From Madras to Bangalore

Print edition : September 14, 2018

Image 1: “Mylapore Temple Tank”. Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, early 20th century. The caption on the back reads: “Mylapore Tank: Madras is built in a straggling fashion along the seashore. Most roads run between the avenues and are flanked by groves of palms and other trees. The shops often stand back from the streets with gardens in front of them. Mansions are built in compounds that are almost parks and rice fields wind in and out between them.”

Image 2: “South Parade, Bangalore”. Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, for the English Emporium, Bangalore, early 20th century.

Image 3: “Street Scene, Bangalore”. Published by Higginbotham & Co., Madras & Bangalore, early 20th century.

Image 4: “Proud Father”. Published by Higginbotham & Co., Madras and Bangalore, early 20th century.

Image 5: “Mount Road, Madras”. Published by Higginbotham & Co., Madras and Bangalore, early 20th century. The message reads: “X marks the shop where I bought this card.”

Image 6: “Mowbrays Road, Madras”. Published by Spencer’s & Co. Ltd, Madras, early 20th century.

Image 7: “A View of the High Court, Madras”. Published by Wiele & Klein, Madras, early 20th century.

Image 8: “Street in the City, Bangalore”. Published by Wiele’s Studio, Bangalore. Posted in January 1907, the message on the back reads: “After I finish my mail Ella asks me to say regarding photo enclosed that it is a puzzle photo and the puzzle is to find Ella Brown.”

Image 9: “Madras High Court”. Publisher unknown. Note the captions in both Tamil and English.

Image 10: Unidentified Muharram procession, most likely in Bangalore. Published by B. Muniratnam Rajoo, Bangalore, early 20th century.

Image 11: Unidentified street scene in Bangalore. Published by R. Shaikahmed Saib & Co., Madras, early 20th century.

Image 12: Unidentified Hindu tiger dancers and crowd. Published by D.P. Valu, regimental photographer, Baird Barracks, Bangalore.

Image 13: Annie Reynolds at home on the veranda. This photograph was taken by her husband, Will Reynolds, and printed as a postcard. The black-and-white image was hand-tinted with watercolours by Annie.

Image 14: The back of the postcard of Annie Reynolds on the veranda.

Image 15: “The Horticultural Gardens, Mount Road”. Published by Higginbotham & Co. The message reads: “Baby goes in these gardens every morning. Only a stone’s throw from our house.”

Image 16: “Mount Road, Madras”. The faint message above the image reads: “This is the road our offices are located on.”

Image 17: The back of the Mount Road postcard. The message dated 8.11.18 reads: “Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you. It is a case of better late than never. I have been in Bangalore 5 weeks. Now waiting for baby’s vaccinated arm to get right before returning. Will write then. Much love, Annie.”

Image 18: “Government House, Madras”. Published by Cambridge & Co., Madras, early 20th century. The message reads: “All well. Will write next mail. Weather simply stifling at present. Love to all.”

Image 19: “Cubbon Park”. Published by Wiele’s Studio, Bangalore.

Image 20: The back of the “Cubbon Park” postcard. It was posted on 28/06/1908 and the message reads: “Just here for a few days holiday. I am high up in the hills and the climate is almost like Scotland only we have sun at midday. Trust you are well and your wife and son in good form. I have many great pals here so I am having a good time.”

A careful examination of picture postcards of Madras and Bangalore of the early 20th century shows that this medium tells us a complex story of colonial urbanism and the history of photography that sheds a new light on these two cities.
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