Cars On Mount Road Madras – Old Postcard 1920
This is an old 1920 postcard that shows cars on Mount Road in Madras or Chennai. It is believed that a resident of Calcutta bought the first car in India. Although this may be uncertain since some claim that the Maharaja Patiala was the first to buy an automobile in India. Still, others claim a Parsi businessman of Bombay (now Mumbai) was the first. Guess we will never get to know precisely which is correct.
Madras appeared to be a little behind in someone owning a motor car. But the first sighting was recorded in 1901. It was owned by A J Yorke, director of Parry & Co. He would drive down from Adyar to Parry’s in Black Town and back daily. There are hazy reports of a sighting as far back as 1894 although this is not confirmed. The beautiful vintage motor cars visible in this postcard is from 1920 in Mount Road.
Mount Road seems to be quaintly charming in this old picture with a wide road and sparse traffic. It is only by the 1980s or the 1990s onwards that traffic became denser. With haphazard manner building constructions on either side. So much so that the charm of the old Mount Road has gone missing now. The main subject in this photo postcard is that of the statue of James Neil. Who was a colonel in the Madras Fusilier Regiment. He was one of the major players in suppressing the 1857 Indian mutiny. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- the first Indian to own a car in Chennai was a building contractor T Namberumal Chetty in the 1900s. Read more Thatikonda Namberumal Chetty – Master Builder.