resorted to revolt.
Know more about Indigo Revolt in Wikipeida

 
Planter's Bungalow

"Luggie" (measuring lands for cultivation)

"Tumnie" (turning up lands)

Sowing with drills

Cutting Indigo plant in the field and Loading Carts

Indigo factory (Loading the Vats)

Loading a vat with plant

Indigo factory (beating the Vats)

Beating a vat by hand

Beating by Machinery

Apparatus for beating by machinery

Indigo boilers and fecula table

Press house

Pumping the fecula into boilers

Pressing the fecula

Drying house (Indigo cakes on Shelves)

Cutting Indigo into Cakes

Bailing water in time of drought

Persian Wheel

Group of Indigo beaters

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

Oct 19, 2014

Photograph taken from the Roof of the High Court, Calcutta (Kolkata) by Bourne and Shepherd in c.1885

View from High Court, Calcutta (Kolkata) c.1885

Source: British Library

View from the south-west of the High (Supreme) Court building on Esplanade Row in Calcutta (Kolkata) - c1875

High (Supreme) Court building Calcutta (Kolkata)

The Supreme Court building opened in 1782 and Sir William Jones, the great Orientalist, was judge here from 1783 until his death in 1794. Criminal and civil cases were heard here for both Indians and Europeans and also appeals for Europeans from the Calcutta Presidency. 

Photographer: W. G. Stretton
Source: British Library

Moostafor Ali Khan of the Oudh (Awadh) Royal Family - c1850's

Moostafor Ali Khan of the Oudh (Awadh) Royal Family - c1850's

Photographer: Felice Beato
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

Tomb of Akbar the Great in Sikandra, a Suburb of Agra, Uttar Pradesh - c1860's

Gateway of Tomb of Akbar
 Gateway of Akbar's Tomb

Gateway of Tomb of Akbar
 Gateway of Akbar's Tomb

Tomb of Akbar
 Tomb of Akbar

Tomb of Akbar
 Tomb of Akbar

Tomb of Akbar
Tomb of Akbar

View a modern photograph
Modern photo of gateway

Photographer: Felice Beato and Henry Hering
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

View of Palace and Outside Wall of the Agra Fort - c1860's

View of Palace and Outside Wall of the Agra Fort - c1860's

View a modern photo of the same place

Photographer: Felice Beato and Henry Hering
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.