Higginbothams Bookstore Mount Road Madras, 1944 Postcard

A 1944 postcard of Higginbothams Bookstore on Mount Road in Madras (Chennai). The Higginbothams Bookstore is in the building in the background of the many cars that are parked in front of it. Abel Joshua Higginbotham in 1844 founded the Higginbothams Bookstore in a tiny room on Mount Road.

He was born in Cannanore (Kannur) under the Malabar region during the Madras Presidency days. Cannanore is now a part of Kerala State. Abel Joshua’s father was in the army in Bangalore and died a year later after his birth. His mother too passed away when Abel was just 12 years old leaving him orphaned. Scottish missionaries brought him up in Kannur. After completing school, he took up a job as a seaman where he found life to be rough.

Unhappy with his job he left it, further details of this interim period of his life are not known much. He took up a job at a Christian bookstore and found it enjoyable. Discovering he had a love for books, with the skill to talk about them. Abel also had a knack for searching out rare and popular books from various places. The Christian bookstore folded up and gave Higginbotham the first preference to buy the complete stock.

He gladly accepted and shifted his new business to Mount Road in Madras. It is here that Abel opened a shop in a tiny room. Within a few years with his gift of the gab and his tremendous skill in sourcing desirable books, he built up his business rapidly. Which enabled him to become financially strong, he then moved out to his present location at Mount Road which is as shown in this postcard. Noteworthy are the beautiful motorcars that are parked in front of the Higginbothams Bookstore.

Read also Higginbotham’s Historical Timeline.  See post Vintage Photo Buick Cars In Madras 1929.

Did you know- Higginbothams opened in 1844 is today the oldest bookstore in India.

From the collection- British India Polo Player Captain Malone – Old Photo 1890., Cotton Bales At Bombay Terminus – Old Print 1862.,  Rare Nilgiri Mountain Railway Steam Locomotive Drawing