First Line Beach, Commercial Street of Madras 1940 Old Photo

Old 1940 photo of the First Line Beach, the commercial street of Madras, now Chennai. Commercial Madras moved out of the fort around 1800. When Madras Governor Edward, Lord Clive 2nd, demanded governance and trade should be kept separate. Since potential threats from enemies had subsided.

In 1798 Clive took the decision to move the ‘Sea Customer’ (now known as Customs Collector) to the grain warehouses by the North Beach. Where goods were landed by masula boats ferrying from the ships anchored in the sea. The merchants from Fort St George soon followed. Not long afterward North Beach Road developed as the city’s mercantile commercial street.

The move from Fort St George to offices on North Beach Road was completed by 1809. Meanwhile, North Beach Road got the name First Line Beach, now Rajaji Salai. The first building in the photo with the bulbous domes was occupied by the National Bank. The second building also with bulbous domes was occupied by the Bank of Madras. The Bank of Madras is now the main branch of the State Bank of India. Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know – that the Madras Governor Edward, Lord Clive 2nd was the son of Robert Clive (Clive of India). 

From the collection – Raja Ravi Varma Paintings Depicted In 3 Postcards., British India Era Postman, Advertising Card 1905., Bombay War Charity WW1 In British India – Old Print 1917., GIPR Steam Locomotive Bombay – Old Photograph 1900.

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





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4 x 2 inch

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