Britishers In Hand Pulled Rickshaw – Old Photo 1918
This is an old 1918 photograph of two Britishers riding in a hand-pulled rickshaw. Once abundant in and around many cities at the time of the British India era and even after. These Hand-Pulled Rickshaws have slowly faded out from the scene. Some still survive in tiny pockets of Kolkatta and other cities, probably in their last phases.
They evoke old-world charm and nostalgia, an iconic transportation system for some. But arousing indignation and anger to many others, equating it as some sort of slavery. The photo shows a hand rickshaw with two British occupants. Two men pull the vehicle from the front while two men (partially visible) push it from the back.
Although oppressive by today’s standards, and since automobiles were not on the scene. Until then it was a practical mode of transportation for many. The cycle rickshaw was invented in the 1880s but started to be used in regularity from the 1920s in many Indian cities. And it was far efficient than the hand-pulled rickshaws. Later the still ore efficient petrol-driven autorickshaws would appear on the roads.
Did you know- in pre-independence times and post-independence times, Kolkatta’s affluent would travel in palanquins. The hand-pulled rickshaw became the standard for the upper and middle class to show their status. Indicating that even in the way of transportation it became a show of class.
From the collection- Vintage Oleograph Raja Ravi Varma “Vishnu On Sheshnag”., Writer’s Building Calcutta – Old Postcard 1900., View Of Bombay Fort & Harbour – Old Print 1840., Vintage Book – With Wellesley To Madras