A Lady’s Toilet In British Era Madras, 1900 Postcard



A European lady’s toilet in British-era Madras (Chennai) is shown in this 1900 postcard. An uncommon glimpse of a British lady being groomed by an Indian maid. The lady appears to be reading a book while the maid fixes her tresses. The toilet’s dressing room looks to be tastefully furnished, noteworthy is the swishing hand-pulled punkah. Notice the punkah’s pull rope leading to the outside through a window.

See also A Britisher’s Domestic Life In Madras – 2 Postcards 1900.

Madras, now Chennai had a considerable European population working in Fort St George during the British Raj days. Quite a large number of British officials had their families with them. They were often provided with large bungalows that had commodious bedrooms and toilets. The households were made available with maids, cooks, and servants sometimes liveried. The European residences were mainly concentrated in Mount Road, Mylapore, Adyar, and so on.

Did you know – that colonial domestic life in India was often a fraught exercise for the British women. There were usually guidebooks on how a household may be run.

Past posts – Oil Painting of Bunch of Roses British India, 1940., Esplanade & Chowringhee Road Calcutta, 1890., Colaba Point Lighthouse In Mumbai – Old Print 1868., Old Book 1918 – Recollections of Calcutta.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.