Hotel D’Angelis In Mount Road Madras, 1910 Postcard

Hotel D'Angelis In Mount Road Madras, 1910 Postcard

A 1910 postcard of the once popular hotel, Hotel D’Angelis, at Mount Road in Madras (Chennai). The hotel became famous in the whole of South India from the early 1900s to the 1920s. The owner, an Italian, Giacomo D’Angelis was equally famous as a cook, confectioner, and adventurer. He had devised his own biplane, which he built locally, and flew it himself in March 1910. It is considered to be probably the first flight in India.

The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos became the Governor of Madras Presidency from 1875 to 1880. Giacomo, the Duke’s confectioner, also shifted to the city along with the Duke. Giacomo opened a small confectionery shop in 1880. Named it Maison Française – specializing in French and Italian cakes, pastries, and chocolate.

By dint of hard work coupled with sound practical experience, he soon made a name for himself as a restaurateur and general caterer. Although he was continually contemplating the building of a high-class hotel. He consequently bought the place upon which the Hotel D’Angelis stood, as shown in this photo postcard. This new establishment opened in 1908.

Occupying a central position in the European quarter of Mount Road. It was at that time (and still is) the leading thoroughfare of the city. The D’Angelis Hotel was in close proximity to the Madras Club and Fort St George. Within a few minutes drive from the Central Railway Station and Egmore Railway Station. The hotel was impeccably well furnished with all the luxuries of the time.

Which included the first electrical lift, electric fans, an ice-making plant, and hot water on tap. The whereabouts of Giacomo in the later stages are a little obscure. One source claims he lived in the city till his death, although his will states he died in Italy in 1919. However, his son Carlo D’Angelis took over the reins and ran the hotel successfully. Unfortunately, Carlo drowned in a lake while on a duck hunting trip. The business was later sold to Hotel Bosotto in 1928.

See post Mount Road During Madras Monsoon, Postcard 1900.

Did you know- another Italian Federico Peliti was to Calcutta what Giacomo was to Madras. 

From the collection- Vintage Raja Ravi Varma “Saraswati” Oleograph.,  Canoe Aids Army In India – Old Photo 1944.,  Queen Mary In Delhi – Old Print 1912.,  Mumbai Suburban Railway Electrification – Old Print 1926